*The Monday, January 8, 2007, 5:00 p.m. Policy Committee meeting was rescheduled to Tuesday, January 16, 2007 at 5:00 p.m.
COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Commissioners Johanna Wald (Chair); Ruth Gravanis and Angelo King
Commission Secretary: Monica Fish
ORDER OF BUSINESS
1. CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL. The Commission on the Environment’s meeting was called to order at 5:09 p.m. Present: Chair Wald, Commissioners Gravanis and King (5:10 p.m.)
2. ACTION: Adoption of Minutes of the November 13, 2006 Policy Committee Regular Meeting (Explanatory Document: Draft Minutes of the November 13, 2006 Regular Meeting). Upon Motion by Commissioner Gravanis and second by Chair Wald, the November 13, 2006 Meeting Minutes were approved with no objection. (Absent: Commissioner King)
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.
Commissioner King joined the meeting at this time.
Mr. Francisco Da Costa, Director, Environmental Justice Advocacy discussed global warming as it pertains to the Southeast Sector, expressed concern regarding the three combustion turbines that are going to be installed by Pier 80 and the proposed construction of thousands of units. Mr. Da Costa asked the Commissioners to carefully review proposed projects in San Francisco that would affect quality of life issues.
Ms. Espanola Jackson discussed the 1972 expansion of the sewage plant in Bayview Hunters Point and the promise to the community that Bayview Hunters Point will be receiving 80% of the City’s sewage. However, because of expansion, 100% of the sewage is being received by Bayview Hunters Point. Ms. Jackson discussed poor sewage infrastructure in Bayview Hunters Point and medical issues affecting the community because of environmental hot spots. The Department of the Environment was urged to influence decision makers in 2007 to (1) supply medical attention to Bayview Hunters Point residents and (2) to be aware of the sea level rise that may affect Treasure Island in the future.
4. INFORMATIONAL PRESENTATION: Implementation of Urban Environment Accord Action 21: Water. Update on Sewer System Master Plan - Midpoint in the Planning Phase. Wastewater Enterprise staff will present and discuss the current status of the Sewer System Master Plan (Explanatory Document: Sewer System Master Plan Update Presentation).
SPONSOR: Jared Blumenfeld, Director
SPEAKERS: Bonnie Jones, Senior Engineer, & Jon Loiacono, Principal Engineer
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Ms. Jones discussed the Master Plan vision based on public values that include environmental and public health awareness and advised of the planning process that SFPUC and its staff will be engaged in through public meetings with all stakeholders, e.g. the Technical Advisory Committee, Citizens Advisory Committee, the general public, other City Departments, and consultants. Topics discussed included:
An overview was given of the three plants, North Point, Southeast, and Oceanside Plants.
· Basic Master Plan Objectives: Improving seismic reliability, replacing aging infrastructure (e.g. repair broken pipes), collection system odor control, minimizing flooding, and accommodating climate change. Slides were shown on how increasing sewer ages and rising tides produce failure rates and impact the entire sewer system. Historical and projected high tides data was presented and a discussion was held on methods to resolve future problems that may occur.
· Improvement Objectives: Improvement objectives discussed included reducing neighborhood impacts for the Southeast Plant and other facilities, improving system reliability and redundancy, and providing flexibility for future regulations.
· Four Alternatives to Address Improvement Objectives would be considered:
Alternative 1: Upgrade Existing System to Eliminate Plant Impacts such as addressing neighborhood impacts that include odor control, moving solids handling at the Southeast Plant away from residents possibly to Islais Creek or other sites, and increase system reliability.
Alternative 2: Decentralized Treatment-directing flow from the Southeast facility to the Oceanside Plant and turn the North Point Plant back into a dry weather plant. Projects would include Southeast Plant improvements, North Point Facility
upgrade to all-weather plant, and diverting flow from the Cayuga area to the Oceanside Plant.
Alternative 3: Treat All Dry Weather Flow at the Oceanside Plant and projects that include Southeast Plant conversion to a wet weather facility, new treatment plant at Oceanside, Southeast Force Main to Cayuga and Cayuga Diversion to Oceanside Plant.
