04.29 Approved Minutes


CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

COMMISSION ON THE ENVIRONMENT

 

*RESCHEDULED MEETING

APPROVED MINUTES

Tuesday, April 29, 2008, 5:00 P.M.

City Hall, Room 416

One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

San Francisco, CA 94102


*The Tuesday, March 25, 2008, 5:00 p.m. Regularly Scheduled Meeting of the Commission on the Environment was rescheduled to Tuesday, April 29, 2008 at 5:00 p.m., Room 416, City Hall.

 

COMMISSION MEMBERS:  Commissioners Paul Pelosi Jr. (President), Ruth Gravanis (Vice-President), Angelo King, Darian Rodriguez Heyman, Jane MarieFrancis Martin, Matt Tuchow, Johanna Wald

 

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 5:03 p.m. Present:  President Pelosi Jr., Vice President Gravanis, Commissioners King (5:14 p.m.), Martin, Rodriguez Heyman (5:07 p.m.), Tuchow, and Wald.

 

2.      Adoption of Minutes of the January 22, 2008 Commission Meeting (Discussion and Action). Upon Motion by Vice President Gravanis and second by Commissioner Martin, the January 22, 2008 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (Absent: Commissioners King and Rodriguez Heyman). (Explanatory Document: Approved Minutes of the January 22, 2008 Regular Commission Meeting.)   

 

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. Alan Grossman, Executive Director of the SF Urban Forest Coalition reported that the Coalition is a recently established non-profit corporation whose mission is to try to remedy the degraded urban forest in San Francisco.  It was explained that studies and literature are available to show that trees play a significant part in removal of pollutants and other substances from the environment and have social and economic advantages. Mr. Grossman stated that the City has been slow in its urban forest since the 1970’s and reported that part of the Commission’s Charter is to take responsibility over the urban forest.  It was stated that there is almost no departmental personnel who spend time on the urban forest, and that past Commission meetings and minutes make no mention of the urban forest.  Mr. Grossman reported that the City needs organization to do oversight and watchful planning for the disorganized state of the various bodies that are involved in the urban forest and asked the Commission to play a more active role in this effort. President Pelosi Jr. reported on the existence of the Urban Forestry Council that has 15 members that had met 42 times in the past year.  It was explained that the urban forest is an important topic that would be addressed later in the meeting through the Director’s Report.

 

Mr. Kimo Crossman spoke in support of Mr. Grossman’s initiatives that were brought to the Commission’s attention, and reported that the San Francisco Bay Guardian issued an op ed. about the greening of San Francisco that was written by Mr. Grossman.  Mr. Crossman stated that there are serious problems with the tree canopy in San Francisco.  The Commission was asked to deal more seriously with this matter now so that future generations would be able to appreciate the City’s urban forest.

 

Commissioner Martin expressed her support of Mr. Grossman and Mr. Crossman’s comments and reported that the Planning Department has an Urban Forest Master Plan in process that consultants would be working on, and the Mayor’s Open Space Task Force is another group working on the important issue of the urban forest.

 

Mr. Stephen Halpern discussed Ordinance requirements that require the Department of the Environment to put stickers on recycling and garbage receptacles so that residents are informed that they are supposed to remove them from the street.  Mr. Halpern stated that the streets are unsightly with the receptacles strewn all over and discussed the general unclean state of the City’s streets.  Mr. Halpern asked when the stickers would be put on the receptacles so it would be fair for the Department of Public Works to site residents for violating the Ordinance.

 

Mr. Sudeep Rao introduced Mr. James Hanusa and reported on their work representing a community building project across the entire Bay Area that will be held June 21-22 in Golden Gate Park, Sharon Meadow, called “The Big One.”  Mr. Rao requested that the Commission sponsor and endorse the event so that the City could support the program and asked for this item to be on the Commission’s May agenda.  President Pelosi Jr. asked Mr. Rao to schedule a meeting with Director Blumenfeld to discuss the Department’s sponsorship of the event.

 

4.      Resolution Commending Commissioner Alan Mok for his Service on the Commission on the Environment (Continued from the January 22, 2008 Meeting) (Discussion and Action). 

 

Director Blumenfeld reported that Commissioner Emeritus Mok did an incredible job of bringing outreach to the whole City and particularly the Asian community that had not been aware of environmental issues and thanked Commissioner Mok for his service to the Commission.  Upon Motion by Vice President Gravanis and second by Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman, the Resolution was approved without objection (7-0). (Explanatory Document:  Resolution 007-08-COE.) 

