09.27 Approved Minutes

 

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

COMMISSION ON THE ENVIRONMENT

REGULAR MEETING

APPROVED MINUTES

Tuesday, September 27, 2005, 5:00 P.M.

City Hall, Room 416

One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

San Francisco, CA 94102

 

COMMISSION MEMBERS:  Commissioners Nia Crowder (President); Paul Pelosi Jr. (Vice President); Christina Desser, Angelo King, Alan Mok, Arlene Rodriguez, and Johanna Wald

 

Commission Secretary:  Monica Fish

 

ORDER OF BUSINESS

 

Public comment will be taken before the Commission 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 Crowder, Pelosi Jr., King, and Mok.  Excused: Commissioners Desser, Rodriguez, and Wald.

 

2.      ACTION:  Adoption of Minutes of the July 26, 2005 Meeting. 

 

No public comment was heard at this time.  Upon motion by Commissioner Pelosi Jr., the July 26, 2005 Regular Meeting Minutes were approved by the following vote: 

 

VOTE:  Approved (4-0) (3 Absent)

AYES:  Commissioners Crowder, Pelosi Jr., King and Mok

NOES:  None

ABSENT:  Commissioners Desser, Rodriguez, 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.  There were no public comments at this time.

 

  1. INFORMATIONAL PRESENTATION:  Waste Characterization Study:  Analysis of what is left in San Francisco’s waste stream (Explanatory Document:  Waste Characterization Study August 2005 (PDF)).

                 SPONSOR:  Jared Blumenfeld, Director

SPEAKER:  Dan Sicular, Senior Project Manager, Environmental Science Associates

 

Mr. Sicular gave a presentation on the results of the Waste Characterization Study that Environmental Science Associates performed to characterize the materials in San Francisco’s landfill waste through various waste streams.  Main topics discussed included:

 

    • Consultant team retained to perform the work;
    • Waste stream sampling produced in San Francisco consisting of hand sorted samples and visual characterizations of loads from various sources.  All samples studied were disposed through Norcal Waste Systems and destined for landfill; 
    • Materials landfilled through Norcal for 2003-2004 and top six materials San Francisco sends to landfill waste;
    • Summary composition of all material by categories, composition comparison of landfilled materials, and composition comparison of landfilled materials from Fantastic 3 Program by single family, multi-family and commercial governmental institutional sources;
    • Landfilled compostable food and all landfilled compostable material;
    • Landfilled recyclable paper and all landfilled recyclables;
    • Detail of landfilled recyclable paper (type of paper) and of landfilled recyclables other than paper (plastic, glass, metal, C&D);
    • Comparison of 1996 and 2005 waste composition of five recoverable materials (food, cardboard, newspaper, glass containers, plastic containers).

5.  INFORMATIONAL PRESENTATION:  Toxicity Profile:  Study on toxicity in waste stream (Explanatory Document:  Toxicity Profile of Disposed Waste Generated Within San Francisco (PDF)).

 SPONSOR:  Jared Blumenfeld, Director

SPEAKER:  George Savage, Executive Vice President, CalRecovery Inc. 

 

Mr. Savage gave a presentation on the toxicity profile of the waste stream that goes to landfill.  The project objective is to determine toxicity of disposed wastes and methods to reduce the toxicity.  The five major methodology steps applied to this project were discussed as follows:

 

1.      Define quantities and characteristics of waste types (a list of approximately 40 different materials) and analyze potential hazardous materials in samples;

2.      Identify typical chemical compounds in or hazards represented by non-regulated hazardous wastes (NHW);

3.      Identify key hazard characteristics of NHW wastes;

4.      Determine which NHW represent the greater risks based on quantities and characteristics and severity of risk;

5.      Determine which NHW represent the greater risks based on whether the risks are those to workers, the public, or the environment.

A discussion was held on the NHW categories used in the toxicity profiling analysis, hazard characteristics used in the analysis, and composition of NHW in disposed waste.   Future work will consist of identifying what NHWs are the most dangerous, how risks can be reduced, and how the City can monitor the toxicity of the disposed waste stream and the effectiveness of management programs.