Alternative 4: Relocate Southeast Plant to New Bayside Site away from residents. Consultants would provide costs on re-plumbing everything from the Bayside to a new treatment site. Alternative 4 Projects include a new Bayside Plant and outfall, Southeast Plant conversion to pumping facility, and conveyance from Southeast to new Plant.
· Programs Common to All Alternatives: Master Plan Elements--Integrated Urban Watershed Management (Stormwater Program Objectives and Low Impact Development) and Lifecycle Asset Management (Energy and Power Management Program Objectives).
· Renewable Energy Program, Current and Future demand met by renewable energy.
· Strategies to Meet Diversion Goals—Organic Waste Current and Future Goals.
· Benefits that include maximizing renewable energy potential, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and assisting with meeting Waste Diversion Goals.
· Biosolids Treatment and Disposal—Reuse Options and Constraints.
· Next Steps—Public Workshops to be held at the Southeast Community Facility on January 27; at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on January 23 and in North Beach on January 24; Completion of Quantitative Evaluation of Alternatives (Spring/Summer 2007), and Draft Master Plan presentation to Commissioners and the Public (Summer 2007).
Mr. Loiacono discussed the City’s mercury prevention program and advised that there is still a small amount of residual mercury that is in the sewer system that is expensive to remove.
In relation to SFPUC’s renewable energy goals and the Department’s waste diversion goals, SFPUC proposes that food scraps be digested from the City's or Norcal's source separation food scrap collection (projected up to 400 tons per day in 2012) and also to digest source separated brown grease mixed with the biosolids that in total could produce 68 to 100% of the power needs for possible energy self-sufficiency in facility operations.
Director Blumenfeld inquired about treatment to make the water drinkable and advised that it is being done in London. Mr. Loiacono stated that the process would be very expensive and has not been studied thoroughly. It would require reverse osmosis, injecting the water into the ground and the water would have to travel for some distance before it could be extracted and used. Mr. Loiacono stated that he does not have information about London’s methods to make the water drinkable. Director Blumenfeld advised that Marin County is reviewing de-salinization. Mr. Loiacono stated that California Public Health guidelines would have to be followed and advised that standards allow you to take seawater and desalinize it and put it into your potable water system, but that you cannot do the same with wastewater.
Director Blumenfeld inquired about the level of cleanliness required for turning the water into recycled water for irrigation. Mr. Loiacono discussed methods for disinfection and discussed methods used at Harding Park. Director Blumenfeld asked if there is a way to reduce the amount of sewage that goes into the waste water system. Mr. Loiacono stated that there is a Master Plan projection of a population increase of 100,000, with no projected increase in sewage due to the installation of low flush toilets.
Chair Wald suggested that consideration be given to using solids in sewage to generate the energy that runs the sewage treatment plants.
Public Comment: Ms. Debbie Raphael, Toxics Reduction Program Manager, Department of the Environment asked if the North Point outfall is more beneficial than the Southeast Plant outfall. Ms. Jones stated that it is a much better outfall because the North Point facility has more tidal changes. Ms. Raphael asked if a new outfall would be required in the case of Alternative 4. Ms. Jones advised that in the planning window, both the North Point and Southeast outfalls need to be replaced. Ms. Raphael asked if the SFPUC owns the land at the Oceanside Plant. Mr. Loiacono advised that the City owns the land and that Recreation and Park Department has jurisdiction over the land.
Public Comment: Mr. Jack Macy, Department of the Environment Commercial Recycling Coordinator stated that the "biosolids treatment and disposal" are important because the landfill diversion of biosolids is part of our overall waste diversion percentage and goals and is therefore necessary to maintain the diversion of biosolids to meet our future diversion goals.
