10.18 Approved Minutes

 

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

COMMISSION ON THE ENVIRONMENT

OPERATIONS COMMITTEE

 

REGULAR MEETING

APPROVED MINUTES

Wednesday, October 18, 2006, 4:00 P.M.

Department of the Environment

11 Grove Street, Ground Floor Conference Room

San Francisco, CA 94102

 

 

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:  Commissioners Alan Mok (Chair); Paul Pelosi Jr. and Angelo King

 

Commission Secretary:  Monica Fish

  

ORDER OF BUSINESS

 

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

 

1.      CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL

 

The meeting was called to order at 4:15 p.m.  Present:  Commissioners King, Mok (4:18), and Pelosi Jr.  

 

2.   ACTION:  Adoption of Minutes of the July 19, 2006 Regular Meeting.  Upon Motion by Commissioner Pelosi Jr. and second by Commissioner King, the July 19, 2006 Meeting Minutes were approved with no objection.  (Absent:  Commissioner Mok) (Explanatory Document:  Approved Minutes of the July 19, 2006 Regular Meeting).

 

3.   PUBLIC COMMENTS:  Members of the public may address the Committee on matters that are within the Committee’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  There was no public comment at this time.

 

 

4.   INFORMATIONAL REPORT:  Public Outreach Plans for 2006-2007 and Previous Year’s Accomplishments.

 Staff:  Mark Westlund, Public Outreach Program Manager

 

Mr. Mark Westlund, Public Outreach Program Manager presented an informational report discussing previous year’s accomplishments that include:

 

·        Inquiries: Fielding 6,000 informational calls and emails.

·        Media Outreach:  196 media reports and articles--second highest year after World Environment Day.  The biggest story was the living Christmas Tree Program which is planned again this year.

·        Telephone and Mail Outreach:  telephoned residents urging people to recycle and mailed a Residential Recycling Guide citywide urging residents to compost.

 

Current and Upcoming Public Outreach Plans:

 

·        Reorganization in the Outreach Team: now staffed with a Volunteer Coordinator, three 5640 Environmental Specialists for Toxics, Recycling, and Media outreach programs.  The Media Specialist will be assigned to public relations and online media, e.g. website design, update, and writing materials.  Ms. Brise Tencer, Environmental Specialist with an emphasis on Toxics Reduction was introduced.

 

·        Yellow-Page Advertising:  Department purchased a six-page yellow-page ad.

 

·        Recycling and Composting

 

o      Researching a campaign to target apartment buildings and supportive living facilities through landlord groups.

 

o      Composting:  Citywide mailer focusing on composting.  Items that can be composted produce the most tonnage in the waste-stream.

 

o      Partnering with a promotional partner to offer online coupons for compostable bags and then capturing email addresses and sending updates by Department newsletter.

 

o      Small pilot project in the Sunset neighborhood that offers a new ventilated collection pail for compostables. 

 

o      Advertising:  Television ads to focus on recycling and composting to air in January and February on cable.  Bus shelter and bus side advertising will be implemented to promote recycling and composting.

 

·        Website:  Launching Department’s newly designed website in January.  New feature is a searchable Eco-finder database that locates product-specific recycling locations. 

 

·        Toxics Reduction

 

o      Focus Groups:  A series of focus groups were held with large apartment dwellers, small apartment dwellers, home owners, and Spanish and Chinese groups to determine their knowledge of toxic and hazardous waste recycling, products, and source for information, e.g. newspapers, internet, Norcal. 

 

o      Outreach Campaigns:  Plan to target various language groups.

 

o      New toxics collection program will be implemented, e.g. a free toxics curbside collection program.  The details are being worked out with Norcal. 

 

Commissioner Pelosi Jr. stated that the City has adopted principles and buying patterns and recommended that the City lead by example. It was suggested that a message be sent that residents should buy less toxic products without recommending specific product lines.

 

Commissioner King requested that the Department meet with the Bayview Citizens Advisory and Project Area Committees that are advising the Redevelopment Agency in the planning of the shipyard development and Candlestick projects in order to emphasize the importance of green building.  It was suggested that the work being done on Treasure Island be used as an example.