 

Commissioner Emeritus Mok stated that it was his honor and pleasure to serve the community and the Department of the Environment as a Commissioner and wished Department staff, the Director, and Commissioners all the best.  Commissioner Emeritus Mok reported that he is now working on the Immigrant Rights Commission and relayed his hope that both Commissions can work together to serve more citizens in San Francisco

 

5.      Approval of the 2007 Annual Report on the Implementation of the Precautionary Purchasing Ordinance (Discussion and Action). (Explanatory Document:  2007 Annual Report)

SPONSOR:  Director Jared Blumenfeld

SPEAKERS: Dr. Chris Geiger, City Toxics Reduction Coordinator

 

Dr. Geiger reported that the scope of the Annual Report is for year 2007, but the first required report was produced last summer for everything that took place from 2005 to that point in time.  It was explained that the Ordinance gives the Department of the Environment and the Office of Contract Administration authority to set up approved lists of green products.  Dr. Geiger reported that several different Ordinances that contained purchasing requirements, most notably the Resource Conservation Ordinance, were pulled together under the Precautionary Purchasing Ordinance. The goal of the program is to develop practical, smart, and credible product lists that can work for City employees based on best standards for green products.

 

Dr. Geiger reported on 2007 major accomplishments that included the introduction of the first “SF Approved” six lists, increasing the lists to 15, and awarding of citywide contracts, most notably a new computer contract.  It was reported that in the six months since inception, 55% of all janitorial product categories are now green, 89% of janitorial papers and 93% of office papers are green.  It was stated that the trend is good and good end-user participation is being achieved.  Dr. Geiger reported that about 800 City staff had been trained in the past year, and experiments are being done to try to bring City vendors into the reporting process.  It was explained that the challenge has been to obtain information on what the City has purchased, but at the same time there has been good participation from City vendors in supplying the data.

 

Commissioner Tuchow inquired about the citywide purchasing process and requirements for City departments’ compliance with the Precautionary Purchasing Ordinance.  Dr. Geiger stated that there are ways that Departments can purchase products without going through a citywide contract, and methods to correct this are being worked out with the Office of Contract Administration (OCA). It was explained that the most effective method in achieving compliance is to hold department trainings and having face time with departments. It was reported that OCA will have a Green Purchaser position pending budget approval that would help with citywide compliance.

 

Commissioner Wald commended the Department on their progress and on the impressive report and suggested that legislation be considered as a way to fix problems.  Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman also congratulated staff on the report and asked to report on how Commissioners could help and on any obstacles to achieving the intended goal.  Dr. Geiger stated that getting more exposure for the effort, sending the word out on SF Approved lists, and participation in future events would be valuable. Commissioner Martin recommended that computer lease options be considered as an alternative to purchasing computers. Dr. Geiger explained that there have been discussions about leasing options with manufacturers, but there was no clear way to add it into the contract, although it should be considered when there is an opportunity.  Commissioner Martin also recommended that more information be made available to the public through the Department’s website. 

 

Vice President Gravanis asked that the Precautionary Purchasing Ordinance be applied as part of the next work plan as it relates to the City’s current interest in the Department of Public Work’s rebuild or new asphalt plant as part of the backlands project.

 

Mr. Todd Lewis, Principal, Omega Pacific Electrical Supply stated that the company is one of the City’s lamp vendors, and submits reporting data on the number of milligrams of mercury in every light bulb that is sold to the City.  It was stated that there are numerous national standards that apply to lamp technologies that are contained in the report and that he has a few issues that are in conflict with national areas. Mr. Lewis reported that they do more in the way of energy efficiencies and education with the departments because they are the front-line contact and asked for recognition of that fact in the annual report.  Mr. Lewis expressed his concern that there would be bans in the new Precautionary Purchasing program and that there may be a bias toward a certain manufacturer. It was also recommended to look at the amount of mercury that is being recycled rather than at the amount of mercury that is being bought in lamps.

 

Upon Motion by Commissioner Wald and second by Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman, the Annual Report was approved without objection (7-0).

 

6.      Resolution approving proposed Grants for the Department of the Environment’s Environmental Justice Program for FY 2008-2010 (Discussion and Action).