Public Comment: Ms. Carolyn Blair asked if for Alternative 2, there would be an expansion of buildings or if existing buildings would be used. Mr. Loiacono stated that if the dry weather plant were to be at the North Point location, existing buildings would be torn down and replaced with new ones. It was stated that the footprint may be different but would be within the same space. Ms. Blair asked if any water was being put into the bay or ocean that is polluting or affecting the environment, habitat, people, or recreational facilities. Mr. Loiacono stated that there are bacteria with combined sewer discharges and current regulatory requirements are being met. It was advised that monitoring and studies are being done on the bay and on ocean outfall. Ms. Blair recommended researching statistics on what type of tree canopy would intercept the rain and by what amount.
Public Comment: Ms. Espanola Jackson asked if the 1972 promise to the Bayview Hunters Point community would be met. Mr. Loiacono explained the differences and advantages of the current project in comparison to the 1972 project. Ms. Jackson (1) spoke against placing combustion turbines in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood because of health concerns for residents and (2) recommended that “Toxic City Bayview Hunters Point” article
about toxins in the Bayview Hunters Point area be read and discussed the effects of landfills in the neighborhood.
Public Comment: Ms. Nancy Wuerfel inquired about Recreation and Park Department jurisdiction of land next to the San Francisco Zoo. Mr. Loiacono advised that the Recreation and Park Department has jurisdiction over the 43-acre site next to the Zoo, and SFPUC would be working out an agreement with the Zoo and Recreation and Park Department for use of land. Ms. Wuerfel asked if the SFPUC has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to use the land. Mr. Loiacono stated that there is a written agreement regarding the use of 12 acres and that there may be an MOU. Ms. Wuerfel asked if there is any money involved or if Recreation and Park Department is being paid for use of land under their jurisdiction. Mr. Loiacono stated that there is no money now on a continual basis and advised that SFPUC had previously paid into structural costs for improving buildings located at the Zoo. A discussion was held on anaerobic digestion.
Public Comment: Mr. Alex Lantsberg asked how costs are calculated especially in the out years when regulatory changes and sea levels rise and additional pumping and building facilities would be required. Ms. Jones advised that estimated costs are being obtained.
Public Comment: Mr. Chris Choate, Vice-President of Sustainability, Norcal, discussed the process for turning food waste into energy and composting of biosolids. It was stated that Norcal has been requested to collect food waste in Los Angeles because of the oil, fat and grease that clog the infrastructure. Director Blumenfeld stated that oil and grease is a $15 million a year problem as money has to be spent to take the fat, oil and grease out. Ms. Jones stated that it takes up sewage capacity and causes blockages.
Public Comment: Mr. Francisco Da Costa stated that the Hunters Point community needs to see a Business Plan and that mitigation factors should be put in place to address quality of life issues. Mr. Da Costa recommended addressing practical matters such as where the facility is going to be situated, how it is going to impact people, and mitigation of particulates and flares. Ms. Jones stated that next steps after approval from the SFPUC Commission would be a programmatic Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and researching how to move the Southeast digesters away from the residents.
Commissioner King inquired about the term “flaring.” Ms. Jones advised that “flaring” is when too much gas is being made that can’t be used by the various facilities at the plant that process the gas, causing the excess to be burned off in the air. It was stated that modern facilities are needed to capture the emissions.
Commissioner King asked if the SFPUC Commission would be receiving staff recommendations as part of next steps. It was stated that alternatives and all Master Plan elements, costs, benefits, and a matrix evaluation criteria would be brought to the SFPUC Commission in spring/summer, and that recommendations would be brought forth in the summer. Commissioner King asked when community comments would be processed and how they would be quantified. Mr. Loiacono stated that all comments to date would be factored into the social evaluation criteria. Ms. Jones advised that comments can be submitted electronically at www.sfsewers.org and through community meetings. Ms. Raphael inquired as to when the evaluation criteria matrix would become public. Mr. Loiacono stated that it would be about another month before it would be finalized.
Public Comment: Mr. Alex Lantsberg stated that a number of comments may focus on programmatic aspects of the system, and that there are also a number of comments that speak to the technical aspects of the program and how it is being evaluated, assessed, and analyzed. It was asked how the SFPUC is incorporating these comments and adjusting evaluation criteria to respond to public comment on the substance of the program rather than on the mechanics and analysis of the program. Mr. Loiacono stated that all information received is being incorporated and that it is necessary to look at flexibility, liability, environmental action selection, and social and cost issues. It was stated that most of the comments received were about concerns with costs.
