CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO
COMMISSION ON THE ENVIRONMENT
Tuesday, January 22, 2008, 5:00 P.M.
City Hall, Room 416
One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102
COMMISSION MEMBERS: Commissioners Paul Pelosi Jr. (President); Johanna Wald (Vice President), Ruth Gravanis, Angelo King, Jane MarieFrancis Martin, Darian Rodriguez Heyman, Matt Tuchow
ORDER OF BUSINESS
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 was called to order at 5:05 p.m. Present: President Pelosi Jr. (5:10 p.m.), Commissioners Gravanis, King, Martin, Rodriguez Heyman and Tuchow; Absent: Vice-President Wald. Upon Motion by Commissioner Gravanis and second by Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman, Commissioner King was appointed interim Chair until President Pelosi Jr. joined the meeting at 5:10 p.m. (AYES: Commissioners Gravanis, King, Martin, Rodriguez Heyman and Tuchow. Excused: Vice-President Wald; Absent: President Pelosi Jr.).
2. Adoption of Minutes of the November 14, 2007 Rescheduled Commission Meeting. (Discussion and Action) Upon Motion by Commissioner Gravanis and second by Commissioner Martin, the November 14, 2007 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (AYES: Commissioners Gravanis, King, Martin, Rodriguez Heyman and Tuchow; Absent: Vice-President Wald and President Pelosi Jr.) (Explanatory Document: Approved Minutes of the November 14, 2007 Rescheduled Commission Meeting).
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.
President Pelosi Jr. joined the meeting at this time. Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman asked if there had been a consensus on switching to a new Commission agenda format so that instead of hearing reports and updates, the Commission could focus on one issue for each meeting. Director Blumenfeld explained that often times agenda items are required to be approved by Ordinance; e.g., Item 7, or the Commission has been called on to endorse certain issues. Director Blumenfeld indicated that a future possibility could be a consent calendar for certain agenda items as recommended by Commissioner Gravanis. Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman endorsed this concept.
4. Resolution Commending Commissioner Alan Mok for his Service on the Commission on the Environment (Discussion and Action) (Explanatory Document: Resolution File 2008-07-COE).
Commission Secretary Fish reported that Commissioner Mok had requested a continuance of this agenda item until the March 25, 2008 meeting so that he could attend the meeting. Director Blumenfeld introduced new Commissioner Matt Tuchow and reported that Commissioner Mok is now on the Immigrant Rights Commission. Continued to the March 25, 2008 meeting.
5. Solar Incentive and Loan Legislative Package (Informational Report and Action). Resolution Supporting Solar Incentives for Businesses and Residents (Explanatory Document: Draft Resolution File 2008-03-COE).
SPONSOR: President Paul Pelosi Jr.
SPEAKERS: Representative from the Office of Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting and
Johanna Partin, Renewable Energy Program Manager, Department of the Environment
President Pelosi Jr. reported on the Mayor’s Office solar proposals and alternatives being worked on with the Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Sandoval’s Office, and the Mayor’s Office. It was stated that Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman is working with Berkeley to compare their solar program to San Francisco proposals. President Pelosi Jr. indicated that federal funding had not been received as expected for the solar program.
Director Blumenfeld introduced Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting who has been championing the Solar Task Force. Assessor Recorder Phil Ting discussed the Solar Task Force that was formed approximately a year ago that is working on circumventing issues that prevent residents and businesses from putting solar panels on their roof; mainly cost, permitting obstacles, and lack of public awareness. Renewable Energy Program Manager Johanna Partin explained that the Solar Task Force is comprised of industry representatives and local stakeholders interested in promoting solar with a focus on solar electric but also with the possibility of moving toward solar thermal in the future. The Task Force addresses barriers so more solar can be installed throughout the City and serves as an advisory Task Force to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors. Department Staff members Partin and Cal Broomhead, Energy Manager, serve as advisory members to the Task Force.
Assessor Recorder Phil Ting reported on (1) the Task Force’s creation of a local incentive program that would provide from $3,000 to $6,000 for homeowners and up to $10,000 for commercial properties to install solar panels on their roofs and (2) a proposed ballot measure to repurpose seismic bond program money that was never funded to create a $50 million low-interest loan package. A discussion was also held on an alternative program proposed by Supervisor Sandoval that is similar to the City of Berkeley’s tax program for public services.