SPONSOR:  Jared Blumenfeld, Director

SPEAKER:  Anne Eng, Environmental Justice Program Manager

 

Ms. Eng asked the Commission for their approval of ten new grant awards for Fiscal Years 2008-10 and described the effectiveness of the Environmental Justice Program that has given out more than 10 million dollars in grant awards through the years and has reached major milestones, outcomes, and goals.  It was reported that this year there would be a ground breaking ceremony of the Eco Center at Herons Head Park, which is an educational center in the Bayview neighborhood.  Environmental Justice Staff grant award recommendations are described in the explanatory document.

 

Commissioner Tuchow inquired about the process for selection of grant recipients and asked whether the Commission is involved in the process.  Ms. Eng stated that Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued in December, and that it is an extensive, structured, careful, and competitive application process. Proposals were received by a certain deadline, and a panel of four evaluators were assembled to read the written proposals that were scored according to a set of written criteria. A meeting is held to combine and finalize scores and those proposals that have met a score of 70 or higher are invited in for oral interviews, and then another panel is assembled to conduct oral interviews, combine written and oral scores, and select award recipients based on the highest rankings.  Ms. Eng stated that the Commission is not involved in the selection process other than approval of grant recipients after selection. Commissioner Tuchow requested a commitment that the Department also present a report next year on applicants who had applied and not received a grant.  Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman stated that as Chair of the Operations Committee he would request that these reports be issued.

 

Commissioner King inquired how many of the grant award projects were incumbents from the previous year.  Ms. Eng reported that four of the ten are incumbents, Alemany Resident Management Corporation for the Alemany Farm, Quesada Gardens Initiative, Willie Brown Jr. Academy School Garden Project, and Grid Alternatives.  Commissioner King inquired if an evaluation had been done on the outcome of their projects from the previous year and whether a report was given to the Commission. Ms. Eng indicated that a final report had not been provided to the Commission on the previous grants, but as part of the RFP packet that had been distributed, there is a requirement that applicants cannot receive new funding unless they complete current projects.  It was explained that current projects are monitored through quarterly reports, final reports, and site visits, and outcomes are measured.  For every invoice that is paid, an evaluation is required to confirm that the grantee is meeting outcomes.

 

Commissioner King asked if any of the four grantees have outstanding projects.  Ms. Eng reported that a couple of projects are in the last quarter of an existing grant award, and by the time new contracts are approved for the fiscal year beginning July 1, the existing projects would be completed.  Commissioner King asked if all of the organizations that would be receiving funding are represented at the Commission meeting.  Ms. Eng indicated there are some grantee representatives in attendance, but she had not required that each organization be present for the meeting.

 

Commissioner King recommended that the Commission receive a report on project outcomes, particularly those that were carried over into the next year, and for those projects that are multi-year, receive a report at the end of each year.  It was also recommended that the project sponsors appear at meetings in case the Commission wanted to ask questions about the project.  Commissioner King indicated that he would be voting no on approval at this time because the system is not in place.

 

Commissioner Martin inquired as to the number and quality of applicants applying for grants.  Ms. Eng indicated that there were 19 applicants that have been outlined in the staff’s funding recommendations document, and that it is a robust application process with a very strong response.

 

Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman stated that he would like to add the grant selection process discussion to a future Operations Committee agenda.  President Pelosi Jr. indicated that the Operations Committee would be the appropriate venue to hear this item as they review all budgetary issues. Vice President Gravanis reported that she had participated last year in the Zero Waste Grant process and can attest to the thoroughness and objectivity of the process, and that the research, the interviewing, and the scoring is done very well.  Vice President Gravanis did state that she share’s Commissioner King’s concerns and the desire to have representatives from each of the projects present.

 

Vice President Gravanis discussed her concerns with public corresondence received from St. Mary’s Urban Youth Farm on the Alemany Farm grant recipient (Explanatory Document Public Comment).  Ms. Eng reported that the correspondence was received just prior to the Commission meeting and that she had tried to address the concerns presented in the letter. It was stated that the Alemany Farm grant recipient was in attendance to address the Commission’s concerns, and that Ms. Eng had contacted the Housing Authority and received confirmation that the Alemany Farm project as described in the grant proposal is well supported by the Alemany Housing Complex and the Tenants Association.  It was reported that the President of the Tenants Association has seen the project in action and youth working at the farm and believes that it provides direct benefits to the local residents of the housing complex and the neighborhood.

