City Hall, Room 416, San Francisco, CA 94102
*The Tuesday, September 23, 2008, 5:00 p.m. Regularly Scheduled Meeting of the Commission on the Environment has been RESCHEDULED to Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 5:00 p.m.
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 Commission on the Environment Meeting was called to order at 5:00 p.m. Present: President Paul Pelosi Jr., Vice-President Gravanis, Commissioners Martin and Tuchow. Absent: Commissioner King; Excused: Commissioners Rodriguez Heyman and Wald.
2. Adoption of Minutes of the July 22, 2008 Regular Commission Meeting. (Discussion and Action) Upon Motion by Vice-Chair Gravanis and second by President Pelosi Jr., the July 22, 2008 Commission Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (Absent: Commissioners Rodriguez Heyman, King and Wald) (Explanatory Document: July 22, 2008 Approved 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. Briefing on Olympic Torch Relay Carbon Offsets Program. Presentation on the 2008 Beijing Olympic Torch Relay in San Francisco and Carbon Offset Partnership with San Francisco-based CantorCO2e. (Informational Presentation and Discussion) Sponsor: Director Jared Blumenfeld; Speakers: Ms. Kyri McClellan, Mayor’s Office, Mr. Sean Carney, CantorCO2e, and Ms. Rachel Katz, Pacific Forest Trust
Ms. Kyri McClellan described her involvement at the staff level in organizing the City’s hosting of the twenty-two city international relay that came from Paris to San Francisco and from San Francisco to Buenos Aires. Ms. McClellan reported that the Mayor’s Office wanted to make this as green of an event as possible, and the San Francisco portion of the international relay was labeled a sustainable journey, which was the focus of many of the efforts. A program was created to offset the carbon emissions of the large plane that carried all of the staff and the actual flame itself around the world. A San Francisco partner, CantorCO2e, agreed to offer their assistance in identifying offsets of high integrity, if they could be locally based, and all of the different facets. Ms. McClellan reported that this effort was worked on closely with the San Francisco Environment (SFE) staff. It was explained that they ended up with 1156 tons of carbon emissions offset credits that were donated.
Mr. Sean Carney reported that CantorCO2e is a broker of carbon offsets and works with project developers that create projects that reduce CO2 from methane destruction, forestry, energy efficiency, etc. and works with buyers that wish to offset emissions. Cantor CO2E was approached by the Mayor’s Office and wanted to do something to help, so they used a large network of project developers to see who would be interested in working with the Mayor’s Office to offset the Olympic Torch and its journey from Paris to San Francisco and on to Buenos Aires. Two organizations were found, the Pacific Forest Trust, which started one of the first California Climate Action registry approved projects in California, and the Forest Management and Ecology Institute, a non-profit organization in Brazil that reduces emissions by switching fuel from non-renewable biomass. The overall offsets donated to the City equaled about $18,000.00, roughly $15 per ton.
President Pelosi inquired how the market was evolving in light of the correction in oil. Mr. Carney explained that there is a well-developed European market and an emerging market in the United States. When oil prices rise, people generally switch away from natural gas and switch toward coal. When they switch toward coal, the price of carbon generally goes up because coal is a dirtier fuel. As the price drops, people switch back to natural gas, which is cleaner and therefore the price of carbon goes down. In Europe, the price of carbon is going down as well because the economy is also slowing down, which means there is less demand for allowances because people are not burning as much fossil fuel. In the United States, it is an emerging market, so a lot of speculation is being seen right now. There are still companies that are looking to go carbon neutral for voluntary reasons. The market is holding steady—it was growing, almost doubling and tripling every year. People are getting ready to see what the next administration is going to do in terms of regulation.
Ms. Rachel Katz, Policy Project Manager, Pacific Forest Trust, stated that it was an honor to contribute to the Mayor’s and City’s leading efforts to tackle climate change and to benefit an Olympic Torch relay. A brief overview was given of Pacific Forest Trust as an organization and why the forest plays such a key role in the climate change equation. It was explained that Pacific Forest Trust was founded about 15 years ago with the idea that something needed to be done to change the way our private forest lands are valued in this country. Pacific Forest Trust owns and manages over 50,000 acres of forest land in California and Oregon and is active in forest, climate, and other policy arenas across the country and is also active in the AB32 process in California.
