07.26 Approved Minutes







TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011, 5:00 P.M.



COMMISSION MEMBERS:  Commissioners Matt Tuchow (President), Ruth Gravanis (Vice-President), Angelo King, Alan Mok, Rahul Prakash, Heather Stephenson and Johanna Wald



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 5:10 p.m.  Present:  Commissioners Tuchow, Gravanis, King, Mok (5:18) and Stephenson; Absent:  Commissioner Prakash; Excused:  Commissioner Wald.


2.      Approval of Minutes of the May 24, 2011 Commission on the Environment Meeting and June 9, 2011 Commission Retreat. (Explanatory Document: May 24 and June 9, 2011 Draft and Approved Minutes) (Discussion and Action)  Upon Motion by Commissioner Gravanis, second by Commissioner Stephenson, the May 24, 2011 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (AYES:  Commissioners Tuchow, Gravanis, King and Stephenson; Absent: Commissioners Mok, Prakash and Wald).  Upon Motion by Commissioner Gravanis, second by Commissioner King, the June 9, 2011 Commission Retreat Minutes were approved without objection (AYES:  Commissioners Tuchow, Gravanis, King and Stephenson; Absent: Commissioners Mok, Prakash and Wald).


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.


Ms. Shuai Chen, Executive Director of SCRAP, introduced herself and discussed her wish to continue SCRAP’s collaborative relationship with the Department of the Environment.  She described SCRAP’s work diverting waste from San Francisco for the past thirty years, taking discards from companies and individuals and selling to artists, non-profits and teachers, and hosting field-trips and outreach events.


Mr. Barry Pearl reported on photocopier paper jams, increased staff time to address paper jams, and increased paper-costs experienced with the use of 100% recycled photocopy paper due to filaments contained in the paper.  He suggested that the Commission investigate whether the quality of 100% recycled paper is meeting the needs of the city and its departments and consider revising the regulation to lower the recycled content requirement to a product that was previously used that has lower recycled content and is more effective.  


4.      Overview of 2011 Green & Blue Awards and Review and Approval of Commission Letter of Congratulations to Award Recipients.  Sponsor:  Melanie Nutter, Director; Speaker:  Calla Ostrander, Climate Projects Manager (Explanatory Documents:  Commission Letter of Congratulations and List of Green and Blue Award Winners) (Informational Report, Discussion and Action)


Director Nutter reported that this is the second year of the Green and Blue Awards annual event, which enables the Department of the Environment to recognize other City staff and departments that go above and beyond their call of duty in greening their work place and practicing sustainability.  A congratulatory letter is being presented to the Commission to recognize the good work of award winners.   


Ms. Ostrander reported that the congratulatory letter would be sent to eighteen award-recipients to recognize their efforts in going above and beyond the gamut of sustainability as reported in their Department Climate Action Plans.  She reported that the Climate Champion of the Year and the highest scorer in each category this year was the Fire Department.  The letter to each winner would be individualized to their particular award and would serve as a relationship builder for future actions the Department will be asking City departments to take to reduce their greenhouse gas footprint. 


Commissioners commended the Green and Blue Awards program as an effective way to reach out to people throughout municipal government to acknowledge their efforts to help meet the goals of the City.  Commissioners King, Tuchow and Gravanis suggested that the award winners be publicized more through the Department website, a press release, and Mayoral newsletter or publication.  Ms. Ostrander reported that (1) an article was published in the San Francisco Chronicle; (2) award winners are listed on the Department’s website; (3) a webpage will be dedicated to this program in the Department’s website redesign, (4) that the Mayor presented awards to the top two winners and sent all winners a congratulatory email; and (5) that City department newsletters publish their own achievements.    Commissioner King suggested changing the name of the program.   