Renewable Energy Program Manager Johanna Partin provided details on the proposed City rebate program for residential and commercial solar installations that would be the largest municipal rebate in the country. It was stated that $4000 would be offered for solar installations if you employ a San Francisco installer; $5000 if you live in an environmental justice district, $6000 if you work with a company that is employing people who have completed a City-sponsored workforce development program, and $3000 at the base level. Ms. Partin reported that the source of funding would be from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) MECCA funds, which were previously used for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs on municipal facilities.
Commissioner Martin inquired if work is being done to overcome the obstacles for residents and businesses. Renewable Energy Program Manager Partin reported that the Solar Task Force has successfully been working with the Department of Building Inspection (DBI) to further simplify the permitting process. It was stated that (1) forums have been held for installers and the public to discuss new programs in place; and (2) permitting fees and approval times have significantly decreased. To improve public awareness, a San Francisco Solar Map www.sfsolarmap.org website is active and improvements continuously being made. Installers are providing feedback on how to use the website to improve public awareness.
Upon Motion by Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman and second by Commissioner Gravanis, Resolution File 2008-03-COE supporting solar incentives for businesses and residents was approved without objection (AYES: President Pelosi Jr., Commissioners Gravanis, King, Martin, Rodriguez Heyman and Tuchow; Absent: Vice-President Wald) (Explanatory Document: Final Resolution 003-08-COE).
6. Update on Green Building Ordinance (Informational Report and Action). Resolution supporting green building requirements (Explanatory Document: Draft Resolution File 2008-04-COE)
SPONSOR: President Paul Pelosi Jr.
SPEAKER: Richard Chien, Green Building Specialist, Department of the Environment
Residential Green Building Coordinator Richard Chien reported that in March 2007, the Mayor convened a Green Building Task Force to research ways to accelerate green building adoption in San Francisco in private-sector projects. The Task Force met for three months and issued its report in July 2007. In May, Mr. Chien and representatives from Build It Green and www.StopWaste.org Green Building Program presented the Green Point Rated residential green building program, which is the standard for low-rise residential projects in the report.
Mr. Chien reported that the Task Force report had been presented to various stakeholder groups; e.g., SPUR, AIA of San Francisco, BOMA San Francisco, ABAG, Real Estate Roundtable, and discussed at the Department of Building Inspection’s Green Building Subcommittee of the Code Advisory Committee. In September, the Planning Department and Environment staff presented a report to this Commission. A process was then held to include comments from the PUC and the Port to incorporate their stormwater management guidelines into the green building ordinance. The Draft Ordinance amending the Building Code to set forth green-building requirements was introduced to the Board of Supervisors at their January 8 meeting. Next steps (1) DBI will conduct a thorough staff review of the Draft Ordinance; (2) in February and possibly March there will be additional Green Building Subcommittee and Code Advisory Committee meetings that would include public review; (3) to the Building Inspection Commission possibly in March; and (4) back to the full Board for adoption. Mr. Chien indicated that if advised by the City Attorney, consultants may be hired to do a cost-effectiveness study that would be submitted to the Energy Commission.
Commissioner Martin inquired as to how the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) would fit in with the City’s permitting process. Mr. Chien stated that an implementation plan would be developed to review where the green building certification process overlaps with the existing DBI and Planning Department review process for projects. The City team would work with a consultant that would be hired to help with the process. It was stated that DBI is actively looking at how the LEED process interacts with both their and the Planning Department’s process. Mr. Chien reported that DBI staff indicated that the implementation part of the Ordinance could be accomplished through an administrative bulletin issued by the Director regardless of whether it is written into the ordinance. This effort would allow time for an implementation plan to be developed.
Upon Motion by Commissioner King and second by Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman, Resolution File 2008-04-COE supporting green building requirements was approved without objection (AYES: President Pelosi Jr., Commissioners Gravanis, King, Martin, Rodriguez Heyman and Tuchow; Absent: Vice-President Wald) (Explanatory Document: Final Resolution 004-08-COE.
7. Approval of the 2008 Reduced Risk Pesticide List (Informational Report and Action) (Explanatory Documents: 1) Resolution approving the 2008 San Francisco Reduced Risk Pesticides List File 2008-05-COE; 2) 2008 San Francisco Reduced-Risk Pesticides List; 3) Changes made since the 2007 list (PDF), and Public Comment).