Ms. Katz explained that Pacific Forest Trust recognized the potential of forests to contribute to the climate solution because forests naturally absorb and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. When forests are converted to other uses like development, vineyards, or unsustainably harvested, they become a source of emissions—globally, it is about 20% of CO2 emissions. Nationally they are losing about 1.5 million acres of forest land every year to development and other uses; in California, it is about 30,000 acres a year. In this country, the biggest value in forest land isn’t for keeping the trees there--it is for harvesting them or converting that forest land into real estate. So Pacific Forest Trust sought to change that cost benefit equation by recognizing the carbon value that forests have and recognizing that adding that carbon value into the cost benefit equation can keep our forests as forests, increase conservation, and improve forest management. In that context, Pacific Forest Trust became involved in forest climate projects and in the original drafting and development of the California Climate Action Registry forest protocols.
Ms. Katz discussed Pacific Forest Trust’s management of the van Eck Forest Project to ensure that significant climate benefits are achieved from the sustainable management of more than 2,100 acres of working forestlands owned by the Fred M. van Eck Forest Foundation. These climate benefits, attained over a 100-year period, are assured by following the rigorous accounting practices called for in the state’s new Forest Protocols. Pacific Forest Trust works with the van Eck Forest Foundation to register the state’s first forest carbon project with the California Climate Action Registry (CCAR), achieving more than 500,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reductions. These tons have been verified and certified by the Climate Action Registry and then became available to the public, the Mayor, the City, and Cantor CO2e for use as carbon offsets. CCAR Forest Protocols were followed to ensure that these reductions are real, additional, verifiable and permanent. Ms. Katz distributed brochures with more details on the project.
Commissioner Tuchow inquired whether there was an environmental easement. Ms. Katz stated that a perpetual conservation easement is a legal tool in the United States that attaches to the deed of the property, and it puts certain restrictions on the property. It is a handy tool for forest conservation because once you have it secured on the property, you don’t have to worry about changing ownership and is very detailed in its restrictions for what can happen on the property and also includes management goals and guidelines for the property. Commissioner Martin inquired whether the 2100+ acres of forest land was secured because of this transaction. Ms. Katz explained that the easement was already on the property before the project started. Commissioner Martin inquired what would happen to the credits if there were to be a natural fire on the property. Ms. Katz explained that they have held 20% in reserve on their own to guard against natural disturbances that is hoped would not occur and would be held in reserve for a margin of safety and would be replaced if something happens. The current Climate Action Registry Forest Protocols does not require a certain level of reserve or buffer so that has been a matter of contract negotiations thus far, but it may become a more explicit requirement in the future. Commission Martin inquired whether maintaining the forest would necessitate replanting. Ms. Katz stated that would be the case.
Item 12 was heard before Item 5.
5. Resolution supporting the “Integrated Preferred Alternative” Marine Protected Area (MPA) Network for the North Central Coast of California. (Explanatory Documents: Draft Resolution File 2008-15-COE and Supporting Documentation) Sponsor: Director Jared Blumenfeld; Speaker: Mr. Keith Weissglass, Pacific Outreach Coordinator, Ocean Conservancy
Mr. Keith Weissglass reported that the Commission’s Policy Committee unanimously endorsed the Resolution that is before the Commission to officially support a plan to protect 20% of our region’s state waters in marine protected areas. Following the Policy Committee meeting, Director Blumenfeld issued a letter stating the Committee’s and Department’s support to the California Fish and Game Commission. The plan described in this Resolution officially called the Integrated Preferred Alternative (IPA) is the result of more than a year’s work by a diverse group of stakeholders ranging from fishermen to conservationists to state agencies and includes several San Francisco residents. It would create a portion in our region of state waters of a statewide network of marine protected areas to restore California’s underwater habitats and wildlife populations. The IPA is a compromised plan that has broad support from Ocean Conservancy, local fishermen, the City of Pacifica, the Aquarium of the Bay, and the California Academy of Sciences. By passing this Resolution, San Francisco would be joining the counties of Marin, Alameda, San Mateo, and Sonoma in supporting the IPA and requesting its approval by the California Fish and Game Commission. Mr. Weissglass requested the Commission’s support for this plan to show San Francisco’s support for restoring our ocean legacy.