Commissioner Tuchow suggested adding a sentence to the congratulatory letter after the first sentence stating “your efforts to promote a sustainable community are much appreciated.”  Commissioner Gravanis motioned to approve the congratulatory template letter and to authorize staff to make the letter relevant to each recipient, second by Commissioner King who asked that the letter acknowledge the extra responsibility that is being taken that goes above and beyond the individual’s job description.  The congratulatory template letter was approved by the following vote: AYES: Commissioners Tuchow, Gravanis, King, Mok, and Stephenson; Absent: Commissioners Prakash and Wald.


5.      Update on San Francisco Environment Code Ordinance Amendments related to Cell Phone Disclosure Requirements. Sponsor:  Commissioner Matt Tuchow; Speakers:  Sushma Bhatia, Commercial Toxics Reduction Coordinator and Caitlin Sanders, Residential Toxics Reduction Associate (Explanatory Document:  Draft Ordinance Amending Environment Code and Cell Phone Right to Know Presentation) (Informational Report and Discussion)


Ms. Bhatia provided the Commission with historical and scientific context to the Cell Phone Ordinance discussing the subject matter of previous presentations and actions taken.  Ms. Bhatia started by providing a comparison of the United States and other countries’ cell phone usage and actions taken by other countries in order to limit exposure to cell phone radiofrequency. She reported that the Commission on the Environment’s Resolution adopted in January 2010 outlined recommendations, the primary one being that the City adopt legislation to require that retailers provide consumers with Specific Absorption Rate Values (SAR) values at point-of-sale and information on safer use. Following the resolution, Mayor Newsom produced legislation that was signed into law in July 2010.  


This original ordinance was recently amended as more information on the development of SAR metric and the resulting variability (based on where the phone is placed, frequency band, and distance from the body) became available.  Ms. Bhatia reported that this amended Cell Phone Right to Know Ordinance that was approved by the Board of Supervisors today (July 26th) will require cell-phone retailers to communicate to their customers how to limit their exposure to radio-frequency energy emitted by cell phones in place of the mandatory disclosure of cell phone SAR values. 


She also reported on scientific updates related to cell phone radiofrequency, in particular that the World Health Organization (IARC branch) concluded that cell phone radiofrequency energy was classified as “probably carcinogenic, and that more research is needed to clearly establish the health impacts, but it is important to humans (class 2B)” in May 2011 and advised governments to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure.  It is expected that the amended Ordinance will become effective in August, and implementation could start as early as October. 


Commissioner King discussed the importance of working with the Department of Public Health on implementation of this Ordinance.  Ms. Bhatia explained that the Ordinance requires that the two agencies work together to produce outreach material.  Commissioner King suggested that cell phone retailers provide consumers with radio-frequency information on the use of hands-free devices such as headsets and blue-tooth.  Ms. Bhatia reported that the flyers that retailers will be required to hand out to their customers would likely include this information, and that radio-frequency is lower for hands-free devices.  Commissioner King asked that a review of cell phone towers, AT&T U Verse equipment, and to-go devices be considered.  


Commissioner Gravanis asked that Commissioners be kept informed about the Department’s public hearing process on the new regulations and discussed the importance of an education and outreach campaign.  Ms. Bhatia reported that based on Mayoral signature of the Ordinance, the regulation process would start between late August to mid-September.   A discussion was held about staff resources to implement the Ordinance and the assistance of EnvironmentNow staff in enforcement and education of retailers.  Commissioner Stephenson suggested that a metric be established for retailer compliance and to determine whether SAR exposure is lessened.  Ms. Bhatia reported that EnvironmentNow and Department staff will be conducting on-site visits and will be tracking the outreach material; however, there is currently no mechanism to accurately measure real-time exposure to cell phone radiofrequency energy. 


