03.24 Approved Minutes

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

COMMISSION ON THE ENVIRONMENT

 

REGULAR MEETING

APPROVED MINUTES

TUESDAY, MARCH 24, 2009, 5:00 P.M.

CITY HALL, ROOM 416, SAN FRANCISCO, CA  94102


 

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 5:20 p.m.  Present:  President Paul Pelosi Jr., Vice-President Gravanis, Commissioners Martin, Tuchow and Wald.  Excused:  Commissioners King and Rodriguez Heyman

 

2.      Adoption of Minutes of the March 9, 2009 Commission Special Meeting.  (Discussion and Action) Upon Motion by Commissioner Wald and second by Commissioner Martin, the March 9, 2009 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (AYES:  President Pelosi Jr., Vice-President Gravanis, Commissioners Martin, Tuchow and Wald; Absent:  Commissioners King and Rodriguez-Heyman) (Explanatory Document: March 9, 2009 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.      United Nations World Environment Day Accords.  Prioritizing three key actions for adoption by the Commission on the Environment for 2009. (Explanatory Documents:  Memo to Commissioners and Accords Status (PDF) (Discussion and Action).  Upon Motion by Vice President Gravanis and second by Commissioner Wald, Resolution File 2009-02-COE was approved with an amendment on page 2, Line 22, in the “Resolved” clause to delete “for adoption” and replace with “as priorities”. (AYES:  President Pelosi Jr., Vice-President Gravanis, Commissioners King, Martin, Tuchow and Wald; Absent:  Commissioners King and Rodriguez Heyman.)  Explanatory Document:  Final Resolution 002-09-COE)

                                              

5.      Municipal Green Building Update: Policies, Programs, Projects and Performance. Staff Speaker:  Mark Palmer, Municipal Green Building Coordinator (Explanatory Documents: Municipal Green Building Report 2004-07 and Presentation) (Informational Presentation and Discussion)

 

Mr. Palmer reported on his work as the Municipal Green Building Coordinator since 2001, Chair of the Resource Efficient Building Task Force (a municipal inter-departmental agency), Chair of the national U.S. Green Building Council Government Committee and discussed his background in engineering and construction.  It was explained that the Municipal Green Building Report for 2004-07 is a three-year report that he is required to issue to the Board of Supervisors and that another report would be issued in 2010.    

 

Mr. Palmer reported that buildings have a tremendous impact on energy usage which electricity consumption, water, carbon, and waste is a part of.  It was explained that green building is not a collection of technologies that you add to a standard building--it is really about integrating the built environment with the natural world, which is a creative process that includes the right people with the right experience to solve inter-disciplinary problems.  It is bringing together the disciplines of site, water, energy, and indoor environmental quality and materials to create an integrated approach to green building.  It also takes many different players from facilities managers to finance officers, to architects and engineers to really bring out the best in green building design. The emphasis on expensive hard to control mechanical and electrical systems is transferred over to the architecture of the building to include features such as high performance glass for natural day-lighting and ventilation, exterior sunshades and interior light shelves, under floor access for air distribution, etc. so that the building itself does the work instead of the big, hard to control and expensive complex mechanical systems. 

 

LEED is the national green building rating system and it stands for leadership, energy, and environmental design.  Mr. Palmer discussed how LEED “labels” buildings to reflect what you are getting in terms of energy, water, and indoor and environmental performance.  The four levels of LEED range from certified, to LEED silver, LEED gold, and LEED platinum.  In 2004, Chapter 7 of the Environment Code was adopted which established LEED silver as the standard for all municipal projects over 5,000 square feet.  Consulting services are being offered to design departments and design teams throughout San Francisco to assist in this effort.  Mr. Palmer reported that he has served on the Department of Building Inspection’s Code Advisory Committee which has a Green Building Subcommittee to address issues in building codes.  A Compliance Guide has been developed to lead City designers at the Department of Public Works and all other departments that can authorize design and construction.  In addition, a tool kit of software resources and design tools for City design professionals has been created.  Through an EPA grant, a website called SF GreenPRINT was created that helps catalog and evaluate green building projects, www.sfgreenprint.org.