 

Commissioner Martin left the meeting at this time (6:00 p.m.)

 

Public Comment

 

Ms. Harriet Larkin, Rennaisance Parents of Success, fiscal agent for the Alemany Resident Management Corporation and Alemany Farms stated that she is appearing on behalf of the Alemany Farm Project and attested to the program’s fiscal stability stating that it is accomplishing what it is intended to do.  Ms. Larkin reported that the project has done much good within the community, described the many benefits of the program, and responded to concerns raised in the letter from St. Mary’s Urban Youth Farm.

 

Mr. Jason Mark, Manager of Alemany Farm, stated that three years ago Alemany Farm was basically a weed strewn lot, and a group of volunteer gardeners had restarted food cultivation at the site. It was explained that the farm now thrives from a unique combination of energy from residents of the Alemany Housing community and a citywide network of 500 volunteers that share their skills on growing organic foods, and is the largest food production site in the City.  Mr. Mark reported that the project is able to continue through funding from the Department of the Environment, the Department of Youth, Children and Families, and private grants from other organizations.  Mr. Mark indicated that they are excited about receiving additional funding for providing food security in San Francisco, providing environmental education programs to teach people how to grow their own food, and involving more people in their community through growing organic food.  Mr. Mark also explained what he thought were the intentions of the author of the public correspondence.  It was reported that quarterly reports are issued to the Department of the Environment on Alemany Farm’s progress in achieving its goals.

 

Director Blumenfeld reported on the Controller’s report that focused on the Department’s grant process and that 15 recommendations were issued on how to make the grant process more effective.  It was explained that the Department created a grant process that is believed to have met all of the Controller’s Office standards and was presented to the Commission last year.  Director Blumenfeld suggested going through the grantee list and pointing out issues in order not to hold up funding. Ms. Eng recommended that as part of the work plan that is attached to a grant agreement, a requirement could be included that every grantee present outcomes to the Commission before they approach the end of their grant term. President Pelosi Jr. recommended that the Operations Committee schedule a special meeting to review the grant proposals before the final budget is approved.

 

Upon Motion by Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman and second by Vice President Gravanis, the Resolution was approved (AYES:  President Pelosi Jr., Vice President Gravanis, Commissioners Rodriguez Heyman, Tuchow, and Wald; NOE: Commissioner King; Absent: Commissioner Martin) (Explanatory Documents:  Resolution 008-08-COE and Environmental Justice Staff Funding Recommendations)

 

7.      Staff Report on the Department of the Environment’s Initiatives and Activities relating to Green Collar Job Development and Training (Informational Report).

SPONSOR:  Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman

SPEAKER:  Anne Eng, Environmental Justice Program Manager and

Raquel Pinderhughes, Ph.D., Professor of Urban Studies Program, San Francisco State University

Rhonda Simmons, Director of Workforce Development, Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development

 

Ms. Eng reported on the Department’s green collar job initiatives and introduced Dr. Raquel Pinderhughes, Ph.D. Professor of Urban Studies and Environmental Planning at San Francisco State University and Ms. Rhonda Simmons, Director of Workforce Development, Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development.  It was reported that resources have been gathered on job training in the green sector, projects have been funded in horticulture training, hazardous material remediation, solar installations, and a variety of projects.  Training materials are now being reviewed to see what can be shared with other non-profits.  Efforts are underway with the Green Building program to develop special workshops, provide training resources on green building, and offering these resources to job training projects so that staff and managers can learn about green building principles and practices. It was reported that a workshop would be offered hopefully this summer.

 

Dr. Pinderhughes reported that she is a national expert on green collar development and training and provided an introduction of green collar work.  It was explained that green collar jobs are defined as manual labor jobs in firms or other enterprises whose services and products directly improve environmental quality.  Twenty-two sectors have been identified in which green collar jobs have been located. A copy of Ms. Pinderhugehes’ Executive Summary was distributed to the Commission).  Dr. Pinderhughes stated that she is working with cities around the country to develop green collar workforce training programs, e.g., San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Cleveland, San Mateo, Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey and many others.  Dr. Pinderhughes stated that she developed the Oakland Green Job Corp program and that same pilot would be implemented in Cleveland through the Community College program. 

