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04.10 Approved Minutes

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

COMMISSION ON THE ENVIRONMENT

POLICY COMMITTEE

 

REGULAR MEETING

APPROVED MINUTES

Monday, April 10, 2006, 5:00 P.M.

City Hall, Room 421

One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

San Francisco, CA 94102 

 

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:  Commissioners Johanna Wald (Chair); Arlene Rodriguez and Christina Desser

 

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 5:10 p.m.  Present: Commissioners Desser and Wald; Excused: Commissioner Rodriguez.

 

2.      ACTION:  Adoption of Minutes of the March 13, 2006 Regular Meeting.

 

Upon motion by Commissioner Desser and second by Commissioner Wald, the March 13, 2006 Regular Meeting Minutes were adopted with no objection (Commissioner Rodriguez absent).  There was no public comment at this time. (Explanatory Document:  Approved Minutes of the March 13, 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. 

 

Item 5 was heard before Item 4.

 

4.   DISCUSSION:  Urban Environmental Accord Actions Implementation Plan:  The Policy Committee worked with Department staff to create a plan for implementing Urban Environmental Accord actions (Continued from the March 13, 2006 Meeting).  (Explanatory Document:  Commission Resolution No. 005-06-COE)

SPONSOR:  Commissioner Arlene Rodriguez

SPEAKER:  Jared Blumenfeld, Director and

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) Representative

 

Director Blumenfeld stated that the Committee would discuss Urban Environmental Accord Action 21: Water for this meeting that reads “Adopt municipal wastewater management guidelines and reduce the volume of untreated wastewater discharges by 10 percent in seven years through the expanded use of recycled water and the implementation of a sustainable urban watershed planning process that includes participants of all affected communities and is based on sound economic, social, and environmental principles.”

 

Mr. Jonathan Loiacono, Principal Engineer, SFPUC suggested alternative language for the Commission’s Resolution No. 005-06-COE for Action 21 and discussed discrepancies with current language and intended goals (Explanatory Document:  April 10, 2006 Memo to Policy Committee Received in Committee)  The main discrepancy reported was the language that reads “reduce the volume of untreated wastewater discharges by 10 percent in seven years through the expanded use of recycled water.”  Mr. Loiacono stated that their Master Plan process would set the criteria and that the language as drafted was problematic for the City because of our unique wastewater system and climate.

 

Commissioner Wald recommended separating the reduction in volume of untreated wastewater from the expanded use of recycled water so that a goal is to expand the use of recycled water. 

 

Director Blumenfeld advised that Action 21 language was adopted as part of the Urban Environmental Accords and could not be changed.  Mr. Loiacono and Ms. Jones were requested to provide language on specific goals and efforts being worked on to accomplish its broad goals. 

 

Ms. Bonnie Jones, Process Engineer, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) Water Pollution Control Division, stated goals are reflected in the alternative language: “to maximize treatment and reuse of wastewater and minimization of the use of natural resources.”  Director Blumenfeld recommended including goals as presented in Ms. Jones’ PowerPoint at the March 13 Policy Committee meeting and Southeast Wastewater facility goals. 

 

Commissioner Wald requested that Mr. Loiacono and Ms. Jones update the Commission and or Policy Committee periodically with the status of the Wastewater Master Plan process and to advise of any assistance the Commission can provide.  Mr. Loiacono advised that a report would be made by June to the Technical Advisory Committee and would be able to provide more information at that time.  Ms. Jones advised of an upcoming public meeting on June 5 with the SFPUC Planning and Technical Advisory Committee and a representative from the Seattle Public Utilities Commission Watershed Planning to brainstorm and discuss the successful strategies that were used in Seattle. 

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Nancy Wuerfel inquired as to the source of the available budget and human resources for implementation of accords as stated in the Commission Resolution page 2, third WHEREAS clause.  Director Blumenfeld explained that for (1) Action 21 Water there is funding from Proposition H bonds for recycled water and SFPUC has the staff; (2) Action 17 Environmental Health Accord: the Board of Supervisors passed a fair trade and organic resolution asking the Department to research ways of promoting fair trade and organic foods.  Director Blumenfeld described the Mayor’s initiative for homeless soup kitchens and New Mainstream where foundations are coming together to promote locally grown food; and (3) Urban Nature—requires legislation and input from experts such as Peter Brastow, Nature in the City.  It was advised that funding and human resources to implement the accords may not always be from the Department or City—funding may be obtained from other groups and resources.