Vice-President Gravanis reported that the Policy Committee did hear a longer presentation about this measure, had a very good discussion, and supports the plan. It was explained that Committee members had hoped that in the future the plan could be strengthened and extended more into San Francisco Bay and would deal with additional issues such as toxics and their impacts.
Public Comment: Ms. Noreen Weeden, Audubon Society, spoke in support of the Integrated Preferred Alternative Plan.
Upon Motion by Vice-President Gravanis and second by Commissioner Tuchow, Resolution File 2008-15-COE was approved (AYES: President Pelosi Jr., Vice-President Gravanis, Commissioners Martin and Tuchow; Absent: Commissioners King, Rodriguez Heyman, and Wald). (Explanatory Document: Approved Resolution No. )
6. Yerba Buena Island Habitat Management Plan Update. (Informational Presentation and Discussion) Sponsor: Director Jared Blumenfeld; Speaker: Mr. Michael Tymoff, Assistant Project Manager, Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development
Mr. Michael Tymoff, reported on his work on redevelopment planning and entitlements for Treasure and Yerba Buena Islands on behalf of the Treasure Island Development Authority. Mr. Tymoff presented a status report on the Yerba Buena Island Habitat Management Plan and discussed where they are in the process of developing the plan and when they will be coming to the Commission next. It was explained that Treasure and Yerba Buena Islands are part of what was formerly the Naval Station Treasure Island and are located in the proposed redevelopment plan area. Technical studies are currently being worked on for the environmental review document as well the redevelopment plan adoption process.
Mr. Tymoff reported that in 1996, the Board of Supervisors and the Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA) endorsed a conceptual development plan that outlines all of the various aspects of what you would expect to see in the planning and development of essentially what is a new city out on Treasure Island, e.g., a financing plan, a transportation plan, housing plan, parks and open space plan, fiscal impacts, and a sustainability study. TIDA, the Treasure Island Community Development (TICD), and the Mayor’s Office worked closely with staff and the Commission on the Environment in creating this development project in San Francisco. One of the principles of the Sustainability Plan was to protect, restore and enhance the natural areas both on Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island.
Mr. Tymoff reported that Treasure Island is a man-made island that consists of approximately 400 acres and is quite different from the characteristic of Yerba Buena Island, which is approximately 150 acres and is a naturally-occurring island. It was explained that there are 720 units at the northwest corner of Treasure Island which are partially occupied and about 100 residential units on Yerba Buena Island, approximately 80 of which are occupied. In terms of land that will be conveyed to the City from the Navy, there are two parcels, one on Treasure Island and one on Yerba Buena Island that will remain under federal ownership. The parcel on Treasure Island is 35 acres that is owned and operated by the Department of Labor that would continue to be used for a job training program for at-risk youth. On Yerba Buena Island, there is a 36-acre parcel owned and operated by the Coast Guard which will remain. In addition, the Islands have historic resources—Buildings 1, 2 and 3 shown in yellow on the explanatory document and then two hangar buildings that are listed on the National Register would be restored and reused as part of the Treasure Island development program. On Yerba Buena Island, there is a historic district which is comprised of nine structures, former senior officers’ housing and a torpedo building on the northeast tip, which is listed on the register and will be maintained and restored as part of the development program.
Mr. Tymoff reported that the proposed development program is comprised of 6000 residential units, 30% of which would be affordable; 400-500 hotel rooms; up to 270,000 square feet of retail; 300 acres of parks and open space; three buildings on Treasure Island comprised of about 325,000 square feet of adaptive reuse; and there would be a comprehensive jobs and economic development community benefits package. It was explained that one of the primary goals of the Sustainability Plan was to increase biodiversity, parks, open space, and natural areas, promote the enjoyment of the waterways of the San Francisco Bay, and to increase public access. It will be the largest parks creation project in San Francisco since Golden Gate Park.
