11.14 Approved Minutes






*WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2007, 5:00 P.M.

The Women’s Building, Audre Lorde Room

3543 – 18th Street

San Francisco, CA 94110


*The Tuesday, November 27, 2007, 5:00 p.m. Regular Commission meeting held at City Hall, Room 416 was RESCHEDULED to NOVEMBER 14, 2007 at 5:00 p.m. at the Women’s Building, 3543 18th Street.


COMMISSION MEMBERS:  Commissioners Paul Pelosi Jr. (President); Johanna Wald (Vice President), Ruth Gravanis, Angelo King, Jane MarieFrancis Martin, Alan Mok, and Darian Rodriguez Heyman



Public comment will be taken before the Commission takes action on any item.


1.      Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Commission on the Environment meeting convened at 5:05 p.m.  Present:  President Pelosi Jr. (5:35 p.m.), Vice-President Wald (5:10 p.m.), Commissioners Gravanis, King (5:30 p.m.), Martin, Mok, and Rodriguez Heyman.  Upon Motion by Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman and second by Commissioner Martin, Commissioner Gravanis was elected Chair for the meeting (AYES:  Commissioners Gravanis, Martin, Mok and Rodriguez Heyman; Absent:  Commissioners King, Pelosi Jr., and Wald).

2.      Adoption of Minutes of the September 25, 2007 Regular Commission Meeting and October 2, 2007 Special Meeting Retreat (Discussion and Action).  Upon Motion by Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman and second by Commissioner Mok, the September 25, 2007 Meeting Minutes were approved (AYES:  Commissioners Gravanis, Martin, Mok, Rodriguez Heyman, and Wald; Absent:  Commissioners King and Pelosi Jr.)  Upon Motion by Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman and second by Commissioner Martin, the October 2, 2007 Meeting Minutes were approved (AYES:  Commissioners Gravanis, Martin, Mok, Rodriguez Heyman and Wald; Absent: Commissioners King and Pelosi Jr.). (Explanatory Documents:  Approved Minutes of the September 25, 2007 Regular Commission Meeting and October 2, 2007 Special Meeting Retreat) 


3.      Public Comments:  Members of the public may address the Commission on matters that are within the Commission’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  Mr. Brent Plater, Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) Big Year www.ggnrabigyear.org requested that the Commission consider a Resolution to support the Big Year project and provided background information.  It was stated that the GGNRA has more endangered species than any other national park in Continental North America.  Mr. Plater indicated that people would be taken out on guided trips to GGNRA habitats to see every one of these species in 2008 and learn about 33 conservation recovery actions that can be taken to prevent these species from going extinct.  It is a competitive event so that the person who sees and helps the most species between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2008 will win the Big Year prize.  A kickoff party will be held at the San Francisco Zoo on January 6 at 1:00 p.m.  Mr. Plater stated that he would be giving a presentation at a Department of Environment brown bag in January.


4.      Implementation of San Francisco's phthalate ban, discuss opportunities for San Francisco families to test their home products for the presence of toxic chemicals, and explore options for future action (Informational Report and Discussion).

SPONSOR:  President Paul Pelosi Jr.

STAFF SPEAKER:  Debbie Raphael, Toxics Reduction Program Manager

Director Blumenfeld discussed the passage of the Child Product Safety Ordinance approved by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and Mayor in 2006).  The bill bans the manufacture, sale, or distribution in commerce of bisphenol-A and other specified chemicals intended for use by children under three years of age.  It was stated that in 2007, the Governor signed into law Assembly Bill AB 1108 to ban the use of phthalates from children’s products. The Toxics Reduction program and the Department of Public Health are working on San Francisco’s role to implement the ban.


Ms. Raphael discussed whether local governments should be regulating chemicals and what the state’s role should be now that it has adopted a similar ban. It was stated that San Francisco banned these chemicals based on an example of 2005 European Union standards. Ms. Raphael stated that the state law addresses phthalates the same way as local government legislation.  A meeting will be held with Supervisor Alioto Pier to discuss revisions to the local ordinance to possibly delete the enforcement section, as the state would be in charge of enforcement theoretically. 