 

Director Blumenfeld suggested that Ms. Susan Clark and Mr. Peter Brastow, et al. be invited to attend the next Policy Committee meeting to discuss Urban Environmental Accords implementation methods. 

 

  1. DISCUSSION:  Application of Precautionary Principle to City Contracts.

SPONSOR:  Commissioner Christina Desser

SPEAKER:  Chris Geiger, City Toxics Reduction Coordinator

 

Commissioner Desser discussed the idea of applying the Precautionary Principle to City contracts so that language would be incorporated into Request for Proposals (RFP) to require contractors to purchase and use products from the Precautionary Purchasing Program’s targeted product categories list. 

 

Mr. Chris Geiger, City Toxics Reduction Coordinator discussed the Department’s move to 25 Van Ness Avenue and mission to turn the eco-center into a model of sustainable technology.  Future efforts to require that greener janitorial products be used in the building were talked about.  It was stated that under the Precautionary Purchasing Ordinance, the maintenance crew could not be forced to use greener products, but the Department could work with the Office of Contract Administration and other departments to place specific language into the RFP’s requiring contractors to use products from the approved product list once it is developed. 

 

Director Blumenfeld inquired as to the availability of a complete list of service contracts and recommended creating a database.  Mr. Geiger and Ms. Darlene Fong, Purchasing advised that the Office of Contract Administration has a list of citywide service and commodity contracts, but not departmental contracts.  Deputy City Attorney Rona Sandler advised that every department has a large amount of authority to perform their own service contracts and should have a list of their outstanding contracts.  Ms. Darlene Fong explained that contracts over $10 million are approved by the Board of Supervisors; smaller amounts are approved by the Office of Contract Administration.  Deputy City Attorney Sandler advised that enterprise departments such as the Port, Airport, Recreation and Park, MUNI and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission have their own independent charter authority for certain contracting so can approve contracts without the Board and the Office of Contract Administration’s approval. 

 

Committee members and Staff discussed methods of influencing departments to incorporate the Precautionary Principle into their City contracts by (1) voluntarily requesting Departments to participate through outreach efforts; (2) requiring Departments to participate through an ordinance; (3) Mayor issuing a letter or executive order, (4) the Board of Supervisors urging participation, (5) requesting union endorsement; and (6) assigning the Office of Contract Administration additional authority so the effort can be centralized.  Commissioner Desser recommended advertising and various strategies were discussed.  A conversation was held about targeting vendors that offer environmentally sound products and efforts to screen companies for product lines. 

 

Commissioner Wald asked that a legal opinion be drafted to request that Departments use their best efforts to utilize products from the list.  Deputy City Attorney Sandler indicated that she could work with Department staff to write a provision for departments to add to their service contracts.  A discussion was held about requirements for departments to use products on the list and the reasons and process for issuing emergency waivers. 

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Joan Reinhardt-Reiss advised that Director Mitch Katz, M.D., Department of Public Health and the San Francisco Labor Council offered a great deal of support on the Precautionary Purchasing Ordinance and suggested that their support be requested on the legal opinion.  Ms. Reinhardt-Reiss thanked the Office of Contract Administration for their efforts and explanation of the janitorial service products process.

 

  1. INFORMATION:  New Business.  There was no further discussion of new business at this time.

 

  1. FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS.  There was no further discussion of future agenda items at this time.

 

  1. 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.

9.      ADJOURNMENT:  The meeting adjourned at 6:25 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;  (3) upon request to the Commission Secretary, at telephone number 415-355-3709, or (4) via e-mail at Monica.Fish@sfgov.org.

 

Respectfully submitted by,

Monica Fish, Commission Secretary

TEL:  (415) 355-3709

FAX: (415) 554-6393

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