The Development and Sustainability Plans were endorsed in 2006 and since that time work has been done to implement the various components of the plan. One of the conditions of approval was to create a Habitat Management Plan for Yerba Buena Island. Working in conjunction with San Francisco Environment staff, a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was issued in February of this year in order to select a consultant to develop the Habitat Management Plan. The consultant was selected in April and has worked through the early summer on the initial stages of the plan that included doing a site inventory and background literature review. There has been extensive work to date on mapping the biological resources on Yerba Buena Island and a comprehensive stakeholder outreach program was conducted. Interviews were held with twelve different organizations and individuals that have very specific expertise and knowledge of the Yerba Buena Island habitats. The final phase of work completed to date was a Habitat Values Map that graphically depicts the areas of native plant communities, invasive species that are out on the island, and assigning values to them relative to their habitat value.
In June or July it was decided to bring ESA, an environmental consulting team, and CMG Landscape Architecture on board to work on the biological survey work for the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) The structure of the contract was changed in order to hire CMG and ESA to do the completion of the Habitat Management Plan, which would result in a Draft Habitat Management Plan that would be brought to the Commission sometime in April for review and comment. The Final Management Plan is scheduled for completion in June of 2009. In terms of public process, the Draft Plan would be presented to the Citizens Advisory Board in order to solicit public input and comment, then to the Commission on the Environment, and then finally for plan approval to the Treasure Island Development Authority Board. Mr. Tymoff explained that they are currently in the process of reviewing the scope and bringing the CMG team up to speed.
President Pelosi Jr. inquired about the project cost. Mr. Tymoff explained that the original contract was for $50,000, but it would end up costing more. President Pelosi Jr. explained that there had been a lot of legal fees incurrent in 2006 because of a lack of communication. It was recommended that presentations be given to the Commission before April and that the team should work with the Department of the Environment throughout the process in order to secure input early. Mr. Tymoff explained that he had worked with Vice President Gravanis, Ms. Jennifer Kass of the Department of the Environment, and Acting Director Assmann in the process of formulating the RFQ and refining the scope of work. There was consensus that the scope would achieve the desired outcome of TIDA, TICD and the Department of the Environment as well as including a substantial stakeholder component. It is anticipated that as part of this transition, work would be done with the same group to review the scope before it is final. In addition to public presentations and submittals to the various bodies, there will be a number of administrative drafts in between the milestones where feedback would be requested both from Department staff and Commissioners. President Pelosi Jr. recommended enforcing stringent requirements in a way as to not scare away partners. Mr. Tymoff sated that they would try to understand each others expectations from the beginning.
Commissioner Martin inquired whether the Treasure Island Job Corps Campus would be included in the Biodiversity and Habitat Management Plan. Mr. Tymoff explained that the Habitat Management Plan is specific for Yerba Buena Island only. Meetings had been held with the Coast Guard on a number of issues including the Habitat Management Plan in order to discuss recommendations and to recognize that plants and animals don’t observe political boundaries. Recommendations were provided should the Coast Guard be willing or have the financial wherewithal to move forward. It was explained that there is an opportunity to preserve and protect what exists on Treasure Island, and there is also an opportunity to create, e.g., the “Great Park,” which includes the wilds and a stormwater treatment wetlands system that is approximately 90 acres. It is believed that there is an opportunity there for mutual benefit between the habitat types, especially for waterfowl that might share the habitats being created on Yerba Buena Island and on Treasure Island. The project is mindful of those synergies going forward.
Vice President Gravanis stated that she is pleased to see this project moving forward and is concerned about the level of public involvement, but stressed that the whole scope of work is still being finalized. Vice-President Gravanis recommended that presentations be given and that input should be requested from the Commission well before the Draft Plan is created. There are stakeholders that would like to see the interim work product that would include goals and objectives, whether there will be a values map, and what the baseline data would be. Vice President Gravanis recommended incorporating an opportunity for the people in this community that are familiar with Yerba Buena Island that have done surveys and would be able to enrich the whole product to review the raw data before recommendations are formulated. Mr. Tymoff reported that Mr. Mike Woods would be the team’s consulting biologist in a peer review role and would be working closely with ESA and CMG on the inventory, mapping, and future conditions for the different areas, once they are defined.