 

  1. INFORMATIONAL PRESENTATION:  Biodiesel and City Departments.

                     SPONSOR:  Jared Blumenfeld, Director

SPEAKER:  Kevin Drew, Residential Recycling Coordinator

 

Mr. Drew discussed the benefits of and community support for biodiesel, a renewable engine fuel made from any natural plant oil or animal fat, including recycled vegetable oil as described in the “Biodiesel presentation-San Francisco Commission on the Environment-September 27, 2005; Benefits of Biodiesel” handout distributed at the Commission meeting.  Several benefits discussed included the reduction in particulate matter and carcinogens, fuel security for disaster preparedness, federal incentives, local job creation, and stabile non-toxic nonflammable fuel as well as many other benefits. 

 

Public comment from Mr. Eric Bowen, President, San Francisco Biofuels Cooperative encouraging the Commission to consider San Francisco biodiesel needs and to take action to support two initiatives currently underway that (1) is working toward getting biodiesel use in San Francisco fleets and (2) another to help remove barriers to biodiesel use for private vehicles in San Francisco.

 

Public comment from Mr. Michael Ferry, San Francisco Fire Department on initiating a biodiesel pilot program in the Fire Department in January or February located in Battalion 10, Bayview/Hunter’s Point District.  President Crowder asked for an update after initiation of the program.

 

Public comment from Mr. Ben Jordan, Civil Engineer thanking the Commission for their work and spoke in support of biodiesel programs in San Francisco.  Discussed Biofuel Recycling, a nonprofit organization that is working on developing ecological ways to collect vegetable oil from residents and restaurants to be used in local fleets and vehicles.

 

Public comment from Mr. Adam Hagen, President, Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association to encourage the Commission to consider the use of biodiesel for City vehicles and the public as well as supporting tax-incentives for using biodiesel.


 

  1. DISCUSSION and POSSIBLE ACTION:  Payroll Expense Tax Exclusion for Qualified Renewable Energy Businesses (Board of Supervisors File No. 050922).  Commission may vote on a Resolution supporting the legislation (Explanatory Documents:  Board of Supervisors Ordinance File No. 050922 Introduced May 24, 2005 (PDF) and Draft Resolution Supporting Legislation (Word)).

SPONSOR:  Commissioner Nia Crowder

                                                                    SPEAKER:  Jared Blumenfeld, Director

 

Director Blumenfeld described the amendment to the Payroll Tax Ordinance to establish exclusion for qualified renewable energy businesses.   The Ordinance will be heard at the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee on Thursday, September 29, 2005.  He advised the Commission that the Department is working on a holistic clean-tech initiative, and that the Mayor will be announcing new developments around the initiative.

 

Public comment from Mr. Eric Bowen requesting the Commission’s support of the amendment to the Payroll Tax Ordinance.

 

Upon Motion by Commissioner Pelosi Jr. and second by Commissioner Mok, the Commission Resolution File No. 2005-05-COE recommending support for Payroll Expense Tax Exclusion for Qualified Renewable Energy Businesses Ordinance was not adopted by the following vote:

 

VOTE:  Not Adopted (3 AYES; 1 NOE) (3 Absent)

AYES:  Commissioners Crowder, Mok, and Pelosi Jr.

NOES:  Commissioner King

ABSENT:  Commissioners Desser, Rodriguez and Wald

 

Commissioner King recommended that the Ordinance include a clause that all efforts be made to include a first-source hiring policy.

 

Upon Motion by Commissioner King and second by Commissioner Pelosi Jr., Resolution File No. 2005-05-COE recommending support for Payroll Expense Tax Exclusion for Qualified Renewable Energy Businesses Ordinance with an amendment to add a clause that all efforts be made to include a first-source hiring policy was adopted by the following vote:

 

VOTE: Adopted (4-0) (3 Absent)

AYES:  Commissioners Crowder, King, Mok, and Pelosi Jr.