 

Dr. Pinderhughes described the two-year study that she completed on green businesses in the Bay Area that provide workers in the area with green collar jobs. The study asked employers to provide data about the mission of their firm, the green collar work that employees performed, the wages and working conditions, the actual activities, how employers networked to find new employees, and what employers valued in workers, qualifications required, how selections were made and the structure and infrastructure of their firm, including a policy section on what would support or hinder green collar work in the City.  The study confirmed that green collar jobs are very good jobs and are relevant to the kind of opportunities available in the labor market as well as being ideally suited to people that have barriers to employment as most firms provide on the job training for their workers.   

 

Ms. Simmons explained her efforts working in partnership with the Department of the Environment on citywide workforce development in this area.  The mission is to look at what the job or labor market is yielding in terms of employment.  Efforts are being coordinated among a dozen departments and five areas have been selected within the green collar industry--recycling, solar installation, landscaping, energy efficiency, and one other.  The Green Business Alliance Model is being used to verify that there are employers available to hire people as the curriculum and program strategy is being determined.  It was explained that there is an interest in placement and retention of people in these jobs who have not been previously successful in the labor market. Another objective is to attach the green collar strategy to larger policies in place most notably the solar rebate that is being embarked on citywide. 

 

Commissioner King suggested that efforts be made to include folks that are working on green collar job training as a part of a larger collaborative so that people who are moving through the training process don’t have to search for something that has already been created.  Commissioner King recommended that the Commission consider policies that support local hiring as a carbon reduction initiative as it would increase the likelihood of public transportation use. Commissioner King recommended that a committee be formed at a later date to discuss green collar jobs and how it merges with environmental justice issues.

 

Public Comment: Mr. Sudeep Rao reported that there is already a movement in the Bayview Hunters Point area from community members and that he has initiated as a member of the Restoration Advisory Board of the Navy to bring about awareness within the Navy and other employers who work for the Navy to think in terms of hiring members who are supporting green collar jobs.  Mr. Rao encouraged the Commission to request that the Department foster community members in future discussions.  

 

8.      Resolution approving proposed Grants for the Department of the Environment’s Zero Waste Program for FY 2008-2010 (Discussion and Action).

SPONSOR:  Jared Blumenfeld, Director

SPEAKER:  Alexa Kielty, Residential Recycling Assistant

 

Ms. Alexa Kielty requested approval of staff’s recommendations for Zero Waste Grants in which 19 proposals were received for a total of $3,433,000 for the next two fiscal years.  It was explained that there was a very extensive two-part evaluation process, which was described earlier during the Environmental Justice grant approval agenda item.  Nine organizations were recommended for funding for a total of $1,032,000 for the next two fiscal years. Ms. Kielty stated that there were four different groups represented in the audience.

 

Commissioner King stated that the radio reported that San Francisco has the highest recycled material of any other city in the United States. Commissioner Tuchow asked if there is a set amount of money that can be granted each year.  Ms. Kielty reported that for FY 2008-10, the amount was set and put into the budget line item that was approved by the Department in the prior year. 

 

Upon Motion by Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman and second by Vice President Gravanis, the Resolution was approved. (AYES:  President Pelosi Jr., Vice President Gravanis, Commissioners Rodriguez Heyman, Tuchow, and Wald; NOE: Commissioner King; Absent: Commissioner Martin.) (Explanatory Document: Resolution 009-08-COE and Zero Waste Grant Funding Recommendations)

 

9.      Resolution approving proposed Grants for the Department of the Environment’s Used Motor Oil Recycling Program for FY 2008-2009 (Discussion and Action). 

SPONSOR:  Jared Blumenfeld, Director

SPEAKER:  Cynthia Knowles, Residential Toxics Reduction Specialist

 

Ms. Knowles reported that one of her tasks is to manage the Used Motor Oil and Filter Recyling Program and explained that one of the biggest challenges was the illegal disposal by residents who change their own motor oil and oil filters, sometimes in the streets of San Francisco. Often times, the used oil and filters are disposed of via storm drains, city streets, trash, and tree wells.  To address this environmental hazard, the Used Oil Recycling Program is creating for the first time a community partnership and outreach program with the ultimate goal of reducing illegal disposal. Ms. Knowles described the review process, representation on the interview and review panel, and asked for approval of the proposed grant.

 

Vice President Gravanis asked Ms. Knowles to describe legal disposal methods available to residents. Ms. Knowles stated that residents could take advantage of a number of programs that have been established in the Department such as free home collection and over 33 drop off centers around the City where you can free of charge drop off your used motor oil and filters safely. Those centers would dispose of the used motor oil and filters according to law.

