07.15 Approved Minutes

 

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

PEAK OIL PREPAREDNESS TASK FORCE

 

REGULAR MEETING

APPROVED MINUTES

TUESDAY, JULY 15, 2008, 5:00 P.M.

 

CITY HALL, ROOM 421

ONE DR. CARLTON B. GOODLETT PLACE

SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94102 


TASK FORCE MEMBERS:  Jeanne-Marie Rosenmeier (Chair), Bernard Meyerson (Vice-Chair), Patricia Gerber, Richard Katz, Jason Mark, Cal Simone; 1 Vacant.

 

ORDER OF BUSINESS 


1.      Call to Order and Roll Call. The Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force meeting was called to order at 5:02 p.m.  Present: Chair Rosenmeier, Vice-Chair Meyerson, Members Gerber, Katz, and Simone.  Excused:  Member Mark.

 

2.      Approval of the July 1, 2008 Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force Regular Meeting Draft Minutes.   (Explanatory Document: July 1, 2008 Approved Minutes) (Discussion and Action).  Upon Motion by Chair Rosenmeier and second by Member Katz, the July 1, 2008 meeting minutes were approved as written without objection (Absent:  Member Mark).

 

Item 4 was heard before Item 3.

 

3.      San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) Biofuels Program. (Informational Presentation and Discussion) SPEAKER:  Karri Ving, Biofuel Coordinator, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) Water Pollution Prevention Program.

 

Ms. Ving introduced herself as the Biofuel Coordinator for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) Wastewater Division that administers the fats, oil, and grease “FOG” cooking oil collection program called SFGreasecycle that is partnering with approximately 500 city restaurants who donate their cooking oil towards fueling the City fleet of 1500 vehicles with biodiesel.  Ms. Ving reported that she is also working on an effort to convert brown grease into biofuel.  It was explained that the focus is to protect the City’s largest asset by keeping grease out of the sewer system and on a larger scale, to import less fossil fuel into the City, and export less waste.  Ms. Ving explained that she is also the Vice-President of the SF Biofuels Cooperative and a member of the San Francisco Biodiesel Access Task Force and their Marine Subcommittee who works with small businesses and current fueling stations to facilitate the availability of alternative fuel (biodiesel) in a sustainable fashion--ideally, the more local and sustainably-generated the better.  

 

Ms. Ving discussed problems such as clogging and overflows associated with fats, oil and grease getting into the sewer network, associated costs to correct the problems ($3.5 million a year), and the desirability of keeping the material from entering the sewer system to begin with by working with restaurants on collection and through behavioral changes and education.  It was explained that the City has decided to offer a free service for restaurant collection because they realized it could be turned into biofuel and is now partnering with 500 restaurants in this effort.  It is recognized that market incentives will drive the material out of the sewer and into the market because it is a commodity. Approximately 50,000 gallons of waste cooking oil per month is projected to be collected by December.  The SFPUC has established a Commercial Waste Oil Transfer Station—located at the Southeast Waste Water Treatment plant—to handle all material from commercial establishments and residents in the City. The waste oil will be processed and sold to the biofuel industry and will be used to fuel the City’s fleet. The focus is to work on quality control and quality assurance so that the biofuel can also be used in emergency vehicles and school buses.  Ms. Ving explained that they would like to incorporate language into the 2009 Master Fueling Contract in order to give the City options to work with the four regional biodiesel manufacturers to buy local.

 

A discussion was held on current collection efforts with “mom and pop” restaurants, providing educational material in different languages, and the current focus on setting up monthly collections in the residential sector, with churches, synagogues, and private caterers.  It was explained that there is a permanent collection site located at the household hazardous waste Tunnel Avenue site and that SFGreasecycle holds neighborhood collection events.  Ms. Ving reported that an effort is being made to reach out to the residential community because there is as much cooking oil and grease in the sewers from that sector as there is in the entire restaurant community.

 

Ms. Ving discussed the importance of passing a “FOG” ordinance to enable and pay for restaurants to acquire the latest technology to keep the grease out of the sewer system.  A grant was won from the state to allow the City to co-locate a biofuel processor at the Oceanside Treatment plant. Additional efforts underway include potential carbon credits and potential house appropriations.  It was explained that the focus has been on yellow grease, but that now there will be a focus on brown grease to be used toward applications that include producing ASTM grade biodiesel, fuel extenders to run boilers, ideally to create a bio bunker which would displace traditional bunker fuel in the maritime industry, and methane production.

 

Public Comment:

 

Mr. Don Eichelberger inquired about Ms. Ving’s statement that for every five gallons of oil collected, 100 pounds of CO2 is offset.  Ms. Ving stated that the SFGreasecycle website explains those calculations in more detail and that figures are derived from the San Francisco National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

 

Mr. Kevin Drew, Department of the Environment recommended that the Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force work on bringing a peak oil perspective to influence decisions being made on the SFPUC Wastewater Master Plan because once that plant is built, it will be a 30-50 year kind of plan.  Vice-Chair Meyerson discussed the need for building in experiential learning and flexibility into long-term programs.

