03.28 Approved Minutes

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

COMMISSION ON THE ENVIRONMENT

REGULAR MEETING

APPROVED MINUTES

Tuesday, March 28, 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. (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 5:02 p.m.  Present:  Commissioners Desser, King, Mok, and Wald. Excused: Commissioners Pelosi Jr. and Rodriguez. Commissioner Wald served as the Chair of the meeting.

 

2.      ACTION:  Adoption of Minutes of the January 24, 2006 Regular Meeting.  Upon Motion by Commissioner Desser and second by Commissioner King, the January 24, 2006 Meeting Minutes were adopted with no objection (Absent:  Commissioners Pelosi Jr. and Rodriguez).   (Explanatory Document:  January 24, 2006 Approved Meeting Minutes.)  

 

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 was no public comment at this time. 

 

4.   INFORMATIONAL PRESENTATION and ACTION:  Presentation of the list of product categories to be targeted by San Francisco’s Precautionary Purchasing Program.  The Commission voted on Resolution File No. 2006-07-COE adopting the List of Targeted Product Categories.  (Explanatory Documents:  Final Resolution File No. 2006-07-COE, List of Targeted Product Categories, Summary of Criteria used to select Targeted Product Categories, and Summary of Public Process used to select Targeted Product Categories.)

SPONSOR:  Jared Blumenfeld, Director

PRESENTERS:  Chris Geiger, City Toxics Reduction Coordinator and

Alicia Culver, Consultant, EnviroSpec

 

Director Blumenfeld reported that Chapter 1 of the Environment Code, the San Francisco Precautionary Purchasing Ordinance requires the Department to report to the Commission with a specific list of priority purchasing category areas.  Mr. Chris Geiger, City Toxics Reduction Coordinator presented a summary of the public process and meetings that were held to discuss the key environmental and health issues in order to produce the Targeted Product Categories for Environmentally Preferable Purchasing for 2006-2008 list for City government purchasing.   Discussions included:

 

·         Precautionary Purchasing Ordinance process and timelines for reporting to the Commission;

·         The ten key products/product categories identified as highest priority during review and justification and key environmental and health issues;

·         The eleven Environmental & Health Criteria for Scoring Targeted Product Categories of commodities;

·         Opportunities for applying product category specifications to service agreements and requesting the City Attorney to draft language into Request for Proposals to be consistent with the Precautionary Purchasing Principle;

·         Influencing non-City departments and agencies to participate in environmentally preferable purchasing and educating local suppliers on environmentally preferable purchasing.  Commissioner Wald requested a list of departments and agencies that are not covered by the Ordinance.  Deputy City Attorney Sandler reported that she would work with staff to provide a list. 

 

Ms. Culver reported that she would provide the Commission with lists of (1) product categories that were not included because everything in that category was on a service agreement and (2) products purchased by hospitals that are purchased with a General Purchasing Organization that is not subject to the Ordinance.

 

Mr. Geiger reported that next steps would be for the Department to examine the targeted product categories in its development of environmentally preferable purchasing specifications and produce an approved product list for the Commission to approve.  City departments will be required to purchase only from the approved product list.

 

Public Comment:  Mr. Neil Gendel, Director, Healthy Children Organizing Project and Member Bay Area Working Group on the Precautionary Purchasing Ordinance, speaking in support of Commissioner Wald’s recommendation to influence the public to purchase healthy products in their homes and commending the Department, the Commission and Legal Counsel for their efforts.   Concern was expressed with environmental and social justice issues for low-income staffers working with janitorial and other toxic products and with small children using Recreation and Park Department sites that may contain toxic products.  Mr. Gendel urged the Recreation and Park Department to purchase environmentally preferable purchasing products from the targeted product list.

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Joan Reinhardt-Reiss, Breast Cancer Fund, Bay Area Working Group on the Precautionary Purchasing Ordinance thanked the Commission, Department staff, and Legal Counsel for supporting this Resolution and discussed their goal of removing chemicals from the world by legislation.  Spoke in support of adding draft language into Request for Proposals to be consistent with the Precautionary Purchasing Principle. Ms. Reinhardt-Reiss reported on the work of the Bay Area Working Group making efforts known to other cities/groups and on the first national Precautionary Purchasing Conference in Baltimore, Maryland on June 9-11.

 

Public Comment:  Mr. Michael Sweet, Attorney-at-Law, on behalf of his client Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI) expressed concern with RFCI’s products inclusion on the Draft List of Targeted Product Categories.  Mr. Sweet requested the Commission to consider not including flooring on the targeted list until a nationally recognized environmentally preferable product standard for resilient flooring that is currently under development is issued.  A March 14, 2006 letter to Mr. Chris Geiger regarding comments on the Draft List of Targeted Product Categories and e-mail from Mr. Geiger on this topic was distributed at the Commission meeting.  Director Blumenfeld stated that the national standard would be considered once it is developed. 