  

Upon Motion by Commissioner King, and second by Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman the Resolution was approved. (AYES:  President Pelosi Jr., Vice President Gravanis, Commissioners King, Rodriguez Heyman, Tuchow, and Wald; NOE: None; Absent: Commissioner Martin.)  (Explanatory Document: Resolution 010-08-COE and Staff Funding Recommendations.)

 

Items 12, 13 and 17 were heard before Item 10.

 

10. Presentation on Status of Energy Watch Efficiency Programs (Informational Presentation and Discussion). (Explanatory Document: Report on San Francisco’s Energy Efficiency Partnership with PG&E) 

SPONSOR:  Jared Blumenfeld, Director

SPEAKER:  Ann Kelly, Energy Efficiency Manager

 

Ms. Kelly described the Energy Watch program which is an $11.5 million dollar program that is scheduled to run between 2006-08 and is currently in the last year of the three-year cycle.  It was stated that $5.1 million dollars are incentives that go directly to customers who are businesses and multi-family building owners in San Francisco to install energy efficiency programs.  Ms. Kelly described energy savings goals, source of program funding, the funding process, key program elements that include the Small Business Direct Install Program and Multifamily and Commercial Plus Program, and San Francisco Energy Watch (SFEW) savings versus goals for first quarter 2008 (presentation details are outlined in the Explanatory Document above).

 

Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman asked for additional information on funding cycles for this program.  Ms. Kelly explained that these programs are funded in cycles, and that a proposal was submitted in April for the next cycle that would run from 2009-2011. It was explained that the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and utilities have agreed to do everything they can to get contracts in place before the end of this year for the following cycle so there would be no interruption in the program. Mr. Broomhead, Energy Manager explained that the presentation did not include funding for the next cycle that starts in January 2009, and discussed only the funding that was budgeted for the existing contract.

 

Commissioner Tuchow inquired about marketing strategies in order to generate more business. Ms. Kelly stated that because the program is directly targeted towards small businesses and property owners, marketing has not been directed toward the general public for this cycle; however the proposal for the next cycle would include single-family homes. It was explained that for the Multi-Family and Commercial Plus Program, participating contractors for lighting, refrigeration, and cooling receive training on the procedures, applications and incentives for this program, and they go out to the businesses that they serve and do the marketing.  In addition, the three energy auditors on staff refer customers that they find to participating contractors who as a result get more work from the Department and offer better deals to customers. Ms. Kelly explained that other program areas target the same groups and that marketing is sometimes achieved in that way as well. It was explained that there are City databases that are utilized for marketing or that outreach may be done selectively to certain businesses or through leads and prior work with agencies and  businesses. 

 

Commissioner Tuchow asked if there was any reason that would prevent many small businesses from being able to participate.  Ms. Kelly reported that small businesses are sometimes hard to reach and that there is a program specific to small businesses, the Direct Install Program. Commissioner Tuchow asked why anyone would not want to participate.  Ms. Kelly reported that any initial capital cost may not be viable for small businesses. Mr. Broomhead reported that small businesses may have uncertainty about their stability long term and reported on the Flourescent Lighting Ordinance that is before the Board that would set specific requirements for businesses.  

 

Commissioner King asked what the Department is doing to insure funding for 2009.  Ms. Kelly reported that the Department is active in the CPUC proceedings where decisions are made in a formal setting and works with the City Attorney to provide written comments.  It was explained that there were 36 Planning workshops for 2009-11 and Mr. Broomhead and Ms. Kelly have attended almost all of them. Ms. Kelly reported that they are pushing for attention to be given to local governments, and that the CPUC has been extremely responsive to their efforts. Commissioner King recommended that the Commission consider giving awards to businesses that have embraced the energy efficiency ideology in order to generate more interest. 

 

Chair Wald inquired whether it would be PG&E’s decision to promote the program to the next stage. Ms. Kelly reported that PG&E makes budgeting decisions and they have agreed to $12 million for the next cycle, which is $6 million under the requested amount, so at least that amount would be received.