 

Mr. Palmer reported that he works primarily with the six major departments that have contract authority, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), Recreation and Park Department, Department of Public Works (DPW), the Port, Airport, and Municipal Transportation Authority (MTA), and also works with the Libraries.  Mr. Palmer’s efforts have contributed to over 50 Accredited LEED Professionals in thirteen different departments in the City and he is currently overseeing 44 municipal projects in all the departments mentioned including ten libraries, eight recreation centers, three museums, etc. 

 

Mr. Palmer discussed green building projects that include the Plaza Apartments by the Redevelopment Agency, California Academy of Sciences (San Francisco’s first LEED Platinum building), Laguna Honda Hospital (slated to be California’s first LEED Silver hospital), the Living Classroom (Eco-Center at Herons Head Park), the Center for Sustainable Gardening, San Francisco History Museum, One South Van Ness, the City’s first LEED-EB (Existing Buildings) project, renovation of Terminal 2 at San Francisco International Airport (a LEED Silver renovation project), the new Trans Bay Transit Center and redevelopment plans at Treasure Island.   It was explained that the Library has renewed bond financing and a renewed Memorandum of Understanding with DPW to make all of their subsequent libraries LEED Silver.  The Recreation and Park Department is starting their bond program, and their first project is the new Chinese Recreation Center at Mason and Washington.  San Francisco General Hospital construction will be starting in about a year from now and the goal is LEED Gold.  Mr. Palmer is collaborating with the other big hospital projects in town as there is $4 billion worth of health care projects and design in San Francisco at this time. 

 

Vice-President Gravanis (1) expressed her appreciation for the work that the Department has been doing over the years on this effort; (2) stated that the California Academy of Sciences wants to keep watering their green roof because of their ideas of what public perception is.  It was recommended that it not be given supplemental water and it should be called a “living roof” instead of “green roof” and the public should be educated that the roof should not be green all of the time; (3) stated that she was excited about the progress that the Living Classroom has made and inquired how to contribute to funding of this project as she had heard it was having financial difficulties because of state budget issues; (4) suggested that some of the ideas from the Sustainable Sites Initiative be incorporated into LEED programs, especially LEED Neighborhood Design; and (5) expressed her concern that Laguna Honda Hospital did not target wildlife-friendly landscaping in their design and suggested that LEED points be given for incorporating wildlife where appropriate.  Acting Director Assmann reported that State and Coastal Commission funding had been restored for the Living Classroom.  It was explained that the Sustainable Sites Initiative as it evolves is being considered as a new addition to LEED.

 

Commissioner Tuchow inquired whether there has been outreach in San Francisco public schools to adopt green building standards.  Mr. Palmer reported that SFUSD does not fall under the City’s jurisdiction, but that a group had convened a couple of weeks ago that included the School District’s new Sustainability Director to talk about green building issues.  It was explained that the Sustainability Director has a developed program around green schools, that he is currently using the Collaborative High Performance Schools (CHPS) resources, and is open to how LEED for schools can be integrated into their process as well.  Commissioner Wald asked if what is being done at the school district could be leveraged to make progress at the Community College Board for City College. Mr. Palmer reported that the Community College Board has several LEED buildings under design and construction right now, and they have made big strides to establish themselves in this regard.  It was explained that there is also a big geothermal project at City College right now.  Acting Director Assmann reported that the SFUSD Sustainability Director is funded 50% by the Department of the Environment and 50% by the SFPUC, and attends the Department’s senior staff meetings quarterly to give updates on projects.   