NOES:  None

ABSENT:  Commissioners Desser, Rodriguez and Wald

 

8.  INFORMATIONAL PRESENTATION:  Update on Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program and Presentation of Public Participation Guidelines (Explanatory Documents:  Department Regulations SFE2005-01-PPO and SFE2005-02-PPO and How Commodities are Purchased under San Francisco’s Precautionary Purchasing Ordinance (PDF)).

       SPONSOR:  Jared Blumenfeld, Director

SPEAKERS:  Chris Geiger, City Toxic Reduction Coordinator and

Deanna Simon, City Toxic Reduction Specialist Assistant

 

Mr. Geiger gave an update on implementation of the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing for Commodities Ordinance and a status report on janitorial chemicals contracts.   He advised that the Director has signed two Regulations, one administrative and is required in the Ordinance, and the second is the Public Participation Guidelines.  The next steps in Ordinance implementation will be to present targeted categories that will result from the Department’s prioritization process and will be scheduled for the March 28, 2006 Commission meeting.

 

Ms. Deanna Simon discussed office supplies, lamps, and batteries contracts.  She advised that City Departments would be buying only post-consumer paper products when available and that Office Depot has implemented an on-line ordering system blocking certain products.  Developments were discussed as follows:  City departments are now purchasing rechargeable batteries. The Department has conducted City-purchaser training sessions providing fact sheets for City departments, meeting with lamp and bulb vendors to discern which lamps are preferable, and working with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to develop fact sheets to improve what the City is buying for energy efficiency and mercury content.

 

  1. INFORMATIONAL REPORT:  Status Report on the Climate Action Plan (Explanatory Document: Update on the Climate Action Plan (Word) and Climate Action Plan Executive Summary (PDF)).

                                                     SPONSOR:  Commissioner Nia Crowder

SPEAKERS: Cal Broomhead, Energy Manager and

 Melissa Capria, Climate Action Coordinator

 

Director Blumenfeld introduced Melissa Capria, Climate Action Coordinator for the Department of the Environment.  Ms. Capria discussed her background working with local governments and her initial tasks as the Climate Action Coordinator that are described in the “Update on the Climate Action Plan” explanatory document.

 

Commissioner King asked if work would be toward climate control citywide or regionally. Ms. Capria indicated that the first step would be to reduce the City’s emissions and then the goal would be to reduce emissions community-wide. 

 

President Crowder indicated that the Commission would be monitoring the intersection between City and State goals through the Hydrogen & Renewable Energy Committee.     

 

  1. DISCUSSION and POSSIBLE ACTION:  Status Report on Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA) Environmental Goals: Commission may consider requesting a joint public hearing between the Commission and TIDA on the Treasure Island Draft Sustainability Report.

SPONSOR:  Commissioner Nia Crowder

SPEAKERS:  Jared Blumenfeld, Director,

Jack Sylvan, Treasure Island Project Manager, Mayor’s Office of Workforce &
Economic Development-Base Reuse

 

Mr. Sylvan gave a status report on the Treasure Island Draft Sustainability Plan that was presented to the Citizens Advisory Board and the Treasure Island Development Authority Board (TIDA).  He advised the Commission that significant revisions would be made to the Land Use Plan as a response to public comment and hiring of a new development team. Changes to the Land Use Plan will have implications to the Sustainability, Infrastructure, and Transportation Plans. As a result, the Draft Sustainability Plan would be revised based on the land use planning process and public input received.  The Term Sheet Forward Schedule will have an updated Sustainability Plan that will be a public process with input from the Department of the Environment and consultants.  Mr. Sylvan advised that the Commission’s comments should be addressed to him and the TIDA Board.

 

President Crowder indicated that a formal request would be made to have a joint meeting with the Commission on the Environment and the TIDA Board and asked to be included in the Term Sheets.

 

Public comment from Ms. Ruth Gravanis commending the Draft Sustainability Plan and recommended strengthening the Plan by (1) not making assumptions about transit hubs and (2) not making assumptions that everyone has an automobile. She urged the Commission to hold a public hearing to review the location of transit hubs.  President Crowder stated that the Commission would be holding a future public hearing.