Ms. Nancy Wuerfel recommended adding drafts, handouts, baseline data, and summaries to a web site so the public could self educate. It was recommended that more public input be brought in sooner than later and to advise the community where and how they could provide comment. Ms. Wuerfel explained that she is on the signup sheet to receive public information, but has not heard from anyone for a long time and is interested in this topic, especially the wildlife issues. Vice President Gravanis explained that there was a major delay in the plan, and the public would be contacted once there is something to review.
Ms. Ellie Billings, Nature in the City, stated that she has a vested interest in taking care of the Island since Nature in the City works on restoration and habitat diversity. Ms. Billings commended the choice of Mr. Mike Woods as the biologist and recommended that he stay on the project after the initial surveys. Ms. Billings recommended hiring a natural resources expert to manage goats if they plan to graze in the Island. It was also suggested that an active stewardship program be created to help protect the Island, to influence Island residents to get involved with their natural surroundings, and to maximize the habitat value of the Island’s developed areas.
7. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Measures List for Rent Capital Cost Pass Through—Approval of Amendments to the Measures List. (Explanatory Document: Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Improvements List) (Discussion and Action) Sponsor: Director Jared Blumenfeld. Staff Speaker: Mr. Cal Broomhead, Energy Manager
Acting Director David Assmann reported that this item was reviewed by the Policy Committee at their October meeting and is an update of the amortization period for the Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Improvements List. It was explained that there are changes from 2003 to today, all of which represent a shortening of the time periods from what was originally allowed for amortization. The intent is to update the Rent Ordinance to bring the amortization period more in line with what is commonly accepted practice right now for these various categories of qualified improvements.
Upon Motion by Vice President Gravanis and second by President Pelosi Jr. the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Measures List for Rent Capital Cost Pass Through Amendments was approved without objection (AYES: President Pelosi Jr., Vice President Gravanis, Commissioners Martin and Tuchow; Absent: Commissioners King, Rodriguez Heyman and Wald).
8. Nomination of Commission Officers. (Discussion and Action).
Upon Motion by President Pelosi Jr. and second by Vice President Pelosi, Jr. without objection the Commission Bylaws were suspended in order to hold nominations in October instead of November as required by the Bylaws (Absent: Commissioners King, Rodriguez Heyman, and Wald.
Vice President Gravanis read the Bylaws requirement for nomination and election of Commission Officers which states:
“Elections for officers shall be conducted at the regular meeting of the Commission in January of each year. At the regular Commission meeting held in November of each year, any Commissioner interested in running for office shall state publicly his or her interest and willingness to run for a specific office. Such Commissioners, and any other Commissioners nominated at the November meeting, shall be candidates for office.”
Vice President Gravanis stated that the Bylaws do not state that nominations have to be closed at the November meeting, and that the vagueness in the Bylaws should be addressed in the coming year to be clear about the process. Vice President Gravanis explained that the first step would be for Commissioners that are interested in running for office to state so.
President Pelosi Jr. and Vice President Gravanis expressed their interest in running for President. Commissioner Tuchow and Vice-President Gravanis expressed their interest in running for Vice President. Vice President Gravanis stated that she would be interested in hearing from other Commissioners that are not in attendance on their interest. President Pelosi Jr. recommended that the nominations be continued to the November 7, 2008 Commission Retreat and asked the Commissioners interested in running to prepare a short presentation on why they want to run for office and how they think they could add value to the position. It was explained that the President and Vice President are the offices that are up for election, and the President has the discretion to name the Committee members and Chair at that time. Acting Director Assmann recommended that staff survey Commissioners as to their interest so if they are not present, they can still be nominated. It was explained that you do not need a vote to get nominated, only to get elected. President Pelosi Jr. recommended that nominations be held at the Retreat only if there are five Commissioners present. If fewer than five members present, it would be continued to the January meeting for nomination and election at the same meeting.
Ms. Fish read a legal opinion from the Deputy City Attorney on the process that states: “In order to have nomination of officers in October, the Chair should entertain a motion and vote to suspend the Bylaws for the nominations of officers only and have the nominations in October. After the October meeting, the Bylaws will be back in place. If the Commission has interpreted the Bylaws to allow nominations only in November and to close the nomination process and only allow elections in January, then there should be no problem with not allowing any nominations in January.”