Phthalates are in soft plastics, they are not on the label, and you can’t see or smell them so a method of detection is required.  It is incumbent upon the Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Department of the Environment to test products to determine if they have phthalates, and notify retailers, but the capacity to test every product is not yet possible. The weakness to this approach has been demonstrated by the lead in toys that we are hearing so much about.  The long-term vision is to help retailers comply, administer testing, post results on the web, and work with retailers to comply. 


Ms. Raphael discussed current efforts to make parents feel confident that the toys that are being sold and that they own are safe through the use of an X Ray Fluorescence Analyzer (XRF) machine (explanatory document: PowerPoint). The machine will zap food, toys, or any item and measures 22 different elements producing instant readouts. The focus will be on whether the item contains lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, bromine, chlorine, and arsenic.  It won’t tell you whether there are phthalates in the product, but it will tell you whether the product is made of PVC.  Events around the City are being considered to allow parents to bring in toys and measure them.  The challenge is what should be done with the information. There is no way at this time to state whether a toy is safe or not, so recommended actions to consider would be to have the parent bring the printout to the toy store and say they shouldn’t be selling it, or request that legislators consider federal legislation.  The Department will be considering solutions and partnering with NGO’s that are already working on this initiative to help with public awareness and action. A discussion will be held with Norcal to determine proper disposal methods if people want to dispose of toys. Work is also being done on creating materials for events to be held in December or January.


Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman recommended (1) going to retail stores to zap toys and then having the retailers deal with the manufacturers; (2) facilitating a process of action either through manufacturers or elected officials; and (3) crating a knowledge base after a toy has been zapped.


5.      Overview of the Department of the Environment’s School Education Programs (Informational Report and Discussion) (Explanatory Document:  Presentation). 

SPONSOR:  Director Jared Blumenfeld

STAFF SPEAKERS: Tamar Hurwitz, Environmental Education Manager and

Rachel Pomerantz, Environmental Education Coordinator 


Ms. Tamar Hurwitz introduced Ms. Pomerantz, Environmental Education Coordinator and Ms. Carridad Taber, School Education Intern.  An informational report and presentation were given on the Department’s School Education Program intended to promote environmental awareness in kindergarten through 12th grade students in San Francisco’s public and private schools. The Department’s School Education Programs reach approximately 15,000 students each year. Programs include:


(1) Food to Flowers, an innovative school lunchroom composting program. San Francisco is the first city in the state to put the green cart into the schools so that kids can compost their leftover lunches. The program includes a mascot “Phoebe the Phoenix” that goes to elementary school assemblies to teach kids about composting and recycling.  The program provides teaching methods, assemblies, free materials in various languages, behavior modification, lesson plans, and student fact sheets.  Kids are invited to participate and are taught to love and protect nature through paying attention to materials that are used in daily lives. Kids are also given the opportunity to be compost monitors. Food to Flowers is funded partly by the Altamont Education Fund and part of the funding is to give a stipend to custodians who help the program succeed in schools. The average school diversion rate is 55%; some schools are at 60%, a few at 70%; one school is at 97%.  Information is shared with other cities around the state and is a model for others to follow.


(2) Water pollution prevention and conservation lessons.  Sixty classroom presentations are provided each year specifically with fifth grade students with funding from SFPUC/BERM.  The lessons reference work from the Toxics Reduction program. Students learn about water conservation and preventing water pollution. 


(3) Promotion of school gardens—member of San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance.  Ms. Pomerantz is the Department’s Green Schoolyard Alliance representative.


(4) Stop litter assemblies for all K-12 schools in partnership with the Department of Public Works. 


(5)    Field trip sponsors (to SCRAP, Gardens for the Environment, Conservatory of Flowers, Transfer Station and Pier 96 Recycling Center).


(6)    Teacher workshops on environmental education and school awards ceremonies to honor excellence of environmental education in schools; and


(7)    Kids’ website and resource library on the Department of the Environment school education website.


Ms. Pomerantz reported that the School Education's food-related teaching materials are now available on the Museum of African Diaspora's website, in support of its Hungry Planet exhibit.

Commissioner Mok stated that he had met with South Bay Mayors who referenced the program on the Department’s website and had requested additional information.  A request was made for Ms. Hurwitz to attend a future meeting to discuss the program.


Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman inquired about program funding.  Ms. Hurwitz stated that the program is funded through the Impound Account, in part by the Toxics program, and the Altamont Education Fund.  Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman asked if it was the school’s responsibility to raise funding for the programs. Ms. Hurwitz stated that the programs that the Department offers to the schools are free.


6.      Greening of Schoolyards in San Francisco (Informational Report and Discussion). 

SPONSOR:  Director Jared Blumenfeld

SPEAKER: Arden Bucklin-Sporer, San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance Executive Director


Ms. Arden Bucklin-Sporer introduced Ms. Rachel Pringle, San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance (SFGSA) Program Manager.  It was stated that the San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance came about as a result of the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) Tule Elk Park Child Development Center, which has a green schoolyard and integrates environmental education into its early childhood curriculum. It was felt that more students in San Francisco should have access to similar types of programs in public schools.  The SFGSA started to attend SFUSD Prop A city school bond meetings and secured $2 million in November 2003 for schoolyard greening and have secured an additional $5 million in Prop A bond funding in 2006 for a total of $7 million for greening schoolyards.

The SFGSA supports schoolyard transformations from ordinary asphalt yards into ecologically rich green spaces for learning and play.  The Alliance has just gone through a community process with stakeholders in attendance to provide the lead in greening the schoolyards. Ms. Bucklin-Sporer stated that the Alliance is fortunate in having the Department as a Board member and is thankful for their support. In addition to providing grants to school garden programs; (e.g., Willie Brown Jr. Academy) the Department of the Environment also has been extremely supportive of past conferences and is one of the Alliance’s most active members. It was stated that the Department links to the green schoolyard program through their food to flowers composting program.  In addition to greening schoolyards, the Alliance provides teachers with guidance on building environmental outdoor classrooms and teaching them how to be naturalists so they can inspire the children. The SFGSA has many partners to provide input, has a close relationship with the school district, and works closely with bond management staff. 

Commissioner Martin inquired about the number of school gardens.  Ms. Bucklin-Sporer reported that there are 30-35 total gardens.  Vice-President Wald asked if the goal is to have 100%.  Ms. Bucklin-Sporer stated that the Alliance does not impose a garden on a school and provides support to those schools and principals who are interested.  Ms. Bucklin-Sporer reported that Willie Brown Jr. Academy has one of the best gardens that had been supported last year by a Department of the Environment grant. 


Commissioner King commended the program and (1) inquired about funding garden coordinators and (2) stressed the importance of maintaining the gardens.  Ms. Bucklin-Sporer stated that having a garden coordinator is a wonderful concept but is not something that every school can raise money for. It was stated that a parent association has the capacity to raise money to bring enrichment programs to the school that may include gardens.  Some schools directly write grants and others are lucky enough to receive a Department of the Environment grant.  Volunteers or teachers may offer their services; e.g., Cesar Chavez School has a teacher that coordinates their garden program.   Ms. Bucklin-Sporer stated that gardens are maintained by students, teachers, parents, and neighbors as there is no additional funding for maintenance.

President Pelosi asked in what ways the Department and the SFGSA could link their programs.  Ms. Bucklin-Sporer stated that it would be a good idea to spend time brainstorming how this can be further achieved.  The Department already supports SFGSA to a great extent, but it could be further developed.  Ms. Hurwitz stated that the Department is supporting the SFGSA by being a member and having Ms. Rachel Pomerantz, Environmental Education Coordinator as one of the steering group committee members. Additionally, the School Education program has a variety of classroom curriculum that has been created for teachers to use when teaching students about garden/food production issues.  Fact sheets written include: How Does your Garden Grow? Gardening with Less Water; The Power of Pollinators; Local Food is Good Food; as well as lesson plans on plant adaptation and composting with worms.  Additionally, schools are told that with the Food to Flowers! lunchroom composting program they have access to free compost if they need it for their school garden or planter boxes.  This helps students make the connection between using the green cart in their cafeteria and having those food scraps get turned into compost that can help grow food in their school gardens.

Public Comment:  Mr. Andre Bisquera, Vice Chair, San Francisco Chapter Surfrider discussed a program “Plant Don't Pave”  that decreases water runoff into storm drains by removing non-permeable surfaces and replacing them with permeable surfaces. The program targets home owners in the Outer Sunset and Richmond districts and is another option to help in waste water management that involves private citizens.  Commissioner Gravanis stated that the Policy Committee will be hearing a presentation on the Wastewater Master Plan at their November 19 meeting and invited Mr. Bisquera to attend.