6.      America's Cup Project Update and Overview of Sustainability Planning.  Sponsor:  Melanie Nutter, Director; Speakers: Michael Martin, Project Director - 34th America's Cup, Office of Economic and Workforce Development; Brad Benson, Special Projects Manager, Port of San Francisco; Neill Duffy, Director of Partnerships, Sustainability and Responsibility, America's Cup Event Authority (Explanatory Documents:  America’s Cup Sustainability Framework; Presentations; America’s Cup Implementation Plan Overview and Related Plan: http://www.oewd.org/Development_Projects-Americas_Cup.aspxhttp://www.oewd.org/Development_Projects-Americas_Cup.aspx; Draft EIR http://tinyurl.com/meacaseshttp://tinyurl.com/meacases; Interactive PDF with all plan overviews http://www.oewd.org/media/docs/AC34/AC34 Implementation Plans.pdfhttp://www.oewd.org/media/docs/AC34/AC34%20Implementation%20Plans.pdf) (Informational Presentation and Discussion)


Director Nutter introduced the team from the America’s Cup Event Authority, the entity responsible for executing the event on land and the City, that has been working on ensuring that the 34th America’s Cup that is coming to San Francisco in 2012-13 is a success.  A presentation will be heard on the event and plans for sustainability.  The Department of the Environment has been working with this team over the past six months to envision what sustainability plans could be and how these plans could set a new standard for a sustainable sporting event.


Mr. Martin presented an overview of the America’s Cup event planning efforts discussing event background, organizational structure, implementation plans, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) schedule, and federal and state permitting requirements.  Topics of discussion included:


(Explanatory Document:  America’s Cup Environment Commission Presentation)

·         Host and Venue Agreement between the City, America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA), and the America’s Cup Organizing Committee (ACOC) and each parties’ role to fulfill obligations in preparation for the event (1) to complete the CEQA process; (2) complete implementation plans called for under the Host and Venue Agreement and additional plans; and (3) secure federal and state permits and authorizations (Slide 3).

·         Events, locations, and timelines for World Series exhibition regattas, preliminary and final races to take place from August 2011 – September 2013 (Slide 4).

·         Course Area and spectator locations (Slide 5); Event Plan: 2013 proposed event locations (Slide 6).

·         Outreach: public meetings and community feedback; website locations for documents and feedback (Slide 7).

·         Organizational Efforts: Interagency Taskforces to coordinate and discuss implementation of the event (Slide 8).

·         Status report on Implementation Plans, Schedules, Website locations.  Coordination of Sustainability Plan with the Zero Waste Plan, the People Plan, and Park Event Operations Plans (Slides 9-12).

·         Federal and state coordination, permits and authorizations (Slide 13).


Ms. Diane Oshima, Port of San Francisco’s Planning and Development Division, reported on California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) milestones that include (1) issuance of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on July 11, 2011 that covers America’s Cup race events and the shared use of Pier 27, James R. Herman Cruise Terminal and Northeast Wharf Plaza; (2) CEQA public hearings and public comment period; (3) written responses to Draft EIR comments; and (4) EIR certification scheduled for fall 2011 (Slide 14).  Commissioner Mok inquired about the number of visitors projected to attend the event.  Ms. Oshima reported on visitor projection and estimates included in the Draft EIR that is based on the popularity, date, and location of the event.


Ms. Kelley Capone, Port of San Francisco, reported on federal and state permitting and National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) compliance.  She discussed national and state acts, permitting requirements, and actions to be taken as required by the United States Coast Guard, National Park Service, San Francisco Maritime Historical Park, United States Army Corps of Engineers, United States Fish & Wildlife Service National Marine Fisheries Service, United States Customs and Border protection, Federal Aviation Administration, and Presidio Trust (Slides 15-19).


Mr. Brad Benson, Special Projects Manager, Port of San Francisco, reported on state permitting requirements, plan amendment actions, and meetings, workshops, and public-hearing timelines with (1) the Port’s main regulatory partner for activities along the Port, the Bay Conservation and Development Commission; (2) the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Francisco Bay Region; (3) California Department of Fish and Game; (4) California State Lands Commission; and (4) Bay Area Air Quality Management District.  Upcoming milestones scheduled for the summer, fall, and winter of 2011 were discussed (Slides 20-23).