 

Commissioner Martin (1) thanked Mr. Palmer for all of the good work surrounding green building efforts; (2) stated that she is interested about the interface between LEED and the City’s building permit process and inquired about the difference between the way City obtains its permits as opposed to private entities that are required to do so based on size of the project.  Mr. Palmer stated that there is a new private sector green building ordinance in effect now for most all residential and commercial new development and major renovations.  Department staff members Richard Chien and Barry Hooper work directly on those residential commercial private sector projects.  Mr. Chien and Mr. Hooper work closely with the Planning Department and Department of Building Inspection (DBI) to identify the best way to implement the private sector ordinance and educate building inspectors, plan checkers, and planners about how green building works and the best way to go about the process.   It was explained that municipal projects are different although they typically do get permits, and there is usually City staff in the sponsoring department that walk it through at DBI and usually permit approvals are expedited.  

 

Mr. Palmer reported that he works with DPW Bureau of Construction Management that has building inspectors who are provided with training opportunities. DPW and DBI have influenced their staff to become LEED accredited professionals. There have been as many as 20 DBI employees that attended the LEED training in the last year.  Commissioner Martin inquired whether there are any new private sector buildings that have been subject to the new ordinance.  Mr. Palmer reported that in this economic climate, permit applications have not been plentiful at DBI, so it has given an opportunity to put implementation procedures in place while it is not quite so busy. 

 

Commissioner Martin inquired when a private sponsor of a building project would interface with the LEED program.  It is her understanding that the City requires a certain level of certification; however, that certification can’t come until the building is built.  Mr. Palmer reported that DBI is the central permit processing bureau so the project application process starts at DBI and then is directed to other departments such as Planning, Fire, and other areas of involvement.  At that first intake process, they have set up their green team and they sit down with the project sponsors to review their plan for compliance with the requirements.  The plans even in the conceptual stage or schematic stage have to reflect the ability to meet those standards.  Commissioner Martin inquired whether actual LEED certification is required or just the ability to meet LEED certification.  Mr. Palmer explained that there are two compliance paths (1) one is LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and (2) DBI’s requirement to hire your own consultant to verify that you are meeting those same standards, which is subject to audit by DBI.

 

Commissioner Wald stated that she is pleased to learn about the SF GreenPRINT program and stated that she is in support of moving to the requirement of LEED Gold instead of LEED Silver.  Mr. Palmer reported that work is being done toward this effort.

 

President Pelosi Jr. inquired about USGBC’s guidelines for existing buildings.  Mr. Palmer reported that a LEED project on an existing building is being worked on at One South Van Ness.  Mr. Palmer reported that an effort is being made to amend Chapter 7 to raise the standard from Silver to Gold and at the same time consideration is being given on how to address the City’s existing buildings.  It was explained that the City owns anywhere from 600-800 buildings and there are a lot of lease holds involved, all of which represent a large environmental footprint.  One idea is to certify municipal departments under the green business program that is similar to what other municipalities have done.  Acting Director Assmann reported on Action 7 in the Strategic Plan for Green Building to initiate and manage a Commercial Real Estate Energy Task Force to develop policy recommendations to ensure that existing buildings meet higher energy and resource efficiency benchmarks in the residential commercial sector.  Mr. Palmer reported that the Task Force has been set up and has sixty days to issue recommendations.   

 

6.      Update on the Department of the Environment’s Strategic Plan for 2009-11.  Staff Speaker:  Acting Director David Assmann (Explanatory Document: Strategic Plan) (Informational Report and Discussion)

 

Acting Director Assmann reported that the Department’s Strategic Plan is a three year plan for 2009-11.  Each of the program areas evaluates, updates, and presents through senior staff meetings changes to the plan on an annual basis.  Acting Director Assmann reported on highlights and new additions to the plans that include:

 

·         Climate Action Plan for the residential and commercial sectors—there is an outreach campaign to educate and motivate the commercial and residential sectors to do more to combat climate change;

 

·         Energy Efficiency--The Department’s extension of the agreement with PG&E on the Energy Watch program for another $7 million for calendar year 2009.  In the 22 months staff had to run a three year program, they reached 90% of their goal.  If they had the full three years, they would have well exceeded their goal.