 

11. Update on UN Global Compact Cities Programme Project – Business Council on Climate Change (BC3) (Informational Presentation and Discussion). (Explanatory Document:  Presentation)

SPONSOR:  Jared Blumenfeld, Director

SPEAKERS:  Jennifer Kass, BC3, Heidi Hauenstein and Jamie Burkart, BC3 Interns

 

Ms. Kass, Manager, BC3, reported that the program is a collaboration between the Department, the business community and the UN Global Compact that was launched officially in March 2007.  Ms. Kass introduced Ms. Hauenstein and Mr. Burkart who have been volunteering their time for the past four months to this program.  Ms. Hauenstein explained that BC3 is rooted in the UN Global Compact Principles on Environment and that San Francisco is one of eleven cities participating in a pilot project.  It was explained that BC3 is one intiative that aims to implement goals in the Climate Action Plan through a collabortation with local businesses to help reduce commercial green house gas emissions. 

 

Ms. Hauenstein provided a description of BC3 principles on climate leadership and Department of the Environment programs promoted through the BC3 program.  An overview was presented of BC3 members in the business community working to reduce their green house gas emissions and role of partner organizations that provide resources to assist BC3 members.  Mr. Burkart discussed the BC3 organizational and financial structure, new launched website, upcoming events, and project timeline. See the explanatory document above for additional information on the presentation.

 

Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman asked whether it would be feasible for the Energy Watch program to make a presentation to BC3 program members. Ms. Kass reported that there is a networking event scheduled every month where a theme is selected.  Last month the theme was zero waste, and an energy event would also be scheduled to discuss the Department’s programs.  It was explained that the best way to communicate and tie in all types of governmental services is through a newsletter, email, or through website communication. Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman stated that an in person marketing session to BC3 members would be most effective. Ms. Kass indicated that could be done through the networking event.  Ms. Kass also reported that there would be a series of four small seminars scheduled to discuss implementation strategies and that she would be working with other department programs to tie in all program areas.

 

Commissioner Tuchow asked if any business can join even if they don’t issue Annual Reports.  Ms. Kass stated that any business who signs an agreement to commit to the BC3 principles and is a for-profit business can join BC3.  It was explained that a meeting with the Global Compact would be scheduled in the Fall to discuss business transparency and disclosure requirements.

 

12. Resolution Amending the Commission on the Environment’s Bylaws to change the start time of the Operations Committee meetings from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Discussion and Action.)

          SPONSOR/SPEAKER:  Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman

 

Upon Motion by Commissioner King and second by Commissioner Tuchow the Resolution was approved without objection (Absent:  Commissioner Martin) (Explanatory Documents: Resolution 011-08-COE and Amended Bylaws)

 

13. Resolution Amending and Adopting the Department of the Environment’s Record Retention Schedule (Discussion and Action). 

 

Director Blumenfeld reported that the current Record Retention Schedule is being proposed for amendment to Human Resources records on timesheets and payroll records from two to five years because new rules are requiring that the records be kept for longer than two years.

 

Upon Motion by Vice President Gravanis and second by Commissioner King, the Resolution was adopted without objection (Absent:  Commissioner Martin) (Explanatory Document: Resolution 012-08-COE and Amended Record Retention Schedule).

 

14. Commission Secretary’s Report. (Information and Discussion) (Explanatory Document:  Commission Secretary’s Report)

Monica Fish, Commission Secretary

·        Communications and Correspondence

·        Update on Pending City Legislation

 

Ms. Fish presented a Commission Secretary’s Report and reported on City legislation as described in the Explanatory Document above.

 

15. Operations Committee Report. (Information and Discussion)

Chair’s Report:  Highlights of the Wednesday, April 16, 2008 meeting and review of the agenda for the upcoming meeting on July 16, 2008, at 4:00 p.m., 11 Grove Street.

 

Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman reported that the primary agenda item was a presentation by Deputy Director Assmann on the budget plan. It was explained that the original budget presented to the Commission for approval in January had a 10% reduction from the last fiscal year budget.  The budget has since gone to the Mayor’s Office and was reduced an additional 11% for a total of a 21% reduction and still has to go to the Board of Supervisors so more cuts are expected. Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman reported that the budget did not take into account the Energy Watch program’s funding that is expected to add several million dollars back into the budget. An updated budget plan would be presented at the next Operations Committee meeting in July. In addition to the budget plan, the Operations Committee discussed the process for the Committee moving forward as well as future agenda item recommendations.

