01.24 Approved Minutes

 

 CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

COMMISSION ON THE ENVIRONMENT

REGULAR MEETING

APPROVED MINUTES

Tuesday, January 24, 2006, 5:00 P.M.

City Hall, Room 416

One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

San Francisco, CA 94102

 

 

COMMISSION MEMBERS:  Commissioners Paul Pelosi Jr. (Acting 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 5:20 p.m.  Present:  Commissioners Pelosi Jr., Desser, King (arrived at 6:00 p.m.), Mok, and Rodriguez (arrived at 5:25 p.m.).  Excused: Commissioner Wald.

 

Items 10, 12, and 3 were heard at this time.

 

2.      ACTION:  Adoption of Minutes of the December 5, 2005 Special Rescheduled Meeting (Explanatory Document:  December 5, 2005 Approved Meeting Minutes).  

 

Upon motion by Commissioner Desser and second by Commissioner Mok the December 5, 2005 Special Rescheduled Meeting Minutes were adopted.  There was no public comment at this time. 

 

VOTE:             Adopted (4-0) (2 Absent)

AYES:              Commissioners Pelosi Jr., Desser, Mok, and Rodriguez

NOES:             None

ABSENT:         Commissioners King 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.

 

Mr. Dennis Brumm, San Francisco Oil Awareness discussed the mission of San Francisco Oil Awareness, the Post Carbon Institute, and other organizations that study the issue of oil depletion/peak oil and distributed posters with a statement of their concerns to the Commissioners.  Mr. Brumm proposed that the Commission consider this issue and offered the service of local groups.

 

Director Blumenfeld asked Mr. Brumm to propose ten steps that the Department and Commission can do or do better.

 

Ms. Allyse Heartwell, San Francisco Oil Awareness stated that there are organizations that are undertaking a study about Bay Area relocalization that includes action steps and would provide the Department and Commission with a contact person.   

 

Ms. Ruth Gravanis stated that supporting the west span pedestrian bike/maintenance lane and the redevelopment of Treasure Island should be considered as part of the larger issue of meeting the goal of reducing dependence on oil.

 

4.INFORMATION and ACTION:  Resolution File No. R-2006-05-COE commending Commission President Nia Crowder for her service to the Commission on the Environment (Explanatory Document:  Approved Resolution No. 004-06-COE).

STAFF:  Jared Blumenfeld, Director

 

Director Blumenfeld advised the Commission that Commissioner Nia Crowder has formally resigned from the Commission effective January 13, 2006.

 

Upon Motion by Commissioner Desser and second by Commissioner Rodriguez Resolution File No. 004-06-COE commending Commission President Nia Crowder for her service to the Commission on the Environment was adopted by the following vote:

 

VOTE:             Adopted (4-0) (2 Absent)

AYES:              Commissioners Pelosi Jr., Desser, Mok and Rodriguez

NOES:             None

ABSENT:         Commissioners King and Wald

 

5.DISCUSSION and ACTION:  Nomination and Election of Commission President.  Nomination and Election of Commission Vice President if necessary.

 

Commissioner Pelosi Jr. recommended continuance of this item in order to secure a full Commission vote.

 

Upon Motion by Commissioner Rodriguez and second by Commissioner Desser this item was continued to the March 28, 2006 Commission meeting.

 

VOTE:             Approved (4-0) (2 Absent)

AYES:              Commissioners Pelosi Jr., Desser, Mok and Rodriguez

NOES:             None

ABSENT:         Commissioners King and Wald

 

6.DISCUSSION and ACTION:  Revised Reduced-Risk Pesticide List for San Francisco for 2006.  The Commission considered Draft Resolution File No. R-2006-04-COE to adopt the Revised Reduced-Risk Pesticide List for San Francisco for 2006 (Explanatory Documents:  Approved Resolution No. 003-06-COE, Revised Reduced Risk Pesticide List for San Francisco for 2006, 2006 Reduced Risk Pesticides List Products Added, Removed or Changed since 2005, and Minutes of December 13, 2005 Public Meeting on the 2006 Reduced-Risk Pesticide List.

