Meet the Team

Meet Nathalie Hoffman

Nathalie Hoffman is CEO of LCFS Consulting Services. A certified LCFS verifier, she has been assisting clients with LCFS-related issues since its inception and has long term relationships at the decision-maker and staff levels at CARB.

A member of the Board of Directors of the American Biogas Council and Co-Chair of its Agriculture Committee, Ms. Hoffman has a special focus on LCFS RNG (biomethane) fuel pathways, including those where food scraps are the feedstock.

January 2022 saw the start date of the implementation of California’s SB1383 requiring the diversion of 75% of food waste from California landfills by 2025. Ms. Hoffman therefore expects there will be a big increase in the number of food scraps-to-RNG projects announced in the coming months. With this development in mind, she has written on the subject for BioCycle, an industry organic waste publication, and now writes a quarterly Highlights article for the Stillwater Associates’ LCFS Newsletter.

She also has unique expertise in connection with Brazilian sugarcane ethanol. She’s the only certified American LCFS verifier who has lived in Brazil and is a fluent Portuguese speaker. Additionally, she spent months in the interior of the State of Sao Paulo studying sugarcane agriculture and the industrial processes used to produce sugarcane ethanol and the co-generation of electricity from the cane’s waste biomass.

Ms. Hoffman started focusing on renewable transportation fuels through her work as a partner of one of the US’ preeminent corporate law firms, Sidley Austin. At Sidley she represented banks for project finance transactions.

As a result of her time in Brazil and her project finance background, she was CEO of a company developing a sugarcane ethanol biorefinery in California’s Imperial Valley where the feedstock for the mill was locally grown sugarcane.

Nathalie Hoffman has an undergraduate degree (Phi Beta Kappa, with High Distinction) in Mathematics from the University of Michigan. She subsequently attended UCLA Law School, from which she graduated Order of the Coif. In addition to her law degree, Ms. Hoffman has an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.

Ms. Hoffman is a Member in Good Standing of the California Bar.

Meet Brent Riffel

Brent Riffel has been a consultant to producers of biofuels, alternative fuels, chemicals and bio-products for the past 13 years and has successfully supported more than 50 fuel producers for certification under various laws and regulations, including California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) and the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2).

Decision makers and staff at CARB have the highest confidence in Brent. In fact, CARB turned to him to be one of the key developers of the CA-GREET model, the California-specific model low-carbon fuel producers must use to determine the carbon intensity of each fuel pathway they wish to get certified for LCFS credit generation.

He has been an expert in the LCFS since the beginning of the program 10 years ago and in January 2020 was accredited as a lead LCFS verifier in the first group of verifiers ever certified by CARB.

Prior to working with LCFS Consulting Services, Mr. Riffel worked at SCS Global Services as the Manager of Low Carbon Fuels where he has served as a lead auditor and greenhouse gas (GHG) verifier under several certification schemes, including the LCFS.

Mr. Riffel holds a Master’s degree in Transportation Technology and Policy from the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California at Davis and a B.A. in chemistry from Pomona College.

Meet Leif Forer

Leif Forer is an accredited LCFS lead verifier with Tier 1 and 2 experience across multiple fuel and feedstock pathways. Leif specializes in fuel pathway applications and validations in the liquid biofuels industries. Thus far, he has completed multiple validations as a lead verifier in 2020, with a couple dozen more on deck.

He has a deep understanding of operations and production processes with on-the-ground experience as a former executive at a biodiesel production company and at a biotechnology company pioneering carbon-neutral cement production from microorganisms.

He’s also a lead auditor under Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC), and International Organization for Standardization 9001 (ISO).

He has an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Arts in applied design from Hampshire College.

Meet Robert Ditchey

Robert Ditchey is LCFS Consulting’s expert on Sustainable Aviation Fuel.

He has a long history in airplanes and aviation. As a graduate of the US Naval Academy with an Engineering degree, he was a Navy pilot for 14 years. During that time, he completed two post-graduate degrees, a Masters from the Navy Post-Graduate School and an Aeronautical Engineering degree from Caltech.

Mr. Ditchey followed his career in the Navy with a career as a senior executive in the airline industry, where he had the highest level operations and maintenance responsibilities at three major US airlines. As part of those positions, he was responsible for the purchasing, management, logistics and storage of jet fuel.  He also had principal responsibility for maximizing the fuel efficiency of the airline.

Robert also understands the production and distribution of biofuels. Following a career in the airline industry, Mr. Ditchey was a principal in the planning and development of a renewable transportation fuel biorefinery and electrical power generation facility, using agricultural feedstocks.  He was involved in the engineering conceptualization of the biorefinery and in the planning of the agricultural development necessary to support the plant.

Meet Leigh Noda

Leigh is an experienced consultant providing services in the transportation fuels industries focused on renewable and alternate fuels. With deep and broad experience in petroleum refining, processing technology, and markets, he can deliver in-depth integrated analysis based on his broad experience profile: Regulatory Development and Compliance, Competitive Assessment, Technology, Environmental, Health and Safety, Strategic Planning, Project Evaluation, Project Development, Refinery Operations, Management, Finance and Planning.

Leigh’s skills and knowledge are based on decades of experience in California, the US and international arenas, analyzing and understanding regulations, evaluating markets, developing projects, and developing strategy including introduction and development of compliance and fuels strategies. In the LCFS space, having access to this broad experience is important due to the complexity of the regulation, the fuels that compete for the market take on many forms and there are numerous commercial entities from the very large to the very small.

For the last decade Leigh has served clients involved with the LCFS, Cap & Trade and other regulatory programs in California’s AB 32 suite of regulations as well as the Federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), in addition to consulting on general fuels-related issues. His experience advising senior management on commercial, investing, compliance and strategic decisions is part of the experience brought to each project.

Leigh has a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of California at Davis, and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Business.

Meet Murilo Vilela

With the LCFS amendment that went into effect this year for fuel pathway applications, CARB added a new requirement that each pathway have its own monitoring plan. Without such a plan, the pathway cannot undergo the validation process, and without being validated, the pathway cannot be certified.

Our team has already created a number of monitoring plans this years. We therefore decided to offer monitoring plan creation services for our Brazilian clients, working with a highly experienced Brazilian engineer, Murilo Vilela of Piracicaba, SP.

Murilo’s education and experience make him an ideal addition to our team. He is a process engineer with vast experience in the production of sugar, ethanol, and bioenergy in Brazil and the evolving technology in those fields. He has more than 16 years of experience in these industries, including in plant design and project management the resulting construction.

His focus includes fermentation, distillery operation, boilers, interconnection between areas via piping, and integration of processes in the plants.

Murilo has a Bachelors’ degree Agricultural Engineering from Brazil’s premiere agriculture university, Escola Superior de Agricultura “Luiz de Queiroz” – ESALQ-USP – Piracicaba (SP) and an MBA in Sugar/Sugarcane Ethanol Industry Project Management and Industrial Technology from the same school.

He worked as a process engineer for almost ten years at Dedini, followed by a stint at Odebrecht Agroindustrial in Venezuela, where he was Engineering Coordinator.

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