SPONSOR: Jared Blumenfeld, Director
SPEAKER: Chris Geiger, City Toxics Reduction Coordinator
Toxics Reduction and Green Building Program Manager Debbie Raphael reported that the Reduced Risk Pesticide List serves as a powerful statement about the way the City looks at chemicals used on public property. It was stated that when the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program was founded, it was acknowledged that not all pesticides could be banned, and it was necessary to use some chemicals to combat pests on public land. The objective became how to speak intelligently on when a pesticide could and could not be used. A process was created to review 100’s of chemicals to decide which ones were acceptable for use. Revisions were made to account for new, less toxic chemicals, and ones that are no longer necessary. The ordinance was designed to have an approval process annually where public meetings would be held and would include participation by the non-profit sector and end-users to produce a list of appropriate chemicals to use on City property.
Ms. Raphael explained that there are 74 products on this list, and each product is specific on how it can be used, who can use it, and if there are any further concerns. The products were researched carefully using the best available science and acknowledging the concerns of the community and needs of landscape and pest control staff.
Commissioner King discussed golf course pesticide waiver requests and the need to work with relevant staff so rules on pesticide use will not be broken. It was stated that it is important to maintain golf courses at the optimal level so that PGA tournaments can continue to be held in San Francisco, as it is an important revenue source for the City and a good example for other cities. Ms. Raphael stated that golf courses have reduced their use of hazardous chemicals and noted that City managers are supportive of the pesticide list more so than private entities. The importance of accountability was discussed.
Commissioner Tuchow asked for an explanation of the differences from last year’s list and to report on any controversies. Ms. Raphael stated that two tables are included in the explanatory documents, one for items removed and one for items added. There were ten items removed and/or added for various reasons, e.g., there were less toxic alternatives, others did not work. It was explained that the biggest controversy this year was making sure that pesticides could not be reached by the wrong organism.
Public Comment: Ms. Jamie Ray, Director for the San Francisco Rescued Orphan Mammal Program, a wildlife rehabilitation program for San Francisco County mammals, requested the Commission’s endorsement for building a proper facility for wildlife rehabilitation for birds and mammals (Explanatory Document: Capital Improvement Project to Build and Operate the San Francisco Nature Center at the Sunset Richmond Treatment Site). It was explained that there is no care for birds in the county at the present time. The facility would contain an environmental education component bringing in multiple groups and agencies to participate. Ms. Ray thanked the Commission for adding second-generation rodenticides to the list and discussed the number of animals that previously came in with secondary poisoning. Ms. Ray expressed concerns about airport exemptions that were granted, because there is no requirement for the airport to address the actual cause of rodents.
Deputy Director Assmann asked if the moratorium on single-feed rodenticides was still in place. Ms. Ray stated that the moratorium that went into effect in March was a temporary measure until the rodenticides could be added to the restricted list. The moratorium became policy by adding the two additional second-generation rodenticides to the restricted list.
Upon Motion by Commissioner King and second by Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman, Resolution File 2008-05-COE adopting a Revised Reduced Risk Pesticide List for 2008 was approved without objection (AYES: President Pelosi Jr., Commissioners Gravanis, King, Martin, Rodriguez Heyman and Tuchow; Absent: Vice-President Wald) (Explanatory Document: Final Resolution 005-08-COE).
8. Endorsement of a San Francisco Carbon Tax Proposal (Informational Report and Action). (Explanatory Document: Draft Resolution File 2008-02-COE Draft and "The Business Case for a San Francisco Waste Offset Fee").
SPONSOR: Jared Blumenfeld, Director
SPEAKERS: Melissa Capria, Climate Action Coordinator
Director Blumenfeld reported that the Policy Committee discussed the carbon tax proposal at their January 14 meeting. The Mayor requested that carbon taxes be examined in order to achieve the City’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 20% below 1990 levels by 2012. Director Blumenfeld explained that carbon can be divided by three elements at the local level (1) transportation; (2) building energy; and (3) waste measures. Director Blumenfeld discussed three proposals (1) building energy—to raise the business Utility Users Fee (UUF) or Tax (UUT) from 7.5% and offset it to the payroll tax so the overall burden on the payroll tax is reduced by the net increase of the UUT; (2) transportation--research methods to reduce the payroll tax for people that use public or alternative methods of transit to commute to work; and (3) waste--raise revenue for a local carbon offset fee from an amount of material that still goes to landfill. Director Blumenfeld requested that the Commission support the concept of carbon taxes and fees as a way of reducing the impact of carbon and incentivizing actions that will help reduce San Francisco’s carbon footprint. It was stated that detailed proposals would be brought back to the Commission at a future date.
Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman inquired as to what the tax or fee money would be used for. Director Blumenfeld explained that building energy and transportation measures would be revenue neutral--the reduction in the payroll tax could be used to fund additional jobs, and it would cost more to drive and it would cost less to use alternative forms of transportation. The waste fee would be assessed at Altamont Landfill that would go back to buy local carbon offsets in San Francisco that could be used for low-income solar programs, energy efficiency, and biodiesel production. Commissioner Gravanis requested additional information as proposals are developed on how the revenue would be allocated and who would be assigned to allocate funding.
Upon Motion by Commissioner Martin and second by Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman, Resolution File 2008-02-COE endorsing a San Francisco Carbon Tax was approved without objection (AYES: President Pelosi Jr., Commissioners Gravanis, King, Martin, Rodriguez Heyman and Tuchow; Absent: Vice-President Wald) (Explanatory Document: Final Resolution 002-08-COE).
9. United Nations World Environment Day Accords. Prioritizing three key actions for adoption by the Commission on the Environment for 2008. (Discussion and Action) (Explanatory Documents: Draft Resolution File 2008-06-COE, Accords Memo and Accords Status 2008)
SPONSOR: Vice-President Johanna Wald
SPEAKER: Jared Blumenfeld, Director
Director Blumenfeld reported that every year for the past three years the Policy Committee has recommended and the Commission has prioritized three Urban Environmental Accords to work on for the calendar year. An explanation was given on the Accords Status 2008 chart that shows accords accomplished (10), accords still requiring action and ongoing; and accords recommended for selection for 2008. Only two accords, Actions 2 and 10 are remaining accords that have not been completed or previously selected or proposed for this year. Director Blumenfeld stated that on Action 16, the Policy Committee and the Toxics Reduction Program Manager would be identifying what the chemical would be to focus on in the current year.
Upon Motion by Commissioner Gravanis and second by Commissioner Tuchow, Resolution File 2008-06-COE prioritizing three urban environmental accords actions for adoption for calendar year 2008 was approved without objection (AYES: President Pelosi Jr., Commissioners Gravanis, King, Martin, Rodriguez Heyman and Tuchow; Absent: Vice-President Wald) (Explanatory Document: Final Resolution 006-08-COE). Three actions prioritized included:
Action 9: Adopt a policy or implement a program that creates environmentally beneficial jobs in low-income neighborhoods.
Action 16: Every year, identify one product, chemical, or compound that is used within the city that represents the greatest risk to human health and adopt a law and provide incentives to reduce or eliminate its use by the municipal government.
10. Resolution supporting the 2008 Golden Gate National Recreation Area Endangered Species Big Year Campaign. (Discussion and Action) (Explanatory Document: Draft Resolution File 2008-01-COE)
SPONSOR: Commissioner Ruth Gravanis
SPEAKER: Neal Desai, GGNRA Big Year Volunteer/Sr. Program Manager, Pacific Region
National Parks Conservation Association
Commissioner Gravanis reported that at the September Commission meeting, Mr. Brent Plater gave a brief presentation on the proposal and later spoke at the November Policy Committee meeting in more detail. It was stated that in attendance was Mr. John Aiken and also a live San Francisco garter snake. Commissioner Gravanis recommended that the Commission support the Resolution.
Mr. Neal Desai asked the Commission to support the GGNRA Big Year event and thus encourage Bay Area residents to participate. It was explained that the “Big Year” is a project that is a race against time to save our endangered species in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). There are 33 endangered and threatened species in the GGNRA, more than any other national park in the continental United States. It is a reason for concern as some of the species are on the brink of extinction. The goal of the “Big Year” is to outreach to the community to come into the park and participate in the event activities. People are encouraged to visit the GGNRA to attempt to view the endangered species or habitat by guided walks or on their own and see if a conservation action can be taken.