 

Commissioner Mok discussed the multicultural diversity in San Francisco and the need for enforcement and education on recycling principles, e.g. less use of plastic bags. It was recommended that cable advertising be expanded to include other languages.  Mr. Westlund advised that the current program will be analyzed to determine its performance and then if successful, be expanded to include the message in Spanish and Chinese.

 

Mr. Westlund advised that the Governor had signed a bill that requires recycling at all grocery stores, but would prohibit (1) cities from setting their own fees or requirements on bag reduction; and (2) grocery stores would not be required to provide the number of bag usage.  The bill is scheduled to sunset in 2012.   Deputy Director Assmann advised that the agreement that the grocers signed to report on bag usage for one year would still be in effect.  Commissioner Mok discussed a campaign in Hong Kong where people on the 1st and 15th of the month are asked to carry their own shopping bag.  Mr. Westlund reported that 67,000 shopping bags are distributed every weekend at the Farmers Market and at San Francisco Green Connect events. 

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Nancy Wuerfel inquired (1) where the Residential Recycling Guide was sent to and if it included apartment buildings; and (2) if the bag legislation had passed at the state level.  Mr. Westlund reported that (1) the Department purchased a citywide residential customer list from the Post Office that did include apartment residents, and (2) the bag legislation was signed by the Governor.

 

5.      DISCUSSION and ACTION:  Draft Resolution File R-2006-12-COE to approve allocation of up to $200,000 in Environmental Justice grant funds to support San Francisco Environment’s Environmental Justice program services (Explanatory Document:  Draft Resolution File R-2006-12-COE). 

Staff:  Anne Eng, Environmental Justice Program Manager

 

Ms. Anne Eng, Environmental Justice Program Manager reported that the allocation of grant funds was before the Operations Committee for approval and would be forwarded to the Commission on the Environment in November for their consideration.  Ms. Eng explained that the Environmental Justice Program area has been administering a City grant program that started in 2000, and that the first awards were issued in 2001.  On an annual basis, Requests for Proposals are issued, grant applications received, proposals evaluated, and funding recommendations made to the Commission for Environmental Justice grant awards.  It was stated that a list of grants awarded to date is attached to the Commission’s packet as Appendix A. 

 

The Operations Committee was asked to approve a Resolution allocating $200,000 from Environmental Justice grant funds to secure and leverage $609,600 in federal and state grant funding for operation of the Bayview Hunters Point Farmers Market for a 3-year period ($280,000 USDA federal grant), to promote biodiesel fuel and address air quality concerns in the Potrero and Bayview Hunters Point communities of San Francisco ($200,000 US EPA federal grant), and for a Bayview Hunters Point community diesel emissions reduction project for a two-year period ($129,600 California Department of Transportation state grant).  It was explained that of the $609,600 in new federal and state grant awards, two awards require the Environmental Justice Program of San Francisco Environment to provide a local match. City funds would help leverage the third grant award, for a total of $200,000. Ms. Eng advised that the Environmental Justice Program’s services have expanded beyond grant management to include program services such as operation of a Bayview Farmers Market and addressing air pollution concerns.  In addition, the new grants will help build upon the Environmental Justice program’s current activities and services.

 

Ms. Eng explained that a significant portion of the $129,600 California Department of Transportation state grant would be allocated to technical consultants to research pollution generated from truck engines and that $24,000 would be allocated to a non-profit or professional consultant to provide outreach in the Bayview neighborhood.

It was reported that Randall von Wedel of BioSolar, one of the country’s leading biodiesel experts, was awarded the grant through a CalTrans bidding process. 

 

Commissioner King recommended that Ms. Eng consult with Ms. Peg Devine of the Department of Public Works (DPW) who is conducting a Bayview truck route study and to consult the Bayview Environmental Impact Report in order to not duplicate efforts and make the best use of grant funds.  Ms. Eng reported that she is in contact with Frank Felice of DPW that is a lead in the Bayview Transportation Improvement Project.  Commissioner King asked how the $129,000 might change if data that had been collected from DPW be used in this effort.  Ms. Eng stated that consideration had already been made on how existing resources could be leveraged and efforts would not be duplicated.