7.      Challenges and Changes to School Lunch Nutrition (Informational Report and Discussion)  

SPONSOR:  Director Jared Blumenfeld

SPEAKERS: Paula Jones, San Francisco Food Systems Director and

School Health Program Representative


Director Blumenfeld reported that the Policy Committee has held several meetings on the Department’s food policy for the City.  It was stated that the Department and stakeholders are reviewing nutritional content, source, and the packaging that food comes in, which is often times not recyclable.  Director Blumenfeld introduced the speaker for today’s meeting, Ms. Paula Jones, San Francisco Food Systems Director and School Health Program Representative.


Ms. Jones reported that there is a lot of positive movement and a lot of challenges to the school nutrition program.  It was stated that the School Nutritional Services Department is the most important food service operation in the City that serves the most people, primarily children from low-income households.  Today, they serve about 5500 breakfasts, 23,000 lunches and 5500 snacks.  The most impact to the system can be made by working strategically with the School Nutritional Services Department.  There are 103 school sites and at this time, 12 have cooking kitchens.  Ms. Jones reported that the school kitchens were dismantled in the 1980’s because of a cut in federal funding for maintenance and lack of upgrades to kitchen equipment.  The 12 cooking kitchens can procure food on their own, and they do have staff to cook.  The rest of the schools are getting food from a national organization, Preferred Meal Systems that provides about a million meals a day cross-country. 


School Lunch Program Operation.  Ms. Jones reported that the program is funded entirely through federal and state reimbursements based on the income eligibility of the family that is pegged to the poverty standard in the U.S.  For school lunches, if a family of four’s income is about 185% of poverty ($26,845 annually) then their children qualify for a free lunch. In order to qualify for a reduced lunch fee status, a family of four’s income must be $38,000.  The California Budget Project estimated that it takes about $60,000 to $70,000 for a family of four living in San Francisco, which explains the gap.  The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) has a great policy where they will not deny a child a meal.   This policy costs about half-a-million dollars a year and is an unfunded mandate incurred by the Student Nutritional Services.  The Student Nutritional Services Department is involved in operations and not curriculum, and is looked at as a department that must balance its budget. 


In order for families to qualify for a free or reduced fee lunch, families must fill out applications in order to determine their eligibility; however it is a challenge to get everyone to fill out the forms.  If a family is food-stamp eligible, they are automatically eligible for a school lunch. However, the program is underutilized and does not capture all of the families that would be eligible.  There are 55% of the families that were eligible for a free and reduced lunch, and at this point, there are 13,000 children that do not have an application on file.  If those children show up for a free lunch, the funding source would come from the cost of the children who filled out an application.  The federal government’s reimbursement is $2.47 for a lunch; breakfast has a different rate and so does a snack. The state just increased their amount to 21 cents, so the total reimbursement is $2.68 which has to cover everything–the food, the labor, and the overhead cost. One dollar of that amount is for food costs. There are strict requirements for what entrée has to be served (a certain amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fruits and vegetables).  What is left is about .14 cents for a piece of fruit. 


Challenges.  Ms. Jones explained that one of the biggest challenges is that the program is completely under-funded.  The reimbursement rate in California for San Francisco schools is the same as the 48 states in the United States.  The only two states that receive a higher reimbursement are Alaska and Hawaii. The other challenge includes lack of management staff.  Ms. Jones reported that she works with an organization, San Francisco Food Systems working with city agencies around food policy and programs.  Previously there were 12 management staff; now there are two.  Changes are being pushed for; but there is not enough funding or staff to keep it operational.  Another challenge is getting qualified students to return their application for a free or reduced-fee lunch.  If not enough applications are received, summer free and reduced-fee lunch program sites could be lost. In addition, technology throughout the district is antiquated.  A request has been made for funding to install a Point of Sale system (POS) where every child would have a meal card with something embedded whether they are free and reduced.  If every school site had the POS system and every child had a meal card, cash would not have to be collected at the school site and would result in cash-handling security, and children with free and reduced cards could be readily identified. Installing this system could bring about cost savings throughout the district. 