Mr. Desai discussed the competition checklist (available online and from participating agencies) that lists all of the species and the various conservation action items one can take to help make a change. Participants are provided with specific conservation action items and are free to take other actions as well. This project offers volunteer projects, education, is available to school groups, provides friendly competition within families, and offers opportunities for various park users to support the species in their backyard. The brochure that is provided discusses ethical wildlife principles, which are family friendly.
Mr. Desai stated that the event kicked off on January 6 with more than 200 people in attendance to see snowy plovers. It was explained that success measures would be worked on but could be measured by tracking how many people are participating through the registration process and how many non-traditional park users and groups are coming out to the park. Mr. Desai also explained that outreach to schools is being worked on through groups that currently work with schools, and that additional outreach methods are being looked into in the future.
Public Comment: Ms. Lurilla Harris stated that there are a number of activities that don’t involve looking at or hunting for animals and plants that can be accomplished; e.g., restoring habitat for better reproduction. Ms. Harris asked if donations could be made to the Center for Biological Diversity. Mr. Neal Desai explained that Nature in the City is the fiscal sponsor that is accepting donations, and that the Center of Biological Diversity is a partner organization, but is not a fiscal sponsor of the campaign.
Upon Motion by Commissioner King and second by Commissioner Martin, Resolution File 2008-01-COE supporting the 2008 Golden Gate National Recreation Area Endangered Species Big Year was approved without objection (AYES: President Pelosi Jr., Commissioners Gravanis, King, Martin, Rodriguez Heyman and Tuchow; Absent: Vice-President Wald) (Explanatory Document: Final Resolution 001-08-COE).
11. Department of the Environment’s Fiscal-Year 2008-2009 Draft Budget (Informational Presentation and Action). Approval of the Draft Budget for Fiscal-Year 2008-09. (Explanatory Document: Draft Budget)
SPEAKER: David Assmann, Deputy Director
Deputy Director Assmann reported that the Mayor has called for budget cuts, and explained that the Department’s budget is in line with that request, showing a reduction from 15.6 million to 14.1 million dollars (10% reduction). An overview was presented of primary sources of revenues--grants, the impound account, and City departments. Deputy Director Assmann explained that expense items and the emphasis has changed—expenditures are being reduced in professional services and grants, and additional funding is being allocated to other City departments for environmental projects. Specifically, there are new initiatives with schools, library, and the Office of Contract Administration.
Deputy Director Assmann explained that the budget documents outline the budget by program area with changes shown in percentages. The reduction to the Energy area is due to the ending of a major grant and increases in Clean Air is because of additional grant funding. The other program areas are fairly stable. Two of the charts show how money is received and expended. The biggest revenue source is the impound account, then grants, then the smallest being other City departments. Expenses are evenly split between personnel and non-personal services (professional services, grants, services of other departments, and materials and supplies). Deputy Director Assmann explained that adjustments would be made as money is finalized through money coming in and out of other departments, Board of Supervisors requests, and the Mayor’s mandates as it goes through final approval in June.
Commissioner King recommended that the Commission research additional means of continuous revenue for the Environmental Justice program so that it remains sustainable. Commissioner Martin suggested that non-city government generated income be researched for all department programs. Director Blumenfeld encouraged all Commissioners to meet with Fundraising Coordinator Shawn Rosenmoss to discuss ideas and contacts. Commissioner Tuchow asked if there is a future opportunity to tie the proposed carbon tax to Commission funding. Director Blumenfeld stated that would be an excellent idea.
Public Comment: Ms. Gail Baugh discussed sustainable practices for the fashion industry as it relates to recycling garments and textile products. It was stated that the state is considering charging a CRV or retail point-of-sale fee, which the retail association is somewhat positive about. Ms. Baugh reported that a Sustainable Practices Seminar had been held last fall with Walmart, Macys, Gap, and Levi Strauss who discussed ideas, one of which was charging a fee for recycling textile products. Director Blumenfeld reported that the Commission discussed Extended Producer Responsibility at their October Retreat and the discussion is available on the Commission’s website. It was stated that the Department is a founding member of the California Product Stewardship Council who is advocating and researching point-of-sale fees.