  

Commissioner Pelosi Jr. asked if the Department can select their own contractor.  Ms. Eng replied that the technical consultant was awarded the grant through the CalTrans bidding process.  It was advised that the $24,000 allocated to community outreach would be through an RFP process, and that all city and state contracting bid requirements would be met.

 

Commissioner King asked for additional information on the $200,000 grant to the City College Evans Street campus to promote biodiesel.  Ms. Eng reported that City College will be working with biodiesel experts in an effort to develop local infrastructure, provide training, and help local distributors make biodiesel available to the public.  Petroleum distribution companies would be providing biodiesel to gas stations, and training would be provided to local fleet operators, truckers, and distributors on how to handle biodiesel.  Commissioner King requested that City College staff attend the Commission meeting to discuss their effort and describe what other natural partners could be involved in this effort.  Commissioner King asked for an understanding of how the full amount would be distributed and who would be involved.

 

Commissioner Pelosi Jr. asked Ms. Eng to provide a summary of each of the grant applications. 

 

Ms. Sraddha Mehta, Environmental Justice Coordinator explained that City College (Biodiesel project) and Girls 2000 (Farmer’s Market project) are the lead agencies and the Environmental Justice Program is a partner.  Appendix B of the Commission’s packet lists the grants and provides additional detailed information.  Ms. Eng explained that the Environmental Justice program was allocated a portion of the federal grant funds from the United States Environmental Protection Agency to help the municipal fleets incorporate biodiesel blend as a fuel, to provide training, and multilingual, multicultural outreach as defined in the grant application for the program.

 

Commissioner Pelosi Jr. asked if the $200,000 would be coming from the Impound Account.  Deputy Director Assmann explained that the $200,000 would be coming from Environmental Justice grant funding.  Ms. Eng explained that an Accept and Expend Resolution would be provided to the Board of Supervisors requesting their approval to receive outside grants. 

 

Commissioner King asked what portion of the grant funding would be allocated to the Department of the Environment for staffing.  Ms. Mehta explained that out of the $280,000 from the USDA for the Bayview Farmers Market, $116,000 would be allocated to the Department and the remainder would be allocated to Girls 2000. 

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Nancy Wuerfel asked (1) for the disposition of the $116,000 allocated to the Department; (2) if the $200,000 from the state’s $13-million grant is noted in the Department’s budget this year; and (3) requested a detailed breakdown of how grant funds would be spent.  Ms. Eng explained that the (1) $116,000 would be used primarily for Department staffing/benefit costs and $3000 for printing and publications; (2) the $200,000 is included in the Department’s budget as there was a total of $1.3 million available in the current budget, including an amount of grant funds carried over from unspent grants from last year.  Deputy Director Assmann would provide a detailed breakdown of how funding would be used and over what time period for the next meeting.  Ms. Eng advised that the majority of funding will be used for staffing and costs committed to the projects consistent with grant guidelines.  Deputy Director Assmann advised that the staffing level has not changed as a result of these grants.

 

Upon Motion by Commissioner King and second by Commissioner Pelosi Jr. with no objection, Draft Resolution File R-2006-12-COE was forwarded to the Commission with recommendation for approval at their next meeting. (AYES:  Commissioners Pelosi Jr., King and Mok; Noes:  None)

 

6.   INFORMATIONAL REPORT:  Update on the City and County of San Francisco Controller’s Office Audit Report.

Staff:  David Assmann, Deputy Director

 

David Assmann, Deputy Director reported that the Controller’s Office has not issued a Draft Report at this time and a report would be given once it becomes available. 

 

7.  INFORMATIONAL REPORT:  Update on Lease of Office Space at 11 Grove Street (Explanatory Document:  Lease Renewal October 10, 2006 Letter to Mr. Steven Kwong).