 

4.      Approval of Peak Oil Task Force member co-sponsorship of peak oil topic online presentations to be prepared by student interns sponsored by the Presidio School of Management Masters of Business Administration Program. (Discussion and Action)

 

Member Katz relayed his concerns with others profiting from using the Task Force name and asked that the Task Force not be involved in future co-sponsorships.  Member Gerber expressed her opposition to an e-mail stating that requests on behalf of the Task Force could be made.  Member Gerber also requested that the Task Force not allocate additional agenda time to topics that are not in their purview. Vice-Chair Meyerson stated that it is important to heighten public awareness of peak oil through a reasonable venue and would approve co-sponsorship based on whether it was legal to do so. 

 

Deputy City Attorney Catherine Barnes advised that the Task Force would not be endorsing the conclusions or ideas made by the students and would only be providing an educational opportunity by cosponsoring a forum for collecting ideas and giving structure to a topic.  It was stated that it should be clear in the course of forum presentations that the Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force sponsors this opportunity for discussion but does not endorse any opinions or conclusions.  It was suggested adding language to the slide presentations that states “this has been an educational project of the Management School with contributions of the forum by so and so.  Any opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the authors and do not represent the conclusions of the Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force.”

 

Deputy City Attorney Barnes stated that the interactive website would not violate the Brown Act as long as a quorum of Task Force members would not engage in the interactive forum.  Deputy City Attorney Barnes stated that her understanding is that it is being presented as one member of this group that would be part of the interactive web forum, and suggested that at the end of the forum, there should be a report presented to the Task Force.  Chair Rosenmeier reported that she and Member Simone would be participating in the forum.

 

Deputy City Attorney Barnes discussed the City’s gift laws for the purpose of keeping track of whether anyone is gaining undue influence in the governmental process and requires that a donor form be completed for receipt of minor gifts under a certain dollar amount.

 

Upon Motion by Chair Rosenmeier and second by Vice-Chair Meyerson without objection, the Task Force approved co-sponsorship of peak oil topic online presentations to be prepared by student interns sponsored by the Presidio School of Management Masters of Business Administration Program (Absent:  Member Mark).

 

Item 6 was heard before Item 5.

   

5.      Rescheduling of the September 16, 2008 Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force Meeting. (Discussion and Action).  Ms. Fish reported that due to her vacation schedule, she would not be available to staff the September 16 meeting and asked if the Task Force would consider rescheduling the meeting.  Member Simone reported that he would not be available for a meeting the last two weeks of September and requested that the meeting not be rescheduled. Ms. Fish stated that she would inquire whether another staff member was available to staff the meeting, but if that were not possible, Chair Rosenmeier agreed to staff and to record the meeting.

 

Public Comment:  Mr. Drew asked if another staff member could provide coverage.  Ms. Fish explained that there isn’t a designated staff member assigned to provide back-up coverage, but she would make a request as she had previously offered.  However, if a staff member were not available, Chair Rosenmeier had offered to provide coverage.

 

Upon Motion by Vice-Chair Meyerson and second by Member Katz, without objection, the Task Force would maintain the September 16 meeting date and staff coverage would be provided by either another staff member or by the Chair (Absent:  Member Mark).

 

6.      Extension of Task Force Sunset Date. (Discussion and Possible Action)  Chair Rosenmeier stated that she had consulted with Deputy City Attorney Barnes who advised that the Task Force could not meet as individuals after October 5 to work on finalizing the draft report and would be required to complete the plan and submit it to the Board of Supervisors before the Task Force sunset date of October 5.  Chair Rosenmeier recommended that a six-month extension be requested, but that the Task Force should work on completing and submitting the report to the Board of Supervisors within sixty days of that extension in early December.

 

Member Gerber reported that the Task Force did not meet until sixty dates after its inception and had lost that time to work on the report.  Vice-Chair Meyerson reported that the Task Force also had three of its members resign.  Member Gerber suggested requesting an additional two seats so the Task Force would be a nine-member body.  Vice-Chair Meyerson suggested maintaining a seven-member Task Force.

 

Public Comment 

 

Mr. Don Eichelberger spoke in support of a 60-day extension.  It was explained that there are a lot of issues coming before the Board in the next few months related to public power.  Mr. Eichelberger urged the Task Force to issue a Resolution opposing all fossil fuel generation in San Francisco and to put all their energy into recommendations for conservation and renewables.