Upon Motion by President Pelosi Jr. and second by Commissioner Tuchow, the Nomination of Commission officers was continued to the November 7, 2008 Commission Retreat meeting (AYES: President Pelosi Jr., Vice President Gravanis, Commissioners Martin and Tuchow; Absent: Commissioners King, Rodriguez Heyman and Wald).
Chair’s Report: Highlights of the Tuesday, October 14, 2008 Operations Committee meeting and review of the agenda for the upcoming meeting on January 21, 2009, at 5:00 p.m., 11 Grove Street.
Commissioner Tuchow reported that there were four main agenda items heard at the October 14 Operations Committee meeting:
1. Department budget update--it was reported that in our first quarter of the fiscal year, we had consumed 14% of our budget, and although it may appear to be under-budgeted, it was explained that was typical, and we tend to catch up as the year proceeds;
2. Fundraising update--Ms. Shawn Rosenmoss would start sending updates on grants pending where the staff could use the Commissioners’ support;
3. Electrical vehicle presentation. The Commission was informed that the goal was how to increase market activity and make San Francisco a hub as it was for hybrids for electric vehicles. A Request for Information (RFI) was issued and about 19 diverse responses were received;
4. Presentation on the Energy Watch program, which is the three-year $10.7 million grant to increase energy efficiency in small businesses, commercial, and multi-family housing projects. PG&E houses this project, but the Department of the Environment is driving the project. It is about to end on December 31 of this year, and we are at about 73% of our goal and hoping to get about 80%. Although it was a three year grant the program did not get started until February 2007, and that is about half of the time that we should have had to receive an 80% return. The Department is applying for their next round of funding in June 2009.
Acting Director Assmann reported that the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) was supposed to determine the next round of grants before the end of this grant, but they are behind schedule and it will be June before they announce the next round of grants. Fortunately, they did announce that there is bridge funding that will take us between the existing contract and the new contract, and the Department would be given $4.4 million dollars for the 2009 calendar year. That amount is not what the Department would have liked to have to continue at the same level as it is now, but it is still a significant amount. Before the end of 2009, the CPUC will have approved the next round of grants and the next contract would go into effect either during 2009 or at the very latest at the end of 2009.
10. Policy Committee Report. (Information and Discussion)
Chairs Report: Highlights of the Monday, August 18 and Monday, September 22, and Monday, October 20, 2008 meetings and review of the agenda for the upcoming meeting on November 19, 2008.
Policy Committee Vice-Chair Gravanis reported that there were three Policy Committee meetings since the last full Commission meeting. On August 18th, the Committee heard a presentation on the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard Candlestick Point Sustainability Plan. Ms. Tiffany Bohee presented an update on the project and stated that all of the approvals and entitlements are expected by December 2009 including the Draft EIR. By November or December of this year, a financial transaction structure would be available and she mentioned that Lennar is contributing a monetary amount to the stadium construction, and the City is providing the infrastructure for the stadium. There was considerable discussion about the proposed bridge over Yosemite Slough and in the context of transportation planning, Ms. Jean Rogers from ARUP, the consulting firm working on the Draft Sustainability Plan, gave an update and talked about resource efficiency, energy, water, and waste strategies and summarized goals for environmental justice, climate change, habitat, and biodiversity. She mentioned that LEED and LEED Platinum would be a target and also LEED NC Gold equivalent. The Committee discussed the need for alternatives for the bridge and other issues such as lighting, dark skies, biodiversity, solar thermal, PV and domestic hot water, and the carbon footprint of the transportation plan. The Policy Committee hopes to hear another update at the next Policy Committee on Tuesday, November 18th.
At the September 8th meeting, discussions were held on (1) the Marine Protected Area Network which was discussed at today’s Commission meeting; (2) a report by Ms. Mei Ling Hui, Urban Forestry Council Coordinator on urban forest activities and on the status of the Urban Forestry Council’s Annual Report. A discussion was held on better ways to manage our urban forest, especially the City’s street trees; and (3) Urban Accord Action 16—the Policy Committee passed a Resolution stating that they urge the Mayor and Board of Supervisors to take action to pass a Resolution urging San Francisco hospitals and retailers to help reduce infant exposure to Bisphenol A by banning the sale and distribution of baby bottles containing BPA. This item may be discussed at a future Commission meeting.