Staff:  David Assmann, Deputy Director

 

David Assmann, Deputy Director reported that the Department is negotiating a three-year extension on its lease at 11Grove Street with the property owner.  The Department will be getting (1) additional space on the third floor to alleviate overcrowding issues and (2) use of shower facilities as part of the lease agreement.  It was indicated that a tentative agreement may be reached by the end of the week and occupancy would be scheduled for January.  The lease agreement would then be forwarded to the Board of Supervisors for their approval.  Mr. Assmann explained that renovations would have to be made to the third floor. Chair Mok inquired as to the amount of additional square feet the Department would be acquiring.  Deputy Director Assmann reported that the Department is acquiring additional square footage--from 13,213 square feet to 14,472 square feet. 

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Wuerfel asked for the significance of the agreed to business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and how that would affect the Department’s evening meetings.  Deputy Director Assmann advised that the landlord provides heat and air conditioning from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., but that this issue would not curtail the work of the Department before and after those hours.     

8.  CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED:  Deputy City Attorney’s Correspondence on Lease of Office Space to the UN Global Compact (Explanatory Document:  UN Global Compact Representative Deputy City Attorney Letter October 10, 2006).

Staff:  David Assmann, Deputy Director

 

Deputy Director Assmann reported that a written legal opinion had been provided on the legality of the Department’s lease of office space to the UN Global Compact as requested.

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Wuerfel discussed the history of her request requesting the legality of the allocation of office space to the UN Global Compact and referenced Deputy City Attorney Sandler’s statement that it may constitute a gift of office space.  It was stated that Deputy City Attorney Barnes’ letter indicates that it is legal for volunteers or interns that donate 100% of their time performing work relevant to the Department to lease office space.  Ms. Wuerfel stated that the UN Global Compact has a comprehensive agenda that includes principles that are not relevant to this Department.  Ms. Wuerfel also expressed her concern with liability issues, requested an explanation of the $5000 that was supposed to be forthcoming to the Department, and discussed the fairness of selecting the UN over other equally worthy groups.   A request was made (1) for the Department to create a formal policy for hosting volunteers and interns and (2) to request prior approval from the Board of Supervisors for non-volunteers. 

 

Deputy Director Assmann reported that the UN Global Compact representative is performing work solely for the Department when he is in the office and brings major resources to the Department.  It was stated that a volunteer liability form has been signed.  Mr. Assmann also indicated that consideration would be given to any other group on a space available basis.  It was also stated that the Department is still working with the agency that is raising the $5,000 and as soon as funding is secured, an agreement will be worked out.

 

Commissioner King asked how long the office space would be leased to the UN Global Compact.  Deputy Director Assmann stated that the agreement was for one year.  Chair Mok indicated that he would welcome groups that are volunteering to provide work for the Department. 

 

Ms. Wuerfel requested that she be provided with documents that include (1) City’s Own Global Compact Project as referenced by the Deputy City Attorney’s letter, (2) the formal Department policy for volunteers; and (3) a defined agreement between the UN Global Compact Office and the Department.   

9.      INFORMATION:  New Business.  There was no new business discussed at this time.

10.  FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS.  (1) January Operations and Commission meetings:  2007-2008 Fiscal Year Budget; and (2) Grants Reporting.  Commissioner King requested that the Committee be made aware of all Requests for Proposals that the Department will be issuing.  Deputy Director Assmann indicated that this item would be added to each Operations Committee meeting agenda.

 

11.  PUBLIC COMMENTS:  Members of the public may address the Committee on matters that are within the Committee’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  Ms. Nancy Wuerfel asked when the 2007-2008 Budget would be available.  Deputy Director Assmann indicated that the budget would be available a week before the January 17th Operations Committee meeting and would be forwarded to the Mayor’s Office in February.

 

12.  ADJOURNMENT.  The Operations Committee meeting adjourned at 5:20 p.m.

 

Monica Fish, Commission Secretary

TEL:  (415) 355-3709

FAX: (415) 554-6393

 

** 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 Committee’s website https://sites.google.com/a/sfenvironment.org/commission/operations-committee 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 Monica.Fish@sfgov.org.

 

 

Adopted:  April 18, 2007

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