 

Public comment from Mr. Clayton Mansfield, Sierra Club encouraging the Commission to continue to provide input to TIDA to make a good plan better in order to make Treasure Island a better place to live and work.    

 

  1. INFORMATIONAL REPORT:  Community Outreach and Report on the westbound portion of the Bay Bridge bike lane.

                                SPONSOR:  Commissioner Nia Crowder

SPEAKER:  Andy Thornley, Program Director, San Francisco Bike Coalition

 

Mr. Thornley gave an informational report on the benefits of a San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge west span pathway and asked the Commission for endorsement.  He reported that the east span is being rebuilt and will be completed approximately 2012.  It will contain a pedestrian bicycle maintenance side path to allow pedestrians, bicycles, and maintenance crews to traverse the east span of the bridge between Yerba Buena and West Oakland, but would not extend to Treasure Island whereas a west span pathway would. 

 

He reported that a feasibility study was conducted five years ago and it established that it would be feasible and practical to attach a west span pathway.  Endorsement has been secured from the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor, and a request has been made for the California State Legislature and/or the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to include funding for the west span transportation link.  He asked the Commission to join the other endorsees and place this item on the next Commission meeting agenda as an action item supporting the west-span pathway.

 

Public comment from Ms. Ruth Gravanis urging the Commission to consider a Resolution to (1) urge the Treasure Island Development Authority to endorse a west span pathway and  (2) to indicate that planning should begin now on how the west span pathway would be incorporated and integrated into the Bay Trail and the rest of transportation planning for Yerba Buena and Treasure Island.

 

12.  DISCUSSION and ACTION:  Proposed Amendment to the Bylaws of the San Francisco Commission on the Environment to amend the regular meeting date of the Hydrogen & Renewable Energy Committee (Explanatory Documents:  Notice of Proposed Amendment to the Bylaws and Draft Resolution Amending Bylaws (Word)).

 

Upon Motion by Commissioner Pelosi Jr. and second by Commissioner Mok, Resolution File No. R-2005-05-COE Amendment of Commission on the Environment Bylaws of the San Francisco Commission on the Environment to amend the regular meeting schedule of the Hydrogen & Renewable Energy Committee was adopted with an amendment to read as follows:

 

“Article VII – Committees, Section 8: Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Committee

The Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Committee shall meet on the fourth Wednesday of February, April, June, August, and October at 5:00 p.m. and the second Wednesday in December at 5:00 p.m. in Room 421, City Hall, One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Jr. Place in the City and County of San Francisco.  The Committee will work toward a plan for 100% renewable energy for the city’s electricity and transportation fuels in less than 25 years.  The Committee will focus on the potential role of hydrogen (from water & renewable energy), tidal power and other innovative ideas.  This information shall be posted on the Department of the Environment’s website.”

 

VOTE:  Adopted (4-0) (3 Absent)

AYES:  Commissioners Crowder, King, Mok, and Pelosi Jr.

NOES:  None

ABSENT:  Commissioners Desser, Rodriguez, and Wald

 

13.  DISCUSSION:  Interest in Commission Office.  As stated in the Commission of the Environment Bylaws, Article IV – Officers, Section 3A:  “At the regular Commission meeting held in September of each year, any Commissioner interested in running for office shall state publicly his or her interest and willingness to run for a specific office.”  Elections will be held at the November Regular Meeting.

 

President Crowder indicated interest in the office of President and Commissioner Pelosi Jr. in the office of Vice President. 

14.  INFORMATIONAL PRESENTATION and FUTURE ACTION: San Francisco Environment proposed move from 11 Grove to 25 Van Ness.  Specific focus on plans to retain Eco-Center and ensure that move is done in a cost effective manner. Vote on plan of action for move at the next Commission meeting.  A meeting is to be scheduled for the October Finance and Operations Committee meeting.

SPONSOR:  Commissioner Paul Pelosi Jr.