(Explanatory Documents:  America’s Cup Event Authority Presentation on the Sustainability Framework and Sustainability Framework Document)


Mr. Neill Duffy, Director of Partnerships, Sustainability and Responsibility, America's Cup Event Authority, discussed (1) ACEA’s commitment to responsibility and sustainability to demonstrate a model sporting event in the areas of world-class sailing, event sustainability (on and off the water), and legacy (responsibility); (2) sustainability partnerships in order to deliver a clean regatta, (3) sustainability actions being implemented for World Series events, with an objective to improve and bring best practices to events in San Francisco; and (4) collaboration between the ACEA, ACOC, the Department of the Environment and City agencies involved in delivering a Sustainability Plan and making the America’s Cup a sustainable event with a social purpose.  (Slides 1-3.) America’s Cup origins and history were discussed. 


Ms. Jill Savery, America’s Cup Event Authority, discussed the importance of incorporating sustainability into sporting events in order to mitigate positive and negative impacts to the environment, people, and the economy.  Topics of discussion included:


·         Sustainable sporting events—social, environmental and economic impacts (Slide 5).

·         Sustainability Events Precedents--2010 FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games (Slides 6-7).

·         America’s Cup Sustainability Plan content:  commitments, ambitions, required activities, and aspirational goals (slide 8).

·         Sustainability Plan Development Timeline--Draft Sustainability Plan to be presented to the Commission at its September 27, 2011 meeting (Slide 9).

·         Hierarchy of Concepts: vision statement, issue areas, principles to use in each issue area and action strategies under each issue area to reach objectives (Slide 10).

·         Planning for each Issue Area (Slides 11-12); examples of Principles being considered (13-14); and examples of potential Issue Areas and Strategies (actions) being considered (15).


Commissioner King suggested (1) utilizing publicity surrounding the America’s Cup to promote the Department’s sustainability efforts; (2) focusing more on long-term uses and activities such as alternative transportation; (3) making connections with the larger community and community groups to promote sustainable actions; (4) identifying sustainability requirements for cruise ships docking in San Francisco; and (5) creating green jobs associated with the America’s Cup event and the new cruise ship terminal.   


Commissioners Gravanis, King and Tuchow inquired about the Commission’s role, whether it is as a consultant, public forum, or a decision-maker for the Sustainability Plan, and asked that future dialogue be held on how to best work together to promote sustainability goals.  Commissioner Tuchow suggested incorporating the EnvironmentNow program and Green Jobs into event planning and funding in order to make it a sustainable program for the City and Department beyond the event itself and a legacy would be created as a result.  Mr. Martin reported that the Host and Venue Agreement calls for a Youth Involvement Plan, Education Plan, and other implementation plans that could potentially incorporate the EnvironmentNow program and serve as a community communication tool.  He explained that the Host and Venue Agreement is the roadmap that talks about the Sustainability Plan being submitted by the ACEA in consultation with the Department of the Environment and suggested that the Commission serve as a consultant into the process. 


Commissioner Gravanis (1) requested that the text of vendor agreements and contracts be made available to the Commission or in a public forum so that Sustainability Plan goals could become not only aspirations, but actual requirements; (2) suggested establishing a relationship between the Sustainability Plan and CEQA mitigations; and (3) suggested establishing a carbon offset program that will have a nexus to the San Francisco Bay Delta Estuary and its health and impacts.     


Public Comment: 


Mr. Steven Krefting, Convener of the City Environmental Council and participant in the America’s Cup Environmental Council provided recommendations on the Sustainability Framework document: (1) the importance in finding metrics to measure success and identifying ways to manage adaptively for mitigation methods;  (2) course layout: to continue to look at the event as a San Francisco event and to engage other impacted communities in the bay (especially Sausalito) to be active participants; and (3) to change the wording on page 17 to “prevent” harm to habitat and wildlife instead of “minimize” harm.