                                         SPONSOR:  Jared Blumenfeld, Director

STAFF PRESENTER:  Chris Geiger, City Toxic Reduction Coordinator

 

Mr. Geiger advised the Commission that the Reduced-Risk Pesticide List is a product of the Integrated Pest Management Technical Advisory Committee that meets monthly to discuss product revisions.  After the list is produced, a public meeting is held to discuss the proposals for the year and brought to the Commission yearly for their consideration and vote. The Commission was updated on the products added and removed.  Mr. Geiger stated that public meetings are productive, but suggested that more public participation is desired.

 

Commissioner Desser suggested placing a Chronicle op-ed several weeks before the public meeting and to engage the public with examples of how products and public participation can affect their lives.  Mr. Geiger advised that an effort is being made through the Department’s Outreach group to generate more public participation.

 

Mr. Geiger discussed similar programs in eight major municipalities in New York State and that the ordinance is not working in these municipalities because of the lack of resources and an end-user group.

 

Commissioner Rodriguez asked (1) for a comparison between San Francisco and other cities that have adopted the same type of Ordinance, (2) what the Department needs to advance this effort, and (3) about the cooperation level of other City departments.  Mr. Geiger responded that (1) the most comparable program is Santa Clara County’s and that Suffolk County is the most successful in New York State because they have hired experienced county extension agents and devoted funds to run the program; (2) the Department would improve results with more input from City departments, by doing outreach to smaller departments, outlying sites, and hiring more staff; and (3) that departments for the most part are cooperative.

 

Deanna Simon, City Toxic Reduction Specialist Assistant stated that products are measured by the quantity used and the percentage of active ingredient.  Ms Simon recommended acquiring funding for pilot projects.

 

Deputy Director Assmann inquired whether products identify inert and inactive ingredients.  Mr. Geiger stated that products do not identify these ingredients, but that the Toxics Group is working on acquiring this information.  It was stated that chemical companies are not required to list inactive or inert ingredients. 

 

Upon Motion by Commissioner Desser and second by Commissioner Rodriguez the Resolution approving the Revised Reduced-Risk Pesticide List for San Francisco for 2006 was adopted. 

 

VOTE:             Adopted (4-0) (2 Absent)

AYES:              Commissioners Pelosi Jr., Desser, Mok and Rodriguez

NOES:             None

ABSENT:         Commissioners King and Wald

 

7.DISCUSSION and ACTION:  United Nations World Environment Day Accords—The Commission considered and voted on Draft Resolution File No. R-2006-02-COE to prioritize three key actions for the first year (Explanatory Documents: Draft Resolution File No. R-2006-02-COE, Environmental Accords Review, Department Memo to the Policy Committee 1/9/06, Recommendations on Accords and Public Comment.

   SPONSOR:  Commissioner Johanna Wald

                                                                                     STAFF:  Jared Blumenfed, Director

 

Director Blumenfeld advised the Commission that the Policy Committee held a discussion on this topic at a public hearing and read the three key accord actions that the Policy Committee recommended for adoption.  The Policy Committee had recommended that the Resolution be forwarded to the Board of Supervisors for adoption and Director Blumenfeld advised that a Resolution requesting more direct implementation on each action would be more effective.

 

Commissioner Rodriguez suggested that the Resolution define the timeframe on page 1, line 5 and add language identifying what the requirement on the Commission and Staff would be to implement the three key actions for adoption. 

 

Commissioner Desser recommended that (1) the Resolution contain language that contextualizes the process that states, “we decided that there was this summit, we adopted the Urban Environmental Accords, and we have a commitment as do other cities around the world to adopt the accords in an orderly and timely fashion, and the first three that we decided to adopt are the (three accords adopted); (2) add Whereas clauses that lists the analysis as to why the Policy Committee recommended the three accord actions opposed to others, and (3) add what the Commission thinks it means to implement the actions.    