 

Vice President Gravanis asked if there is a mechanism for keeping Commissioners apprised of Board of Supervisors meetings that are relevant to the Commission.  Ms. Fish reported that Mr. Mark Westlund, the Program Outreach Manager, keeps track of environmental issues heard at the Board of Supervisors, and that the Deputy City Attorney indicated that she would be providing City legislative updates to the Commission in the future.

 

16. Policy Committee Report. (Information and Discussion)

Chairs Report:  Highlights of the Monday, February 11, March 17, and April 21, 2008 meetings and review of the agenda for the upcoming meeting in May to be held at City Hall, Room 421.  

 

Commissioner Wald reported that the March 17 meeting topic of discussion was the Department’s and City’s position on spraying of the light brown apple moth.  A discussion was held on the California Department of Agriculture and City strategies as well as the Department’s policy statement that is posted on the website. Commissioner Wald reported that an op ed. had been issued where the Marin Farm Bureau and another organization endorsed one of the options talked about in the Policy meeting, which is the use of twist ties.  It was reported that there has been a court hearing since then that has stayed the spraying until additional studies are presented presenting evidence on the safety of the procedure.  Commissioner Wald reported that there was a high-level overview of the Bayview Hunters Point Shipyard and Candlestick Point project at the February meeting, and on April 21 ARUP, the firm that is doing the sustainability planning in the Bayview discussed their work on the project. Commissioner Wald reported that the May agenda has not yet been established, and Vice President Gravanis reported that the Mayor’s Office, Lennar and ARUP would be discussing the plan again at the June Policy meeting.

 

17. Director’s Report. (Information and Discussion) (Explanatory Document:  Director’s Report)

Director Blumenfeld presented updates on SFE administrative and programmatic operations relating to Budget Planning, Strategic Planning, Clean Air, Climate Division, Outreach and Education Division, Environmental Justice Division, Zero Waste, Toxics Reduction Program, and the Urban Forestry Division—see explanatory document above. Director Blumenfeld reported on the most important City accomplishments (1) achieved a 70% recycling rate in 2006 (the next goal is to reach 75% by 2010) and (2) has the lowest amount of material going to landfill in 30 years. 

 

Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman reported that the Operations Committee discussed the idea that the Director’s Report should contain the top three challenges that the Department is facing and ways for Commissioners to get involved.  Director Blumenfeld reported that one of the challenges is trying to be an innovative fast-moving department in a sea of bureaucracy. The next big issue is an outreach issue that people are so oversaturated with green things that it is hard to get people excited over major accomplishments. The final challenge is that new programs are more attractive, but implementing old ones to get to a goal is where the work is as well as keeping people’s imagination going and the media alive around these efforts.  

 

Director Blumenfeld and President Pelosi Jr. left the meeting at this time.

 

18. Announcements.  (Information and Discussion) Commissioner Tuchow announced that the 2009 Jewish Community Macabee games would be held in San Francisco, which will bring 1200 to 1500 athletes, aged 12 – 16 into San Francisco.  As part of this Olympics type activity, kids have to be absorbed in a service project, and the desire is to make this project a green social action project for these athletes and their coaches.  There is a committee that is forming as to how to best use these resources, and Commissioner Tuchow requested the participation of the Department to help channel all of this energy and resources into something productive for the City.  An organization meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 29 at 7:00 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center at 3200 California Street.

 

Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman announced that through his work at Craig’s List, they were invited to present a proposal to PG&E to be a sponsor of their annual non-profit boot-camp. 

 

19. President’s Announcements.  (Information and Discussion).  There were no announcements made at this time.

 

20. New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Information and Discussion). Vice-President Gravanis recommended that there be a formal process for issuing future agenda item requests. Ms. Fish indicated that Director Blumenfeld recommended that Commissioners contact the President of the Commission with agenda items who would discuss recommendations with him. Vice-President Gravanis asked when requests should be submitted to the President, and Ms. Fish recommended at least two weeks before the meeting. Commissioner Wald asked the Commission Secretary to send an email reminder to the Commissioners before the meeting.  Ms. Fish suggested using the scheduling form as a guideline in order to provide all necessary information for the agenda item.  Vice President Gravanis suggested considering timing and what can reasonably fit into an agenda and how much time can be given to each agenda item in order to avoid late meetings.  

 

21. 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.

 

22. Adjournment. The Commission on the Environment meeting adjourned at 7:45 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

 

Approved: July 22, 2008

 

 

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