 

David Assmann, Deputy Director discussed the Department’s proposed move to the ground floor of 25 Van Ness Avenue, a City-owned building, and the opportunity for the Department to redesign and make it into a world class green-building facility and eco-center.  He reported that the ground floor space is available in August 2006, and it is the Department’s preference to move in January 2007 to allow for renovation time. The Department would have to raise approximately $1 million dollars over the next sixteen months to pay for renovation expenses.  He reported that the Department has renegotiated with the present landlord at 11 Grove Street for a 33 percent reduction in rent for a one-year extension.  This item will be continued to the November Commission meeting for further discussion and action.

15.  INFORMATION: Commission Secretary’s Report

Monica Fish, Commission Secretary.  The Commission Secretary reported the following:

 

§         Communications and Correspondence: A letter of introduction was received from Linda Eggerth, San Francisco Ratepayer Advocate dated September 15, 2005 and emailed to the Commission on the same date.

 

§         Update on Pending City Legislation:  Two Ordinances were heard by the Board of Supervisors City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee on Monday, September 19, 2005—(1) Public Works Code-significant trees, landmark trees, and penalties for violations sponsored by Supervisor Daly (Committee voted to forward to the full Board with a recommendation not to approve), and (2) Public Works Code-landmark trees and penalties for violations sponsored by Supervisor McGoldrick (Committee voted to forward to the full Board with a recommendation for approval).  Differences in the two Ordinances were outlined in the Commission Secretary’s Report dated September 27, 2005. 

 

     16. INFORMATION: Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Committee Report

§         Chair’s Report:  President Crowder highlighted the August 29, 2005 meeting reporting that there was a review of wave and tidal projects, community choice aggregation, and an update on the Climate Action Team.  She reviewed the agenda for the upcoming Meeting on October 26, 2005 requesting a status report on hydrogen fueling trailer usage and implementation of Prop I in regards to vehicle procurement from MUNI.

 

Item 22 was heard after Item 16.

22.  FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS:  Commissioner Crowder requested the following items be placed on the November Commission meeting agenda:  Presentations by Marshall Foster, the Mayor’s Director of Greening, and the Green Technical Manager on goals, oversight and projected short-term achievements, and (2) Rhode Island’s activities on plastic bag recycling and collection and an update on the Department’s efforts.  First quarter agenda items: joint PUC and Environment Commission meeting on restoration of Hetch Hetchy, presentation from supporting and opposing sides. 

17. INFORMATION: Operations Committee Report

§         Chair’s Report:  Commissioner Pelosi Jr. reviewed the agenda for the upcoming meeting on October 19, 2005 that will be rescheduled to October 17, 2005 at 4:00 p.m.  Agenda items are as follows: review environmental justice programs and grant material to make sure that guidelines are being enforced and suggestions to grant applications are being followed.  Commissioner Mok reported that Commissioners would be giving comments on the Strategic Plan at the October meeting.

      18. INFORMATION: Policy Committee Report.  No report was given at this time.

19. INFORMATION: Director’s Report

         Jared Blumenfeld, Director, Department of the Environment gave updates on San Francisco Environment administrative and programmatic operations relating to Budget Planning, Strategic Planning, Climate Division, Outreach and Education Division, Environmental Justice Division, Zero Waste, Toxics Reduction Program, and the Urban Forestry Division as explained in the Director’s Monthly Report for August and September 2005.  He announced that the Port voted to approve the Literacy for Environmental Justice lease for the Department’s grant.   

20.  INFORMATION: President’s Announcements.   President Crowder made no additional announcements.

21.  INFORMATION: New Business:  No new business was heard at this time.

(Item 22 was heard after Item 16)

23.  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.  No public comment was heard at this time.

24.  ADJOURNMENT:  The meeting adjourned at 6:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by,

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 Commission’s meeting website (3) upon request to the Commission Secretary, at telephone number 415-355-3709, or (4) via e-mail at Monica.Fish@sfgov.org.

 

Adopted: December 5, 2005

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