 

·         Clean Air Transportation’s efforts to start up an electric vehicle charging infrastructure for the Bay Area for plug-in hybrids.

 

·         Green Building which a presentation was given on.

 

·         Zero Waste wants to increase commercial diversion to 80% and residential diversion to 50% this calendar year.  The lowest amount going to landfill as long as records have been kept going back to 1972 was achieved in 2008. 

 

·         Toxics Reduction has a number of projects they are working on.  A lot of them are continuing projects around environmental preferable purchasing, pesticide work, and working on Extended Producer Responsibility.  There is an Extended Producer Responsibility bill for the first time at the state level.

 

·         The Environmental Justice program is focusing on green jobs, promoting food security, and energy efficiency as well as air quality issues. 

 

·         Outreach and School Education--the School Education program is working closely with the new SFUSD Sustainability Director on new programs for the schools.  The Outreach program is working on doing the necessary outreach to meet new goals in a variety of areas, e.g., reaching 75% diversion in 2010, making sure that the Mandatory Recycling Ordinance which is about to be calendared at the Board of Supervisors is properly promoted, more publicity for toxic collection activities, etc.  San Francisco has free collection for residents now, but it is under utilized and not meeting goals.  

 

Vice-President Gravanis (1) commended the Strategic Plan for being realistic and an honest appraisal of current and future efforts; (2) discussed the buy nothing campaign on the Friday after Thanksgiving initiated by a national organization and concerns expressed about the campaign being anti-American, anti-job, and anti-economy.  Acting Director Assmann stated that one way to counter this argument is to not say buy nothing, but to say buy responsibly, buy sustainably, buy the things you need, you can use, exchange things, and work with others to share and utilize existing resources for doing so.  It was reported that there is a large percentage of purchases that end up in the waste or recycling stream within 60 days of its purchase.  The production of a lot of these goods that are not sustainable aren’t produced in the United States and are imported from other countries, so if  we were not to purchase these goods, it would not have an impact on jobs here in the U.S. We would be better off supporting sustainable manufacturing within the U.S. which could potentially increase American jobs.

 

President Pelosi Jr. recommended maintaining the Department’s leadership position in a strategic sense so that when the economy does recover, people are still thoughtful in what they are purchasing.  Acting Director Assmann reported that this is the perfect time to do the educational work because people are buying less now due to the economy.  Messages should be sent to purchase only what is needed as opposed to what they think they need because they have been bombarded with messages to buy things.

 

Commissioner Tuchow inquired (1) how the Strategic Plan goals, objectives, and action steps are put in operation and (2) if there is an action step to explore long-term funding mechanisms for urban forestry.  Acting Director Assmann reported that the actions are developed by program area and each of the divisions in the program area is responsible to make sure the actions are implemented, e.g., Commercial Recycling is responsible for making sure that the five actions in Objective B are implemented.  There is staff assigned to each of these areas. The Department has a series of senior staff meetings in which all the different program areas present and discuss goals, objectives and actions.  It was explained that the urban forest program has primarily been funded by work orders from other departments, and is now at a crisis point in terms of not having the support it has had in the past due to budget cuts.  Alternative methods of raising funds for urban forest projects has to be thought of which includes submitting more grant applications and identifying more sustainable sources of funding that can provide more stable funding than relying on work orders from other departments which are cut when there are budget shortfalls.  However, no solution has been found yet. 

 

President Pelosi Jr. inquired whether there has been any response from departments to date on their Climate Action Plan.  Acting Director Assmann reported that Department is in the process of reviewing Climate Action Plans for each of the departments and is working with departments who have been asked to redo their plan. There are some stellar plans and some that need to be redone.  The Department is also working jointly with the Planning Department on updating the City’s Climate Acton Plan that will partially be informed by the individual department Climate Action Plans.  The possibility of integrating the Climate Action Plan into the City’s General Plan is also being considered.  