Public Comment: Mr. Arthur Feinstein recommended that goals should be to achieve maximum work quality rather than to just meet regulatory minimums. Mr. Feinstein stated that he appreciates that the Plan would try to reduce the number of overflows, but recommended achieving not having any overflows. Mr. Loiacono stated that Alternatives 1 and 4 have no impact on overflows; 2 and 3 because of the Cayuga diversion have an impact on overflows. Other options to reduce or have zero overflows would be evaluated by decision makers.
Chair Wald recommended that the SFPUC incorporate the Precautionary Principle in their work to evaluate the matrix and suggested that Department of the Environment staff can participate in this effort.
Public Comment: Ms. Nancy Wuerfel asked if the SFPUC would be returning at another meeting to address Urban Accord Action 21 as she felt the discussion today did not address the Accord. Chair Wald stated that what the SFPUC is doing is what San Francisco is doing on Action 21. Ms. Wuerfel asked if the water shed issues would be addressed specifically. Director Blumenfeld read Urban Accord Action 21 and discussed the parallels between today’s discussions, future plans, and Action 21. Ms. Jones stated that she had identified a group of programs in her presentation as integrated watershed management that includes water reduction, flooding control, and stormwater diversion.
Public Comment: Mr. Peter Brastow stated that when he thinks of sustainable watersheds, he thinks of ecological sustainability. Mr. Brastow asked what percentage of the 10% in seven years would the ecological restoration and the transformative aspects of trying to create a more sustainable sewer system have on the process. Mr. Loiacono stated that if it is specifically water reuse, within seven years, the Westside Water Reuse Project should be built, which is part of the Water Supply Programmatic Environmental Impact Report. Mr. Loiacono stated that he does not know the Low Impact Development (LID) at this time.
Commissioner Gravanis discussed the handout “Wastewater Master Plan Goals and Objectives” submitted by the Sustainable and Watershed Alliance (SWAle) regarding the Master Plan process and requested that the Commission consider and endorse the objectives at their January 23 meeting. Ms. Jones stated that the Objectives were submitted to the SFPUC’s Technical Advisory Committee and their opinion was that it was fully in align with their objectives, but that the Master Plan is not at the point of such specificity at this time. Director Blumenfeld recommended that the objectives be made part of SFPUC’s evaluation criteria.
5. INFORMATIONAL PRESENTATION: Hunters Point Shipyard Sustainability and Land Use Plans.
SPONSOR: Commissioner Angelo King
SPEAKER: Michael Cohen, Director, Mayor’s Office of Base Reuse and
Real Estate Development
Mr. Cohen discussed the Hunters Point Shipyard Sustainability and Land Use Plans and comparisons were made with the Treasure Island Plan. It was stated that the Hunters Point Shipyard is both ahead and behind of Treasure Island in different aspects. Mr. Cohen explained that the Hunters Point Phase 1 project is ahead of Treasure Island as 1600 units of housing are currently under construction and behind in that Treasure Island currently has elaborate development plans, a sustainability plan, an affordable housing plan, an infrastructure plan, and a financing plan. That process is just starting on the rest of the shipyard, which presents a constraint and an opportunity. It was stated that the Treasure Island Plan would serve as a model for the Shipyard Plan in many ways.
A discussion was held on the historic relationship between the Shipyard and Candlestick Point at different points in time and projects that have been proposed on the sites. Mr. Cohen stated that he spoke to the Mayor and the Planning Director about the opportunity to plan the southern waterfront from Executive Park through India Basin and including the Shipyard and Candlestick. It was stated that while there is a significant project on the top of the hill, much of the work from a planning and a development negotiation perspective is upcoming.
Mr. Cohen stated that the most important thing you can do to create a sustainable project is to build it into the Land Use Plan and make it compact, walkable, oriented to sun and wind, support neighborhood transit and retail, and to take advantage of all neighborhood attributes. It was stated that there is every expectation that Phase 2 of the Shipyard and Candlestick will be planned with these elements in mind.