 

Public Comment:  Mr. Guy De Lacrose, CEO, Orbeco Inc., San Francisco Bay’s Manufacturer of Green Cleaning Products spoke on the impediment of three year-contracts and requested that legal language be added to RFP’s to override this requirement to allow greener up-to-date products when they become available. 

 

Upon Motion by Commissioner Desser and second by Commissioner Mok, Resolution File No. 2006-07-COE adopting the List of Targeted Product Categories was adopted with no objection (Absent:  Commissioners Pelosi Jr. and Rodriguez). 


5.   INFORMATIONAL PRESENTATION:  Presentation on the Annual Report – Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program.  (Explanatory Document:  City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) Integrated Pest Management Program 2004-2005 Program Report.)

SPONSOR:  Jared Blumenfeld, Director

PRESENTER:  Ms. Deanna Simon, City Toxic Reduction Specialist Assistant

 

Ms. Deanna Simon, City Toxic Reduction Specialist Assistant reported that at the January 24, 2006 Commission meeting, the Commission reviewed the changes to the Reduced Risk Pesticide List and discussed the contribution of the PGA Golf Tournament at Harding Park to pesticide use in the City. The CCSF Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM) 2004-2005 Annual Report that highlights the successes and challenges of the IPM Program was distributed at the Commission meeting.  Topics discussed included:

 

·         San Francisco’s well developed pesticide reporting system and as a leader in using less toxic pesticides than other cities;

·         Decreased long-term trends in pesticide use since the beginning of the IPM program in 1996--herbicides down 88% and fungicides down 92%;

·         Increased Tier 1 products pesticide use in 2005 because of high-profile golf tournaments on City property and increase of insecticide use for control of mosquitoes due to the West Nile virus; 

·         Decrease of Roundup use and why use cannot be eliminated because of the diverse amount and type of property the City owns.

·         An online database that is available for City staff to report more detailed pesticide use and non-pesticide pest-control measures so success can be measured in more ways than just pesticide reduction.

 

Ms. Simon reported that the Department of the Environment will be receiving a national award for its Integrated Pest Management Program next week on behalf of the entire City.

 

6.   INFORMATIONAL PRESENTATION:  Presentation on Immigrant Power for Environmental Health and Justice (Explanatory Document:  Presentation).

SPONSOR:  Jared Blumenfeld, Director

PRESENTER:  Mr. Gordon Mar, Executive Director, CPA and

Antonio Diaz, Organizing Director, PODER

 

Mr. Gordon Mar, Executive Director, Chinese Progressive Association, described the work and objectives of Immigrant Power for Environmental Health and Justice, a collaboration between Chinese Progressive Association (CPA), People Organized to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights (PODER), and the Environmental Law and Justice Clinic at Golden Gate University School of Law. Mr. Mar advised the Commission that Immigrant Power was supported by a grant from the Department’s Environmental Justice Program during their initial 18-month community assessment phase completed at the end of last year, and that program staff recommended that they update the Commission about their project.  The Environmental Justice Program staff was acknowledged for their support during the 18-month assessment process.

 

Mr. Mar explained that Immigrant Power seeks to empower the burgeoning working class immigrant Asian and Latino communities in San Francisco’s southeast sector to address the environmental health disparities that exist in the area.  The overarching goal is to build the capacity of the communities to collectively advocate for environmental health and justice.  Efforts included (1) developing environmental justice and leadership training for immigrant Asian and Latino youth, (2) a trilingual community survey in southeast San Francisco to research the community’s concerns, (3) developing awareness of environmental health issues in the community and creating interest in a campaign to address problems; and (4) working with youth advocates to develop community education activities for community residents.

 

Mr. Antonio Diaz, Director, PODER, described Immigrant Power for Environmental Health and Justice’s Southeast San Francisco Environmental Health and Justice Organizing Initiative to empower low-income Asian and Latino communities in the southeast sector to address environmental health risks and improve their access to and participation in health and environmental programs and policy-making.  Mr. Diaz described their work organizing environmental health and justice campaigns, leadership development programs, and community outreach efforts.  Future work includes community education and awareness, community capacity building, leadership building, developing policy advocacy, and attaining broader impact on regional agencies.  Additional topics discussed included:

 

§         Southeast sector area demographics;

§         Environmental health and justice issues affecting the community, e.g. generations of toxic development in the community;

§         The community’s health problems and low access to health insurance.

 

Commissioner King recommended that Immigrant Power for Environmental Health should include the political processes in the Bayview District dominated by African-Americans, but that need the voice of Latino and Asian communities.