Opportunities.  Ms. Jones reported that an SFUSD Nutrition Committee was formed in 2003 and extended an invitation for anyone to become involved in Committee activities and meetings.  There are also school meals and wellness policy subcommittees.  The school meals work as a system so a school site can not do something different to their site independent of the system.  The only school sites that you can potentially do something different in are the 12 cooking kitchens.  Ms. Jones discussed opportunities with the Farm Bill’s programs that both the House and the Senate have increased funding for to bring additional fruits and vegetables into the school.  One of the programs is called the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program which has never previously been available in California.  The program would give cash directly to the schools to purchase fruit and vegetables.  The other program is the Department of Defense (DOD) Fresh.  Last year it brought in $8000 worth of fruit to the School District, which is significant.  It is hoped that more will be forthcoming from the Farm Bill in order to provide fruits and vegetables.  In addition, the Mayor as well as the Department of Children Youth and their Families (DCYF) has funded half a million dollars to roll out salad bars at 25 schools.  There are probably about 14 now.  Ms. Jones is working with SFUSD and the produce districts on the procurement side to determine where the food is coming from and trace production practices. Ms. Jones discussed writing grants to expand the “grab and go” breakfast program and partnering with businesses to see if more fruits can go into the breakfast program through corporate partners. A description was given of the Harvest of the Month and Chef in the Classroom programs. 


Long range planning process.  Ms. Jones reported that a long-range planning process is being worked on to determine what should be achieved and what the related costs would be.  It was stated that funding would be requested from Prop H bonds to fund the school district’s programs; e.g., continuation of the salad bar program, to buy equipment, and for the POS system.  The Superintendent of Schools will put both requests forward in a proposal to the Prop H Committee on December 1.  Ms. Jones asked for the Commission’s support of the proposal by way of writing a letter of support; however, the Commission does not meet until January which is after the December meeting on the proposal.


Director Blumenfeld stated that he is working with the new Superintendent of Schools to create a Director of Sustainability position for the Unified School District that would coordinate school gardens, facilities management, water usage, energy efficiency, nutrition, and other related programs.  Commissioner King discussed serving food grown in the school gardens and trading varieties of food between schools.  Ms. Jones stated that would require additional funding, more kitchens, and people involved in figuring out how to serve food that is grown for school lunches. 


Commissioner Martin asked if (1) there was a goal to bring back the kitchens, (2) to create a central kitchen and satellites, and (3) if there had been outreach to the restaurant association to offer a contribution.  Ms. Jones stated that the immediate goal is to keep the 12 existing kitchens and getting a chef on board to revamp the recipes.  Ms. Jones indicated that she had taken restaurant tours and talked to groups connected with the restaurant industry.  It was stated that part of the long range planning process is to see what is possible. What is being done now is outsourcing to a major national food service company. A lot more funding would be required to staff more kitchens, and at this time, there is not enough funding to increase the quality of the food.  Commissioner Martin asked about packaging and whether reusable trays, silver and plates are being used.  Ms. Jones stated that individual packaging is the current method, trays for the salads are compostable, but the forks are not compostable.  There are no dishwashers so metal is not being used.  Commissioner Martin suggested that children bring in their own utensils. Ms. Jones stated that would take a lot of coordination to make that work.


Ms. Hurwitz stated that she had suggested to Student Nutrition Services that consideration be given to making their food packaging more recyclable and/or compostable.  The milk containers had been switched from milk pouches in plastic bags to milk cartons that are compostable.  The trays are either recyclable or compostable, and students are being trained on identifying what is compostable/recyclable. However, most of the items are still disposable and not reusable with the exception of some of the aluminum trays that are being recycled.  Ms. Hurwitz discussed methods of raising money for dishwashers through grants and through the long-range planning process.  Ms. Jones invited the Commissioners and staff to be part of the long-range planning process.


Vice-President Wald suggested using the City Purchasing Department in order to combine the purchasing power of all city institutions to purchase/produce more and provide better quality food and compostable/recyclable items.  Ms. Jones stated she is working with the interagency sustainable food working group to review purchasing methods, costs, products purchased and source. 