A discussion was held about habitats and wetlands restoration on the Shipyard that include the Yosemite Slough Restoration project that is being actively worked on and additional wetlands on Parcel E that are being located. It was stated that key elements of Treasure Island sustainability is devoting 300 acres to parks and open space. By the time the Shipyard and Candlestick are complete, they will have at least 300 acres of waterfront park. Mr. Cohen stated that the Tidal Lands Exchange legislation and the Redevelopment Plan for the Shipyard call for the idea that the entire skirt around the shipyard will be for green parks and open space. It was stated that there is talk about the concept of the Crissy Field of the southeast sector. Most important public benefits from these projects is opening up 700 acres of southern waterfront to the city, the state, the region and southeastern San Francisco that would be built into the development plans. There is Interest in pursuing the Blue Greenway, active elements of the Bay Trail as one of the longest unbroken stretches of the Blue Greenway project from the tip of Candlestick Point to the other end of Hunters Point Shipyard.
Mr. Cohen stated that Shipyard Phase 1 has an aggressive demolition and deconstruction plan where recyclable construction materials are being used. When the Phase 2 development agreements are complete for the Shipyard and Candlestick, there will be a whole new standard and template for cutting edge recyclable materials and building deconstruction. It was stated that Phase 2 of the Shipyard and the rest of the southern waterfront will be the beneficiary of the most cutting edge green building standards and techniques.
Mr. Cohen stated that the Shipyard is ahead of Treasure Island in one regard. It was stated that there will be a feasibility study on public power done on Treasure Island, and the development plans call for the idea that when the vertical buildings are built that there will be the infrastructure to have solar on every roof. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission will be providing power to the Hunters Point Shipyard and there would be a requirement that there will be solar on every roof in the first phase of development for the first 1600 homes. Whatever is learned from the Treasure Island project will be filtered back to the Hunters Point Shipyard Project.
Director Blumenfeld inquired about the timeline for Phase 2. Mr. Cohen stated that environmental review will begin on Phase 2 in the end of March/early April and will be a two-year process. Director Blumenfeld asked how sustainability goals would be achieved given the contamination issues on Parcels E and F. Mr. Cohen stated that one of the opportunities for the Shipyard’s contribution to sustainability is in addressing environmental scars in the community. It was stated that contamination will have impacts on what can be done in certain places. Clean up will have an impact on land use planning but is a great opportunity to address contamination.
The Conveyance Agreement with the Navy which calls for the Navy to transfer parcels to the Mayors Office that requires both federal and state regulator concurrence that the land parcels have been cleaned to a level of residential and industrial open space standards was discussed. It was stated that the first 88 acres have already been transferred and that Parcels B and D would be ready for transfer around the time of the two-year development planning process.
Public Comment: Ms. Nancy Wuerfel stated that she had heard in the news that the Mayor is back in Washington seeking funds for the cleanup. Mr. Cohen stated that the Shipyard because of the 2004 Conveyance Agreement gets about 60 to 70 million dollars a year from the Navy for cleanup. It was stated that they receive more money for the Shipyard than any closed Navy base in the country and have spent about 500 million dollars to date and probably have about another 300 million dollars to go. It is subject to federal appropriations every year. Thanks to the agreements that have been in place since 2004, they have quite a bit of leverage over the federal government and receiving active funding.
Commissioner King made a request to the Department of the Environment to include the Bayview Hunters Point Shipyard in its Strategic Plan and to offer support and advice to the people that are involved in the planning of the objectives so that the Shipyard can be a model along with Treasure Island in terms of what you can do with new development in urban areas and in reducing our carbon footprint. Mr. Cohen confirmed that the Redevelopment Agency is the lead agency for this project and that the Mayors Office is coordinating on this project along with the Redevelopment Agency and the Planning Department. The importance of adding all the stated objectives into the Land Use Plan was discussed.