 

Commissioner Tuchow inquired if the Strategic Plan addresses green jobs and green technology, the subject of the Commission’s last retreat.  Acting Director Assmann stated that this area is covered to a limited extent under the Environmental Justice program Strategic Plan, page 22 Objective F, to promote green collar jobs.  It was explained that the Department has a Clean Tech Coordinator who is working jointly for the Department and Mayor’s Office of Economic Development on this effort.  There is not a Clean Tech Strategic Plan in this document but there will be one in the future.  Acting Director Assmann reported that the Board of Supervisors held a hearing yesterday on the stimulus plan and green collar jobs, and there would be an effort to work towards maximizing the resources that goes into green collar jobs. 

 

Commissioner Martin inquired whether there is a document that captures goals that the Department would like to work on but are not in the Strategic Plan at this time.  Acting Director Assmann reported that the current Strategic Plan is an action plan based on what we think we could do with the resources we have available, but that it would be a good idea to create a goal plan document that shows what the Department would like to do if resources were available and/or establishing a priority plan for obtaining those resources.  Commissioner Martin inquired whether the actions items in the Strategic Plan are funded.  Acting Director Assmann reported all areas are based on existing and anticipated resources with the exception of the urban forest section which is having a problem with funding. 

 

7.      Commission procedural matters to be acted on at a future meeting or meetings -- defining the role of the sponsor of an agenda item, establishing criteria for how agenda items are selected, and adopting a policy regarding adherence to the regular meeting schedule.  Sponsor:  Commissioner Ruth Gravanis (Discussion).

 

Vice President Gravanis requested input from the commissioners regarding several recommendations that the commission might wish to adopt at a future meeting.  She stated that her understanding is that whoever sponsors an item from Department staff is responsible for securing speakers, supplying agenda language, and sending e-mail addresses of interested parties and any relevant explanatory documents to the Commission Secretary.  A Commissioner who wants to sponsor an item would contact the Commission President or Director, and if approved, the Commission Secretary would be asked to add the item to the agenda.  If the agenda item is relevant to a program area, the Director would then assign the item to the relevant program area staff person who would supply the Commission Secretary with all of the above information.  Additionally, the Commission Secretary at the request of the Director may contact the staff person to make a presentation. If it is not relevant to a program area, the Commissioner could contact the President or Director and recommend and secure speakers for a presentation if approved for the agenda.

 

President Pelosi Jr. explained that the Director and Commission President hold a preliminary call and then a follow-up call is held with the President, Director and Commission Secretary to discuss agenda items.  Procedurally, Commissioners would either go to the President, the Director, or Commission Secretary to have an item placed on the agenda.  It was explained that items should go through the Policy and Operations Committees first unless it is an important issue that the Director or Staff recommends for a full Commission hearing.    

 

Vice-President Gravanis stated that she sees a role for the sponsor to speak first on an item, to provide background information, explain why it is on the agenda, and introduce speakers.  The sponsor would also make sure that the speakers know what is expected, e.g., presentation time, and report audio visual needs to the Commission Secretary.

 

Commissioner Tuchow stated that he felt is was a good idea to have a sponsor when necessary.  Commissioner Martin stated (1) that this procedure has been followed informally and should be formally adopted; (2) approved of having a point person for functions such as identifying speakers and giving them an idea of expectations.  Commissioner Wald stated that (1) she thinks that articulating the role of the sponsor would be helpful so that all of the work does not fall on staff (2) she believes it is potentially more effective if the sponsor sets time limits, and (3) suggested that the Commission consider reviewing their meeting schedule to add additional meetings if the length of the current meetings are too long. 

 

Acting Director Assmann reported that some of the meetings have been overloaded with items and others not, so it would be useful to set a limit on number of items or a time limit for each item based on the number and/or importance of the agenda items.  Commissioner Wald stated that the problem may be that an estimation of the time required is not always accurate.  It was recommended that a reasonable amount of time be given to each agenda item and to also focus on items that would draw in the public.