At the October 20th meeting, a discussion was held on Accord Action 15--The Committee heard an informational report by Department Energy staff members Paul Joyce and Cal Broomhead on the status of the Carbon Offsets Program. Three projects are being chosen as pilot projects to offset Cit department airplane travel—(1) funding a biodiesel refueling station with a per gallon subsidy; (2) contributing to an enterprise green community to offset funds for low-income housing that is environmentally sound, and (3) a geriatric boiler replacement. All of those projects would be done within San Francisco, and offsets would benefit San Francisco directly.
Additional topics of discussions included (1) a presentation by Cal Broomhead, Energy Manager, on the changes in the amortization period as approved by the Commission at this meeting; and (2) Dr. Chris Geiger presented a report on the Synthetic Playfields Task Force findings reported to the Recreation and Park Department. A lot of public health issues were talked about—one of the major environmental issues was that these synthetic playfields at this time are not recyclable, and the fear is that they would all end up in the landfill.
11. Commission Secretary’s Report. (Information and Discussion) (Explanatory Document: Commission Secretary Report)
Monica Fish, Commission Secretary
· Communications and Correspondence
Ms. Fish reported on City legislation and communications and correspondence. Correspondence reported on included the distribution of the updated Statement of Incompatible Activities for the Commission and Department of the Environment effective October 8, 2008 and the City Attorney’s Memorandum on Political Activity by City Officers and Employees dated September 19, 2008. Additional information on legislative updates and communications and correspondence can be referenced in the explanatory document above.
12. Director’s Report. (Information and Discussion) (Explanatory Document: Director's Report)
Director Jared Blumenfeld from the Department of the Environment will give updates on Department of the Environment 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.
Jared Blumenfeld, Director, discussed his assignment as the Interim General Manager of the Recreation and Parks Department and wanting to integrate the Department of the Environment’s and Commission on the Environment’s issues with the Recreation and Park Department as it relates to recycled water, ground water, and redoing the irrigation system for the parks; solar thermal in the Recreation and Park pools to PV panels on the 242 facilities; recycling in parks; Integrated Pest Management; cleaner fuel vehicles and emission controls; and dealing with parking in the parks. Director Blumenfeld explained that it is hoped that these sustainability measures would help make a difference in upcoming budget shortfalls. Director Blumenfeld stated that he would be attending as many Commission meetings as he can, and that Deputy Director David Assmann would be assigned as the Acting Director.
13. Announcements. (Information and Discussion) There were no announcements made at this time.
14. President’s Announcements. (Information and Discussion) President Pelosi Jr. (1) announced that he has been working closely with NASA on an event scheduled for January 9 and 10, 2009 that he would provide Commissioners additional information on and encouraged Commissioners to participate. At that event, NASA will explain sustainable development, what that means to them, and what they believe their contribution is; (2) announced the Connected Urban Development global conference on Eco Map, a collaboration with three cities worldwide, Amsterdam, Seoul and San Francisco, that digitizes everybody’s roof and creates a map of the City by zip codes. Reports are made on how many cars an average person owns, who has a bike in that area, how many miles they are driving to work, who recycles and who does not, who has solar and does not, etc. The program analyzes the public data to see which zip codes are doing a better job than others; and (3) requested that Commissioners work together as a team and more cooperatively in the future.
15. New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Information and Discussion) There were no new business or future agenda items discussed at this time.
16. 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.
Ms. Wuerfel discussed the upcoming budget season and the newspaper’s report on how bad it is in Sacramento and San Francisco. Ms. Wuerfel encouraged the Commission to encourage staff to bring to the Commission all the budget news right away so that discussions can be held on which areas are more susceptible to budget cuts and reductions so that options can be considered.
17. Adjournment. The Commission on the Environment meeting adjourned at 6:35 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 meeting website https://sites.google.com/a/sfenvironment.org/commission/environment-commission with each agenda or meeting minutes, or (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: January 27, 2009