Upon Motion by Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman and second by Commissioner King, the Department of the Environment’s Fiscal-Year 2008-09 Draft Budget was approved without objection (AYES: President Pelosi Jr., Commissioners Gravanis, King, Martin, Rodriguez Heyman and Tuchow; Absent: Vice-President Wald).
12. Nomination and Election of Officers. (Discussion and Action)
Commissioner King nominated President Pelosi Jr. for President, second by Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman. President Pelosi Jr. accepted the nomination. President Pelosi was elected President (AYES: President Pelosi Jr., Commissioners Gravanis, King, Martin, Rodriguez Heyman and Tuchow; Absent: Vice-President Wald).
Commissioner Martin nominated Commissioner Gravanis for Vice-President, second by Commissioner King. Commissioner Gravanis accepted the nomination. President Pelosi Jr. nominated Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman as Vice-President, second by Commissioner Gravanis. Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman accepted the nomination. Commissioners Gravanis and Rodriguez Heyman discussed their qualifications, environmental work, and interest in serving as Vice President.
Vote for Commissioner Gravanis as Vice President: AYES: Commissioners Gravanis, King and Martin.
Vote for Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman as Vice President: AYES: President Pelosi Jr., Rodriguez Heyman and Tuchow. TIE VOTE FOR BOTH NOMINATIONS. Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman withdrew his acceptance of the nomination. Commissioner Gravanis was elected as Vice President (AYES: President Pelosi Jr., Commissioners Gravanis, King, Martin, Rodriguez Heyman and Tuchow; Absent: Vice-President Wald).
13. Public Notice of 2008 Subscription and Renewal of Commission on the Environment and Committee Notices and Agendas as required by the Commission on the Environment Bylaws (Information and Discussion) (Explanatory Document: Subscription Request Form).
Commission Secretary Monica Fish reported that the Commission’s Bylaws require that in January of each year, each agenda subscriber should be asked to reaffirm their desire to stay on the list for another year through a notice on the Commission’s January agenda. It was stated that this notice would be sent by email to all subscribers. Commissioner Gravanis complimented the effort to urge respondents to use email rather than paper whenever possible.
14. Commission Secretary’s Report. (Information and Discussion)
Monica Fish, Commission Secretary reported that Mr. Jason Chan is the new Mayor’s Liaison to Commissions. It was reported that an update on City legislation could be accessed in the Commission Secretary’s Report explanatory document included in the packet (see web link above).
· Communications and Correspondence
· Update on Pending City Legislation
15. Operations Committee Report. (Information and Discussion)
Chair’s Report: Review of the agenda for the upcoming meeting on Wednesday, April 16, 2008, at 4:00 p.m., 11 Grove Street. There was no report given at this time.
16. Policy Committee Report. (Information and Discussion)
Chairs Report: Commissioner Gravanis provided highlights of the Monday, November 19 and December 10, 2007 and January 14, 2008 meetings and reviewed the agenda for the upcoming meeting on Monday, February 11, 2008, 5:00 p.m. to be held at City Hall, Room 421. Commissioner Gravanis reported that at the November 19 meeting, the Policy Committee heard a presentation from (1) Ms. Tilly Chang, San Francisco County Transportation Authority, regarding a congestion management pricing study that is currently underway, (2) Mr. Jon Loiacano and Ms. Arleen Navarett, SFPUC, presented an update on the Wastewater Management Plan with a focus on the Low Impact Development Guidelines that is hoped will be incorporated into the Plan; (3) the GGNRA Big Year Project; and (4) the Green Roof Bus Shelter Project with no action taken at that time.
Commissioner Gravanis reported that at the December meeting, public comment was heard on concerns with the installation of artificial turf in the City’s playgrounds as well as a discussion by Ms. Vicky Hennessy, Office of Emergency Services, Mr. David Lewis, Executive Director, Save the Bay, and Mr. Howard Levitt, GGNRA, who reviewed the response to the oil spill by the various agencies. A discussion was held on strategies to consider for future spills and other environmental disasters. It was stated that Mr. Kevin Drew is working on how to better use volunteers and putting emergency response procedures in place as well as assuring that facilities are environmentally sustainable.