Commissioner Gravanis stated that she (1) supports the effort to hire a Sustainability Coordinator; and (2) suggested adding wildlife, water quality and conservation, and nutrition to the schoolhouse curriculum.


8.      Commission Secretary’s Report (Information and Discussion).

Monica Fish, Commission Secretary


Communications and Correspondence.  Ms. Fish reported that a 2008 Commission and Committee Meeting Schedule was included in the packet and had been emailed to all Commissioners.  It was stated that Commission Bylaws call for officer nominations and elections to be held at a regular meeting in November; however since this is a special rescheduled meeting, nominations and elections will be heard at the January meeting.  Commissioners were asked to express their interest in office during New Business.  Ms. Fish reported that AB48 on hazardous waste was vetoed by the Governor on October 13. 


Correspondence received included a memo from the Mayor’s Office on the City’s Response and Activities to the Cosco Busan Oil Spill; an email from Ms. Lisa Gautier regarding the immediate oil spill remediation solution, and a memo to all City and County Commissions from the Bayview Hunters Point Project Area Committee expressing their support of the joint stadium and Hunters Point shipyard project.


Director Blumenfeld reported on the Cosco Busan Oil Spill stating that the Coast Guard reported that there had been 14,000 gallons of oil spilled, and it turned out to be 58,000 gallons of water spilled.  The Department donated about 400 oil mats, sent Kevin Drew to the Unified Command, and worked with Aquarium of the Bay to set a training protocol for volunteers. It was stated that there was a lack of clear understanding and information to the public on how people could get involved.  It was recommended that there be a separate Commission established to develop an oil spill response plan and to conduct regular volunteer trainings on dealing with oil spills and birds. The Office of Emergency Services has been contacted in order to set up a set of protocols for future actions.  It was stated that the crab season has been closed; the oyster fishery is in jeopardy, and long-term impacts on marine life will have to be assessed.


Public Comment:  Mr. Andre Bisquera stated that Surfrider did not endorse unofficial cleanups from the oil spill.  The organization worked closely with the National Park Service who requested that they not tell volunteers to clean up the oil.  Surfrider officially endorsed cleaning up the beaches only when the Environmental Protection Agency got involved with “Kill the Spill,” which is a grassroots organization created in response to the oil spill and provide training classes.  Mr. Bisquera stated that Surfrider would like to purchase some hair mats for the clean up and asked if the Department and Surfrider could work together and buy in bulk to save on the expense. Mr. Bisquera also inquired about the status of the Ocean Beach Task Force.  Director Blumenfeld stated that Ocean Beach is being refocused on, as it is the most neglected of all GGNRA properties.


Update on Pending City Legislation.  See Commission Secretary Report explanatory document above.


9.      Operations Committee Report (Information and Discussion)

         Chair’s Report:  Commissioner Mok highlighted the meeting of Wednesday, October 16, 2007 and announced that the next meeting would be held on Wednesday, January 16, 2008, at 4:00 p.m., 11 Grove Street.


Commissioner Mok reported that the Operations Committee heard an informational report on the closure of the Mirant Potrero Hill power plant and replacement of the plant with the San Francisco Electric Reliability Project installation.  It was stated that there was public in attendance that spoke in opposition to the project because of community health impacts that could result, and it was requested that greener alternatives be considered.  Additional topics heard at the October 16 meeting included informational reports on the School Education program, compostable bag update, and the Department’s financial report. 

10.  Policy Committee Report (Information and Discussion)

         Chairs Report:  Commissioner Gravanis reported that at the October 22 meeting, a discussion was held on Urban Environmental Accord 17 as it relates to promoting and supporting locally grown organic food. Dr. Chris Geiger and Ms. Paula Jones discussed the SFUSD budget and the need for a citywide food policy. Chair Wald reported that the November 19 meeting would include an informational report by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority on congestion pricing and an update from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission on the Wastewater Master Plan.    

11.  Director’s Report (Information and Discussion)

Jared Blumenfeld, Director, Department of the Environment presented updates on SFE administrative and programmatic operations relating to Budget Planning, Strategic Planning, Clean Air, Climate Division, Outreach and Education Division, Environmental Justice Division, Zero Waste, Toxics Reduction Program, and the Urban Forestry Division.   