 

Public Comment:  Mr. Peter Brastow, Founding Director, Nature in the City, speaking in support of Urban Accord Action 12 that references habitat and would elevate the stewardship and conservation of nature in San Francisco.  Recommended forming a subcommittee between Nature in the City, the Department, and Commission or Policy Committee to develop implementation strategies.

 

The Commission and Staff agreed to work together to produce a Resolution with the above recommendations to consider at the Commission’s March 28 meeting.

 

8.     DISCUSSION and ACTION:  Proposed Amendment to the Bylaws of the San Francisco Commission on the Environment to amend the regular meeting date of the Policy Committee (Explanatory Documents:  Notice of Proposed Amendment to the Bylaws and Approved Resolution No. 001-006-COE Amending Bylaws).

STAFF:  Monica Fish, Commission Secretary

 

Commissioner King joined the meeting at this time and was present for discussion on Items 8, 9, 11,13-21.

 

Ms. Fish reported that the Commission would be voting on a proposed amendment to the Commission’s Bylaws to amend the regular meeting date of the Policy Committee from the fourth Thursday of each month beginning at 5:00 p.m. to the second Monday of each month beginning at 5:00 p.m. with the exception of October when the Policy Committee will meet on the fourth Monday at 5:00 p.m. due to a scheduled holiday.  The Policy Committee has requested and agreed to these amendments. A public notice had been issued according to Bylaws requirements and posted ten days prior to the meeting. 

Upon Motion by Commissioner Desser and second by Commissioner Rodriguez, the proposed amendment to the Commission on the Environment’s Bylaws were adopted by the following vote:

 

VOTE:              (5-0) (1 Absent)

AYES:              Commissioners Pelosi Jr., Desser, King, Mok and Rodriguez

NOES:             None

ABSENT:         Commissioner Wald

 

9.    DISCUSSION and ACTION:  Bay Bridge West Span Pathway Platform.  The Commission considered and voted on Draft Resolution File No. R-2006-03-COE to endorse the platform in favor of funding a shore-to-shore bicycle/pedestrian/maintenance pathway on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (Explanatory Document:  Approved Resolution File No. R-2006-03-COE Endorse SF Oakland Bay Bridge West Span Pathway).

                            SPONSOR:  Jared Blumenfeld, Director

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

 

Mr. Andy Thornley advised the Commission that since 1989 CalTrans and the Municipal Transportation Commission have been working to rebuild and retrofit the Bay Bridge.  The plan is for one pedestrian bicycle maintenance pathway on the rebuilt eastern span but when that job is done and the retrofit on the west span is done, only half the bridge would be accessible to non-motorized transit.  On behalf of the San Francisco and Bay Area Bicycle Coalitions, Mr. Thornley requested the Commission’s endorsement for completing the pathway on the west span of the Bay Bridge.

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Ruth Gravanis suggested that implementing a bridge toll between San Francisco and Treasure Island would be a logical source of funding for the bike pedestrian and maintenance path. 

 

Upon Motion by Commissioner Rodriguez and second by Commissioner Desser, Resolution No. 002-06-COE to endorse the platform in favor of funding a shore-to-shore bicycle/pedestrian/maintenance pathway on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was adopted by the following vote:

 

VOTE:             Adopted (5-0) (1 Absent)

AYES:              Commissioners Pelosi Jr., Desser, King, Mok and Rodriguez

NOES:             None

ABSENT:         Commissioner Wald

 

10.    INFORMATION:  Public Notice of 2006 Subscription and Renewal of Commission on the Environment and Committee Notices and Agendas (Explanatory Document:  Subscription Request Form).

STAFF:  Monica Fish, Commission Secretary

 

Ms. Fish reported that the Commission’s Bylaws Article VIII – Requests for Notice and Agendas requires that in January of each year, the Commission will ask each person on the list to re-affirm their desire to stay on the list for another year through a notice on the Commission’s January agenda.  A public notice of 2006 Subscription and Renewal of Commission and Committee notices and agendas was e-mailed and mailed to all current subscribers on January 4, and a request was made that requests be submitted by February 10.

 

There was no public comment at this time.