Commissioner Gravanis reported that at the January meeting, the Committee discussed prioritizing three accords for 2008, the carbon tax proposal, and a number of possibilities for future agenda items; e.g., inviting the new Director of Climate Initiatives and Director of Greening to a future meeting, follow-up and possible actions regarding the Waste Water Management Plan, Congestion Pricing proposal, and follow-up report on the status of the sustainability plans for Treasure Island and Hunters Point/Candlestick. Commissioner Gravanis reported that she would be presenting her draft of the Wildlife Management Plan for the Committee’s review at a future Committee meeting.
17. Director’s Report. (Information and Discussion)
Director Blumenfeld, Department of the Environment will give 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 requested that Commissioners review the Director’s Report for details on Department administrative and programmatic updates, and commended staff for their continuous efforts even during the holiday season. Director Blumenfeld stated that the Department has an open door policy and invited Commissioners to hold discussions with staff to incorporate their efforts into projects. It was announced that a new Clean Tech Coordinator was hired, Mr. David Pascal, who will be sharing his time between the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and the Department. Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman asked that the Director’s Report include highlights of challenges being faced and where Commissioners can support the work of the Department.
18. Announcements. (Information and Discussion) Commissioner Gravanis reported on an announcement by the Department of Public Works regarding a new sidewalk landscaping permits process that allows permit issuance to property owners to convert a portion of the sidewalk to a landscaped area for habitat, stormwater management, and aesthetics. Commissioner Gravanis commended Commissioner Martin on her efforts for pioneering this effort.
Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman extended an invitation for Commissioners to attend a meeting to be held Tuesday, January 29, at 4:00 p.m. at the Department of the Environment to discuss their solar financing initiatives with Berkeley City Hall staff members and the Department.
Commission Secretary Monica Fish reported that Commissioner Emeritus Alan Mok’s celebration would be held on Thursday, January 31 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. at the Department of the Environment, 11 Grove Street Eco Center. A formal notice would be published on Wednesday, January 23.
19. President’s Announcements. (Information and Discussion). President Pelosi Jr. reappointed Commissioners Wald, Gravanis and Martin to the Policy Committee and asked that the Committee decide on appointing a Chair at the next meeting. President Pelosi Jr. appointed Commissioner Tuchow to the Operations Committee and appointed Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman as the Operations Committee Chair.
20. New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Information and Discussion)
Commissioner King discussed the Hunters Point Shipyard and Candlestick project and his concerns with the process to develop a green technology park, a green tech workforce center, traffic, and transportation needs that goes along with building a new community housing project. Commissioners King and Gravanis recommended that the Department, the Commission, and its Committees work with the community in order to provide input that would influence the project and keep it sustainable. Deputy Director Assmann reported that the new Clean Tech Coordinator would be working on this effort. Commissioner King stated that community members require additional information on different options that are available as information is being received only from developers and the agency. Commissioner King suggested that the Commission develop Resolutions supporting community ideas. Commission Secretary Monica Fish relayed Commissioner Wald’s request that Commissioner King select community members from the Bayview community and Project Area Committee to talk about the community perspective on the Plan at the February 11 Policy Committee meeting.
Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman asked if it was possible to print business cards double-sided to include the Commission’s information as well as business contact information. Director Blumenfeld reported that this may pose a conflict of interest as it may appear that the City is somehow endorsing a for-profit organization. It was stated that it may be allowable if the Commissioner were to fund the business card. Deputy Director Assmann reported that the size of the new business cards could be too small to accommodate printing on the other side.
Commissioner Martin reported that she was asked to be on the Executive Committee of the Open Space Task Force, which is a comprehensive group of agencies and NGOs assigned to creating a landscape plan for the cities. Commissioner Martin requested the Commissioner’s input on both the landscape plan for the city and Dark Skies.
Public Comment: Ms. Jamie Ray stated that there are burrowing owls in Bayview Hunters Point to be aware of. Commissioner Gravanis stated that biological diversity should be an integral part of the sustainability plan for that area. It was explained that there is restoration potential on state park property by the State Parks Foundation; but there is a chance of losing that state park. Commissioner Gravanis reported that Lennar in their diagrams is claiming the state park as open space provided by the project, and that it is open space anyway.
21. 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.
22. Adjournment. The Commission on the Environment meeting adjourned at 7:00 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: April 29, 2008
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