Director Blumenfeld’s report on Department administrative and programmatic operations was included in the Commission Meeting packet (see link above for additional information).  Highlights discussed included:

·        Clean Air Program continued to manage the citywide implementation of biodiesel (B20) and is pleased to report that as of November 7th, 2007, 75% of the city's diesel fleet uses B20 (including 349 MUNI revenue diesel buses). The goal of 100% will be reached before the scheduled target date. 

·        Reached 1,000-mark for restaurant visits in connection with food-ware ordinance. Seventy-seven percent of restaurants are no longer using styrofoam and 66% are no longer using other non-recyclable/compostable containers. ABC News 7 ran a story on our food ware ordinance outreach efforts. We also visited their station to improve their recycling. Convinced Costco to stop selling non-compostable foam-insulated cups in San Francisco.

·        The Bayview Hunters Point farmers’ market has completed its operations at Mendell Plaza for the 2007 season.   We celebrated the end of the season with a series of cooking demonstrations, children’s activities and live music performances. We are looking forward to working with local non-profit organizations and continuing the farmers’ market operations next spring.

·        Energy Watch:  Small Business program has installed 4.5 million kWh of savings.

·        Door-knocking top 10% of worst offenders to educate/help these customers use their green carts.  Sending a letter and detailed blue/green cart information to “offending”/ contaminated cart customers in addition to putting stickers on the bins. 

·        Working on an ordinance for businesses with more than ten employees to offer employees pre-tax commuter benefits.

·        Met with Starbucks and received commitment that all of their San Francisco stores with separate refuse service will be on the composting program by the end of the year. We will train their staff.

·        Registered 8 transporters under the C&D ordinance, approved a demolition debris recovery plan final report for a warehouse with a 95% diversion rate and visited 14 constructions sites unannounced.


12.  Announcements.  (Information and Discussion). Commissioner King announced that while grocery shopping, he had seen a lot of displays for reusable bags.  A discussion was held on reusable designer bags becoming available.  Commissioner Gravanis discussed the success of the Department’s ecological restoration day at Yerba Buena Island.  It was announced that Clipper Cove Beach is now one of the beaches closed because of the oil spill and people are not allowed access.  Residents say that they have seen no cleanup activity on Clipper Cove Beach or on the west side of Yerba Buena Island where the tide pools are.


Public Comment:  Unidentified Public Speaker inquired about the plastic bag ordinance kick-off party.  Director Blumenfeld stated that the party would still be held. 


13.  President’s Announcements.  (Information and Discussion). President Pelosi Jr. reported on (1) the Department’s position on the San Francisco Electric Reliability project installation and how it was influenced by the public in attendance at the Operations Committee meeting who were mostly against the installation; and (2) the Department is currently working with Supervisor Sandoval on the solar initiative.

14.  New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Information and Discussion).  Commissioners Martin and Gravanis asked that the Policy Committee at their November meeting consider resolutions (1) supporting the green roof bus shelter project and (2) the GGNRA “Big Year” project.  These two resolutions would be forwarded to the Commission to consider at their January meeting if approved by the Policy Committee. President Pelosi Jr. stated that there may be future special community meetings scheduled on the solar initiative legislation.  Commissioner Gravanis expressed her interest in Commission office.  Commissioner Mok asked for Commissioner’s interest in joining an ICG Green Committee. Commissioner Gravanis stated that a Festival of Sail will be coming to San Francisco Bay next year and asked for the Department’s future involvement in making it a zero waste event. 

15.  Public Comments:  Members of the public may address the Commission on matters that are within the Commission’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  There was no public comment at this time.

16.  Adjournment.  The Commission on the Environment meeting adjourned at 7:38 p.m.


** Copies of explanatory documents are available at (1) the Commission’s office, 11 Grove Street, San Francisco, California between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., (2) on the Commission’s website https://sites.google.com/a/sfenvironment.org/commission/environment-commission as attachments to the meeting agenda or minutes, ;(3) upon request to the Commission Secretary, at telephone number 415-355-3709, or via e-mail at [email protected].


Respectfully submitted by,

Monica Fish, Commission Secretary TEL:  (415) 355-3709; FAX: (415) 554-6393


Approved:  January 22, 2008

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