Chair Wald asked if there is a place where all the interested agencies can come together and work on this effort. Mr. Cohen thanked the Commission for their expression of interest, and the Department of the Environment was acknowledged for the support received for the Treasure Island Plan. Mr. Cohen suggested that the exact same opportunity exists for the Hunters Point Shipyard Plan where the Department of the Environment can be part of the team with all of the other departments on various elements of the plans. Commissioner King stated that there is an Advisory Committee that the Mayor appoints members to. Mr. Cohen recommended that logical next steps would be for the Department of the Environment staff to be involved with the Redevelopment Agency Commission and the Citizen’s Advisory Committees (CAC’s) who have both an environmental and land use sub-committee. It was stated that the Mayors Office frequently holds joint meetings of the two subcommittees.
Public Comment: Ms. Sraddha Mehta asked for clarification of what the Redevelopment Agency’s role is versus the Office of Economic and Workforce Development’s role. Mr. Cohen stated that Hunters Point Shipyard is under the jurisdiction of the Redevelopment Agency that is the legal entity that you enter into contracts with. The Board of Supervisors has to approve redevelopment plans and amendments. Historically, going back to Mission Bay and the Ballpark, the Mayor’s Office has coordinated closely with either the Redevelopment Agency or the Port, whatever department had the jurisdiction over negotiating and structuring the deals through the entitlement process and then steps aside.
Commissioner Gravanis asked if there is a plan to do a Hunters Point Shipyard Sustainability Plan in writing and who the lead would be. Mr. Cohen stated that there would definitely be a Sustainability Plan and that he would work with the Department of the Environment, the development team and their consultants to put together a Plan, and bring it to the Environment Commission.
Public Comment: Mr. Arthur Feinstein discussed the book that he presented at the meeting called From Pollution to Parkland: Alternatives for a Waterfront Park at Hunters Point Shipyard that describes the history of Hunters Point and the environmental justice issues in the neighborhood. It provides four alternatives for Parcel E, which is the southern shoreline of Hunters Point. Examples of how other cities’ waterfront parks have become economic generators for the community is also cited in the book
Public Comment: Ms. Nancy Wuerfel inquired if there was a difference in the level of cleanup for residential versus open space and which has the greater level of cleanup. Ms. Wuerfel expressed her concern that a proposed waterfront park should have the necessary level of cleanup required to accommodate activities for the intended use. Mr. Cohen stated that in some cases open space cleanup can be a greater level of clean up than residential and that cleanup would be consistent with the intended use.
Public Comment: Mr. Da Costa suggested that the Environment Commission should work with the Health Department, Department of Toxics and Substance Control, and the Bay Air Quality Management District to address the issue of pollution and should be proactive in helping the population and engage universities and other institutions to participate in this effort.
Public Comment: Mr. Peter Brastow discussed Nature in the City’s activities that include ecological stewardship on Yerba Buena Island. It was recommended that a Natural Resources Plan be part of the Sustainability Plan for the Hunters Point Shipyard project. A handout was distributed in Committee called “Yerba Buena Update”)
6. DISCUSSION: Department of the Environment Strategic Plan for 2007-2009 for Toxics Reduction, Outreach, and Environmental Education (Explanatory Document: Strategic Plan).
SPONSOR/SPEAKER: Jared Blumenfeld, Director
This item was continued to the February 12, 2007 meeting.
7. DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: United Nations World Environment Day Accords—Prioritizing three key actions for adoption by the Commission on the Environment for 2007. The Committee will receive public comment on what the priorities for the Urban Accords should be for the second year (Explanatory Document: Urban Environmental Accords Review).
This item was continued to the February 12, 2007 meeting.
This item was not heard at this time.
9. DISCUSSION: FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
This item was not heard at this time.
10. 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.
11. ADJOURNMENT. The Policy Committee meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.
The next Policy Committee meeting will be held on Monday, February 12, 2007 at 5:00 p.m., Room 421, City Hall.
** 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/policy-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 [email protected].
Respectfully submitted by,
TEL: (415) 355-3709
FAX: (415) 554-6393
Adopted: February 12, 2007