 

7.   DISCUSSION and ACTION:  Resolution File No. R-2006-06-COE amending the Commission on the Environment’s Bylaws to eliminate the Commission’s Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Committee effective March 28, 2006 (Explanatory Documents:  Resolution File No. R-2006-06-COE and Notice of Proposed Amendment to Bylaws).

SPONSOR:  Commissioner Paul Pelosi Jr., President

 

Upon Motion by Commissioner Desser and second by Commissioner King, Resolution File No. R-2006-06-COE amending the Commission’s Bylaws to eliminate the Commission’s Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Committee effective March 28, 2006 was adopted with no objection (Absent:  Commissioners Pelosi Jr. and Rodriguez).

 

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

 

Commissioner Desser asked whether Commission seniority was a determining factor in selection of officers.  Deputy City Attorney Rona Sandler advised that the Commission’s Bylaws do not specify seniority as selection criteria.  Nomination and election of officers was continued to a Commission meeting with a full Commission in attendance.

 

9.   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, Urban Environmental Accords Review, Department Memo to the Policy Committee January 9, 2006, Recommendations on Accords, and Public Comment).

SPONSOR:  Commissioner Johanna Wald

STAFF:  Jared Blumenfeld, Director

 

Director Blumenfeld advised the Commission that the Resolution was amended to include additional background information. Upon Motion by Commissioner Desser and second by Commissioner King, Resolution File. No. R-2006-02-COE to prioritize three key actions for calendar year 2006 was adopted with no objection (Absent:  Commissioners Pelosi Jr. and Rodriguez).

 

Public Comment:  Mr. Peter Brastow, Director, Nature in the City, stated that Nature in the City supports the adoption of the three selected accords and would like to work with the Commission and Policy Committee to form a relationship to move the accords forward.

 

Commissioner Desser requested that Action 21 be linked with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s (SFPUC) Wastewater Master Plan process and asked how the Commission could be part of SFPUC’s public hearing process. Director Blumenfeld recommended that the Commission write a letter to the SFPUC to advise them of the passage of Action 21 and to discuss working together to achieve implementation of this goal.  Director Blumenfeld recommended that discussions be held with other relevant City departments on the other two accords at future Policy Committee meetings. Deputy Director Assmann advised that there was an Infrastructure Committee and an Advisory Group for the Sustainability Plan that the Department has been asked to participate in, and there would be a series of public meetings that the Commissioners could participate in. 

 

Commissioner Wald recommended that this Resolution be brought to the Board of Supervisors for their consideration.  Director Blumenfeld explained that the Department could request that the Mayor sponsor the Resolution for the Board to adopt at a meeting, and the Department would have an opportunity to speak on the item. 

 

10.  INFORMATION:  United Nations Opening an Office in San Francisco at 25 Van Ness Avenue (Explanatory Document:  Letter from United Nations).

STAFF:  Jared Blumenfeld, Director

Director Blumenfeld advised the Commission that the United Nations Global Compact wants to open their first west coast office and has requested that the Department be their host agency.  The move would require fund raising on the part of the Department and the UN Global Compact, as they have funding for staff, but not office space

 

Deputy City Attorney Sandler advised that she would research with the Real Estate Team whether allocation of office space would constitute a gift of public funds and is legal. It was requested that this item be placed on the next Commission agenda as an action item.

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Nancy Wuerfel inquired as to the length of time the United Nations Global Compact would occupy space at 25 Van Ness.  Director Blumenfeld advised that a definitive timeframe was not yet available. 

 

11.  INFORMATION:  Interim Audit Report by the City and County of San Francisco’s Controller’s Office (Explanatory Documents:  UN World Environment Day Banner/Ad and March 24, 2006 Controller’s Office Memo).

STAFF:  David Assmann, Deputy Director

 

Deputy Director Assmann advised the Commission that the Controller’s Office has issued an Interim Audit Report (Memo of March 24, 2006) designed to review the Department’s Impound Account expenditures and refuse collection and disposal rates.  A Final Audit Report that will review other areas of the Department is due in June. 

 

A discussion was held on Page 4 of the Interim Audit Report that indicated that “some grants were determined to be inappropriately funded from the impound Account such as grants to various organizations to support the United Nations World Environment Day events in San Francisco, some parts of which did not appear to have a waste diversion process.”  Deputy Director Assmann referred to the footnote that explained that since some of the grants are still open, future amounts due to be funded from the Impound Account have not been expended.  It was explained that the Department is in the process of showing the Controller’s Office the connection between World Environment Day activities and the Impound Account as they finalize the audit, e.g. recycling advertising as reflected in the UN World Environment Day Banner and Ad and other recycling-related activities.  

 

Director Blumenfed reported that the Department agrees with and would implement the Controller’s recommendations listed on Pages 5-6 immediately.  Deputy Director Assmann stated that the Controller’s Office agrees with the Department’s Five-Year Plan that was approved by the Commission.