 

11.    PRESENTATION and ACTION: Informational Presentation to Commission to consider and vote on approving the Department of the Environment’s Fiscal-Year 2006-2007 Draft Budget and subsequent changes to the Five Year Impound budget (Distributed revised version in Commission meeting.

 STAFF:  David Assmann, Deputy Director

 

Deputy Director Assmann distributed updates to the Department of Environment’s Fiscal Year 2006-2007 Draft budget proposal.  A presentation was given on revenues and expenditures for (1) program grants; (2) the general fund budget, and (3) the Impound Account.  Mr. Assmann advised the Commission that the budget would be updated further to reflect future adjustments to salaries and benefits.  It was stated that the budget had been reduced in the environmental justice and green building and increased in the recycling and toxics program areas in order to stay within the Department’s 2003 guidelines and to match the five-year plan.  A discussion was held on the process for developing the guidelines.

Commissioner Rodriguez inquired as to how to increase the amount of funding for environmental justice work to the earlier projection.  Deputy Director Assmann stated that from the original grant money, there would be a sufficient amount to continue substantial support for another three fiscal years.

 

Commissioner King inquired as to whether the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission would be contributing more to the environmental justice program as they plan for their expansion of the sewage facility and recommended that more education and outreach be provided to the citizens of Bayview Hunters Point on recycling programs.  He inquired as to the source of funding for the recycling program.

 

Director Blumenfeld discussed (1) Public Utilities Commission upcoming projects and community mitigation funds and advised that the Public Utilities Commission has assigned approximately $1 million for the Environmental Justice Program Manager to manage and $500,000 for tree planting; (2) advised that he would provide Commissioner King with contacts in the Mayor’s Office regarding refuse left on private properties and public right of ways; and (3) that outreach for the recycling program is reflected in the Impound Account Summary and in Norcal’s outreach budgets contained in the rate hearing process.  Deputy Director Assmann advised that two volunteer coordinators would be building an outreach volunteer program in various City neighborhoods, and people from neighborhoods would be incorporated to do outreach to increase participation in recycling and other programs.

 

Commissioner Rodriguez recommended (1) inviting the Public Utilities Commission to present to the Policy Committee and the full Commission on the status of the mitigation for this expansion and how they would handle community issues, and (2) for the Policy Committee to prepare a Resolution on this topic.

 

Commissioner Desser recommended creating high school environmental programs. Deputy Director Assmann stated that he would discuss developing high school programs with the Department’s School Education Group.

 

Commissioner King recommended presenting awards to community members doing good jobs in energy and recycling.  Commissioner Desser recommended that the Policy Committee discuss how to recognize people in different communities.  Director Blumenfeld advised that there is a Commercial Recycler of the Year award and the Green Business award that just got passed by the Board of Supervisors.

 

Upon Motion by Commissioner King and second by Commissioner Desser the Department of the Environment’s Fiscal-Year 2006-2007 Draft Budget and subsequent changes to the Five Year Impound budget was approved.

 

VOTE:             (5-0) (1 Absent)

AYES:              Commissioners Pelosi Jr., Desser, King, Mok and Rodriguez

NOES:             None

ABSENT:         Commissioner Wald

 

12.  DISCUSSION: Update on the Department of Environment’s Proposed Move to 25 Van Ness Avenue and Eco-Center Plan and Design.

STAFF:  Jared Blumenfeld, Director

 

Director Blumenfeld updated the Commission on the Department of the Environment’s move to 25 Van Ness Avenue.  Main points discussed included:

 

·         Partial staff will be moving in April and the entire staff will be moving in June or the beginning of July 2007;

 

·         Department has hired HOK, a design consulting firm to create design plans to make 25 Van Ness a green building—goal is LEED Silver or higher;

 

·         25 Van Ness is the first historic building in San Francisco to be retrofitted to green and as a result is creating an interest in converting historic preservation buildings into green buildings; 

 

·         Department goal is to raise $1 million, $500,000 in kind, $200,000 from the City, and $300,000 from private sources to make this project a reality. 