Mr. Michael Davis, US Pure Water, discussed the importance of setting requirements in documents in order to diminish the environmental impact of the event and leave a legacy for future events and asked how that would be accomplished.  He suggested identifying permanent and temporary infrastructure and locations that would be required to place tap water dispensers.


Ms. Jill Savery reported that next steps are outlined in the event timeline and that a Draft Sustainability Plan would be released for public comment in September that she would like to present to the Commission at its September 27, 2011 meeting. 


7.      Operations Committee Report. (Information and Discussion)

Chair’s Report:  Highlights of the July 20, 2011 meeting and review of the agenda for the October 19, 2011 meeting to be held at the Department of the Environment Eco Center, 11 Grove Street.


Operations Committee Chair Mok reported on the discussion at the July 20, 2011 meeting on the four potential locations for the Department of the Environment’s move scheduled for 2012.  Agenda topics being considered for the October 19, 2011 meeting include an update on the Public Outreach and School Education programs, development of the Department’s website, and preliminary discussions on the next fiscal year’s budget.


8.      Policy Committee Report. (Information and Discussion)

Chairs Report:  Highlights of the June 13 meeting and review of the agenda for the August 8, 2011 meeting to be held at City Hall, Room 421.


Policy Committee Vice-Chair Gravanis reported that the main topic of the June 13, 2011 meeting was on the America’s Cup Sustainability Plan framework with reports provided by representatives from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority, Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, and the America’s Cup Event Authority.  The Director’s report included a discussion and public comment by the Department of Public Works Director on the proposed Street Tree Maintenance transfer proposal from the City to private property owners.   The July 11, 2011 meeting was cancelled due to a lack of quorum.  Proposed agenda items for the August 8, 2011 meeting include a follow-up on the Commission on the Environment’s retreat, the Commission Outreach List and a Climate Team Program update on the local carbon fund and adaptation planning.


9.      Commission Secretary’s Report. (Explanatory Document: Commission Secretary’s Report) (Information and Discussion)

         Monica Fish, Commission Secretary

·         Communications and Correspondence

·         Update on Pending City Legislation


Commission Secretary Fish presented the Commissioners with a written report of all communications and correspondence received and an update on City legislation since the May 24, 2011 Commission meeting.  Reports distributed were the 2010 Resource and Conservation Ordinance Annual Report and 2010-11 Commission Attendance Report for the Mayor’s Office. 


10.  Director’s Report. Updates on Department of the Environment administrative and programmatic operations relating to Budget Planning, Strategic Planning, Clean Air/Transportation, Climate, Energy, Public Outreach and Education, Environmental Justice, Green Building, Zero Waste, Toxics Reduction, and Urban Forestry. (Explanatory Document: Director’s Report) (Information and Discussion)


Director Nutter presented the Commissioners with a Director’s Report that highlights the Department’s work since the May 24, 2011 meeting.  She reported on (1) San Francisco being named as the greenest city in North America by the Siemens and Economist’s Intelligence Unit and next steps on where to focus going forward; and (2) the Board of Supervisors approval of the Recology landfill contract at today’s meeting. 


11.  Announcements.  (Information and Discussion)  There were no announcements made at this time.


12.  President’s Announcements.  (Information and Discussion)   Commission President Matt Tuchow asked Commissioners to forward future Commission meeting agenda item requests to himself and Director Nutter well in advance of the next meeting.


13.  New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Information, Discussion and Possible Action)  There was no new business or future agenda items discussed at this time. 


14.  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 were no members of the public present at this time.


15.  Adjournment.  The Commission on the Environment meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.


Monica Fish

Commission Secretary

TEL:  (415) 355-3709; FAX: (415) 554-6393


The next meeting of the Commission on the Environment is scheduled for Tuesday, September 27, 2011, 5:00 p.m. at City Hall, Room 416. 


** 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 meeting website at https://sites.google.com/a/sfenvironment.org/commission/environment-commission included with minutes by meeting date; (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



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