 

Mr. Drew asked if there was a possibility that the next Board of Supervisors would be less interested in making a statement as this Board is about the final report, and suggested that the Task Force complete their report by December so that there is time for this Board to take action.

 

Upon Motion by Vice-Chair Meyerson and second by Member Katz, without objection, the Task Force approved an extension request of their sunset date of up to six months (Absent:  Member Mark).  Chair Rosenmeier was asked to make that request of Supervisor Mirkarimi, the sponsor of the Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force enabling legislation. 

 

Item 8 was heard before Item 7.

 

7.      Possible Recommendation regarding New Electric Generating Facilities. (Continued from the July 1, 2008 Meeting) (Discussion) SPEAKER: Member Gerber

 

Continued to the Call of the Chair.

 

8.      Third Party Plan Recommendations. (Continued from the July 1, 2008 Meeting) (Discussion)  SPEAKER: Member Simone

 

Member Simone reported that the Task Force enabling legislation reads “the Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force should determine appropriate measures to mitigate municipal vulnerability and draft a comprehensive response plan for recommendation to the Board of Supervisors and oversee the drafting of a comprehensive plan by a third party.” Member Katz reported that when the enabling legislation was written by Mr. Brumm and Mr. Fridley, that a discussion was held about hiring a third party; however, because funding is not available for this effort, it is not going to happen.  Vice-Chair Meyerson stated that if the Task Force’s report is sufficient for their purposes, it would end there or the Board may decide to hire a third party to draft a plan at a future date.  Vice-Chair Meyerson felt that it would be outside of the Task Force’s purview to tell them to hire a third party or not.  Member Simone stated that the legislation indicates that if a third party is hired, that the Task Force would have to oversee it.  Member Katz indicated that the Task Force may not exist at the time that a third party may be hired. 

 

Public Comment:

 

Mr. Eichelberger recommended that the Task Force request clarification on what the expectation is for involvement in a third party plan.  Mr. Eichelberger also recommended involving department heads to request their input into what peak oil scenarios would mean to their offices and to provide input into the plan.  Vice-Chair Meyerson stated that could be accomplished by sending department heads copies of the draft plan.

 

Mr. Drew recommended that Deputy City Attorney Barnes be consulted on the enabling legislation’s reference to a third party plan.  It was stated that the Task Force cannot be held accountable if funding is not available to hire a third party.

 

9.      Recommendations for Treatment of Potential Civil Unrest. (Continued from the July 1, 2008 Meeting) (Discussion)

 

Continued to the Call of the Chair.

 

10.  Review of Infrastructure Section of Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force Final Report. (Informational Report and Discussion) (Explanatory Document: Infrastructure Draft Report) SPEAKER:  Vice-Chair Meyerson

 

Vice-Chair Meyerson presented the Infrastructure Draft Report and discussed his recommendations on water, wastewater, waste disposal and recycling, emergency services, and the potential for civil unrest.  Task Force members recommended including a discussion on (1) adding waterless toilets; (2) consider water as it refers to energy requirements; (3) consider General Hospital and their material needs, (4) impacts of growth on infrastructure; e.g., lighting, streets, signage and sewer maintenance; (5) how to offset the effort to constantly add more population to the City; and (6) discuss the importance of water in the near term and long term, etc.  Vice-Chair Meyerson was commended on this section and how he structured the recommendations. Members were asked to provide their input by email.       

 

Public Comment:  Mr. Eichelberger stated that anything that reduces what we take out of Hetch Hetchy will help the power situation--the less we take out for other purposes, the more water will be there for generating energy.  Mr. Eichelberger discussed recreational boating and water use on the Tuolumne River.  It was suggested that a recommendation be made around conservation methods for washing City vehicles; e.g., MUNI, police cars, fire trucks.  Additional recommendations were provided.

 

11.  New Business/Future Agenda Items (Information and Discussion). 

 

Member Gerber recommended that the Task Force discuss providing a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors on the Mirant plant. It was reported that Member Mark would be writing the Food section of the report in August. Vice-Chair Meyerson requested that Infrastructure section recommendations be included on the next agenda.

 

Public Comment: Mr. Eichelberger distributed a draft “071508 DE Proposed Energy Section” that he proposed for the Energy Section of the report.  Mr. Eichelberger expressed his concerns that Vice-Chair Meyerson may have a conflict of interest surrounding recycling issues as it relates to the infrastructure section of the report.

 

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

 

13.  Adjournment.  The Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force meeting adjourned at 7:33 p.m.

 

Approved:  August 5, 2008

 

** Copies of explanatory documents are available at (1) the Task Force office, 11 Grove Street, San Francisco, California between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., (2) upon request to the Task Force Secretary, at telephone number 415-355-3709 or via e-mail at Monica.Fish@sfgov.org, or (3) at the Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force meeting website as attachments with each agenda or meeting minutes.

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