 

·         The Department is working on involving community groups in the building and including reclaimed and reused materials.

 

There was no public comment at this time.

13.  INFORMATION: Commission Secretary’s Report (Explanatory Document:  Commission Secretary’s Report January 2006)

Monica Fish, Commission Secretary

 

§        Communications and Correspondence—Ms. Fish reported that the following correspondence was included in the packet and or received: 

 

1.      Copy of Commission Resolution No. 005-06-COE “A Garden in Every School” adopted on December 5, 2005;  

2.      2005 W-2 forms

3.      Copy of email on five grant applications received for the Environmental Justice Program.

 

Update on Pending City Legislation:  Ms. Fish reported on City legislation as follows: 

 

1.       Public Works Code-landmark trees, significant trees, and penalties for violation passed on second reading on January 16, 2006.

2.       Green Business Program—Land Use Committee passed and was before the Board of Supervisors for a first reading for their meeting on January 24, 2006.

3.       Construction and Demolition Debris Recovery—For first reading on the January 24, 2006 Board of Supervisors agenda.

14.  INFORMATION: Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Committee Report

§         A report on the Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Committee December 14 meeting and next scheduled meeting was not given at this time..  Director Blumenfeld reported that (a) the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved $3 billion in solar incentives over the next ten years, and recommended that the Commission work on how municipalities can access the money and on writing the rules for municipal governments; and (b) the Department is working with Assemblyman Leno to introduce the idea of putting an ocean power hub off the California Coast and obtaining funding for the project from the infrastructure bond that the Governor is proposing.

15.  INFORMATION: Operations Committee Report

§         Chair’s Report:  Commissioner Mok highlighted the meeting of January 18, 2006 reporting that there were discussions on the environmental justice program 2006 projects, move to 25 Van Ness, and discussion and approval of the Draft FY 2006-07 department budget.   The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 19, 2006, 4:00 p.m. to be held at the Department of the Environment, Ground Floor Conference Room.

16.  INFORMATION: Policy Committee Report

         Commissioner Desser highlighted the meeting of January 9, 2006 reporting that the main discussion was a public hearing on prioritizing three key Urban Environmental Accords actions for adoption for the first year.  Commissioner Rodriguez recommended that at the February 13 meeting, the Policy Committee work with staff to create a plan for implementing the accords.  Commissioner Desser recommended adding an agenda item on environmental justice and recycling and invited Commissioner King to attend the meeting and invite community members to speak on the topic.  The next Policy Committee meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 13, 2006, 5:00 p.m. to be held at City Hall, Room 421. 

17.  INFORMATION: Director’s Report (Explanatory Document:  Director’s Report January 2006).

         Jared Blumenfeld, Director, Department of the Environment gave updates on SFE 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.   

18.  PRESIDENT’s ANNOUNCEMENTS.  Appointment of Committee members to the Commission on the Environment’s Policy, Operations, and Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Committees. 

 

Acting President Pelosi reported on the letter from the Mayor to Commission Presidents and Commissioners on the City’s fiscal year 2006-07 budget deficit.  The Mayor welcomes input to develop a spending plan. 

 

Acting President Pelosi Jr. reappointed Commissioners Wald, Rodriguez and Desser to the Policy Committee with Commissioner Wald remaining as Chair for the Committee.  Commissioners Pelosi Jr., King and Mok were appointed to the Operations Committee with Commissioner Mok appointed as Chair.  The Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Committee was scheduled to be eliminated at this time and will require a bylaws notice change to be heard at the March 28, 2006 Commission meeting.

19.  INFORMATION:  New Business.  There was no new business heard at this time.

20.  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 was no public comment at this time.

21.  ADJOURNMENT.  The meeting of the Commission on the Environment adjourned at 7:08 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 https://sites.google.com/a/sfenvironment.org/commission/environment-commission 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.

 

Respectfully submitted by,

 

Monica Fish, Commission Secretary

TEL:  (415) 355-3709

FAX: (415) 554-6393

 

Adopted:  March 28, 2006

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