 

Commissioner Desser expressed concern with the audit procedures and offered the Commission’s assistance.  Deputy Director Assmann advised that the Board of Supervisors Audit and Government Efficiency Committee would be holding a hearing on the Audit Report, and that it would be useful for Commissioners to participate.

 

The March 28, 2006 San Francisco Chronicle article headlining “Recycling funds may have been misspent” was discussed.  Commissioners Desser and Wald suggested writing a Letter to the Editor, an Op-Ed, or scheduling a visit to the Editor to discuss the Audit and World Environment Day events.  Director Blumenfeld indicated that the Controller’s Office felt that the Chronicle article did not reflect their memo accurately.  It was suggested that more clarity about the Impound Account should be communicated in the future.

 

12.  INFORMATION:  Update on Refuse Rate Process.

STAFF:  David Assmann, Deputy Director

 

Deputy Director Assmann updated the Commission on the Refuse Rate Application Process managed by the Department of Public Works with support from the Department and its Recycling staff.  Main points discussed:

 

§         The original application has been submitted and there has been a set of public hearings;

§         The Department of Public Works with Department of the Environment input has issued a staff report and hearings have been held in response to the staff report;

§         The original Norcal application requested a 38.2% increase over five years. A staff report recommended decreasing the amount.  Norcal submitted clarifying information and the Director’s Report that will be issued on April 7 would issue a rate ruling; 

§         Appeals:  The Director’s rate ruling is open for two weeks for an appeal process.  If there are no appeals, the ruling will stand.  If appeals are made, another set of hearings would be held by the Rate Board for another six weeks and will be concluded in May with implementation in June. The Rate Board has the final say on any appeals item filed objecting the Director’s rate ruling. 

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

Monica Fish, Commission Secretary

 

Communications and Correspondence—Ms. Fish reported that the Sunshine Ordinance and Ethics Training was held on Monday, May 27 at the Herbst Theater and that additional training dates and methods would be researched with the City Attorney’s Office.  It was stated that the Statement of Economic Interest and Sunshine Declaration forms were due to the Ethics Commission on April 3 and the Commission Secretary would deliver forms she has received. 

 

Correspondence that was included in the Commissioner’s packet:

 

·         March 23, 2006 Memorandum from City Attorney Dennis J. Herrera to all Elected Officials, All Board and Commission Members and all Department Heads regarding Political Activity by City Officers and Employees.

·         Commission Resolutions adopted at the January 24, 2006 Commission meeting.

·         Email requesting the Commission to consider a Styrofoam Resolution.

 

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

 

1.       Green Business Program Ordinance—signed by Mayor on February 3, 2006.

2.       Construction and Demolition Debris Recovery Ordinance—signed by Mayor on February 16, 2006.

 

Ms. Fish reported on seating options where Commissioners would have an opportunity to select their seats at the meeting versus assigned seating.  Commissioner Desser requested that other than the Chair and Vice-Chair’s assigned seating, that the Commission Secretary vary and assign Commissioner’s seats for each meeting.

14.  INFORMATION: Operations Committee Report

§         Chair’s Report:  Commissioner Mok highlighted the upcoming meeting of Wednesday, April 19, 2006 reporting that agenda items would include reviewing the Controller’s Audit Report recommendations and environmental health and justice.

15.  INFORMATION: Policy Committee Report

         Commissioner Wald highlighted the meeting of March 13, 2006 and highlighted the exemplary informational presentation from the SFPUC on the San Francisco Wastewater Master Plan, discussion with the Green Schoolyard Alliance on growing the Alliance and developing additional funding sources, as well as a presentation on peak oil.  The next Policy Committee meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 10, 2006, 5:00 p.m. to be held at City Hall, Room 421. 

16.  INFORMATION: Director’s Report (Explanatory Document:  Director’s Monthly Report February - March 2006) 

         Ms. Nelly Sun, Assistant to Director Blumenfeld, 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. (See Explanatory Document for further information.)

 

Commissioner King reported on the upcoming Green Building Design Competition showcasing what can be done with the Opera House in the Bayview Hunter’s Point district.

 

Director Blumenfeld reported that he had met with the Irish, Danish, French Environment Ministers, and the United Kingdom Chair of the Parliament Environment Committee all on US tours to research the United States’ work on climate change.

 

Commissioner Mok asked the Commission Secretary to send the Commissioners additional information on Department programs. 

17.  PRESIDENT’S ANNOUNCEMENTS.  There were no President’s announcements at this time.

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

19.  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.

20.  ADJOURNMENT.  The meeting of the Commission on the Environment adjourned at 7:40 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 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.

 

Adopted:  May 23, 2006

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