 

President Pelosi Jr. stated that there is a difference between discussion and action items, and there should be more flexibility on time allowed for action items.  It was reported that the consensus is that agenda items should have a sponsor that would identify the length of time required for a particular item.  This would allow the Commissioner who is sponsoring the item to be more involved in the process, to work with the presenter, and take the pressure off of staff.

 

Commissioner Martin recommended creating a format for controlling the time, e.g., setting a time allotment on the agenda that does not have to be strictly adhered to but provides a target and prepares people who are potentially waiting for an item to be heard.   

 

Vice-President Gravanis suggested that criteria be established to determine: (1) how it is decided if an agenda item is just a report or whether it is a presentation; (2) how to decide whether the item should go to the Operations or Policy Committees first or whether it goes directly to the Commission; (3) if it is an action item, has it gone to the appropriate Committee, is it essential that it be acted on at the very next meeting, or can it be postponed if the agenda is too full; and (4) for special meetings, which the Bylaws say the President can call at any time, what are the kinds of issues Commissioners feel are appropriate for a special meeting?  Should a joint hearing be called with another department?  President Pelosi Jr. stated that one reason to make a Committee meeting special is to allow other Commissioners to attend.  It was explained that the Director has to make a lot of these determinations, and the question is how to help the Director and Staff in these efforts. Staff works on issues that should be voted on, need more attention, that may be a topic of interest to the public, or there is critical legislation coming forward that could merit public discussion.    

 

Acting Director Assmann recommended creating a calendar of mandatory items for the next two years that should be placed on agendas, e.g. the budget every year at a certain meeting, reports that are due, and identifying whether the item should be heard at Committee, full Commission or both.  Commissioner Martin stated that the Commission is reviewing the Strategic Plan for this year, but inquired whether the Strategic Plan and accomplishments were reviewed for last year.  It was explained that if the Strategic Plan is used as a document that shows what the Department is going to be working on, it should give the Commission an idea of what should be covered at meetings and would help give the staff an idea of the framework for deadlines for getting that work done. Commissioner Wald recommended keeping a running list of future agenda items that public members and Commissioners have raised to assist in setting future agendas.  This list would also keep track of ongoing items. President Pelosi Jr. stated that at the end of this year, he would like to see more cooperation and questions focused more on the topic, and an overhaul to make the meetings shorter, more interesting, and more insightful. 

 

Vice-President Gravanis stated that it is important for Commissioners to regularly attend meetings and to adhere to the meeting schedule. It was stated that there should be an internal understanding or policy that Commissioners would deviate from that published schedule only when there is an emergency. Vice-President Gravanis stated that the Commission has an attendance policy, and the Commission Secretary is required to keep a record of Commissioner’s attendance and submit a report to the Mayor’s Office, the appointing authority.  The policy states that Commissioners are expected to attend regular meetings, but there is no requirement or negative consequence if Commissioners do not attend meetings.  If a Commissioner does not attend three meetings in a row, it is recorded and sent to the Mayor’s Office, but there is no requirement that missing three meetings cannot be done. 

 

Commissioner Martin stated that only five of the seven Commission members have been regularly attending Commission meetings and inquired about their expectation for attending future meetings.  It was stated that the Commission is missing out on the insightful commentary from those fellow Commissioners.  President Pelosi Jr. reported that Commissioner Rodriguez Heyman is out of the country at this time. 

 

President Pelosi Jr. stated that most Commission meetings have been consistent with the regular meeting schedule, and that the Policy Committee meetings have been changed due to speaker availability.  Vice-President Gravanis reported that the Operations Committee was supposed to provide advice to the Commission on the Department’s budget, but was rescheduled due to not meeting quorum requirements.  President Pelosi Jr. stated that he would consider re-staffing the Operations Committee because one Commissioner has not been available for meetings recently.  Commissioner Tuchow was appointed as the future Chair of the Operations Committee.    

 

8.      Operations Committee Report. (Information and Discussion)

Chair’s Report:  Report on the February 4, 2009 Rescheduled Meeting and review of the agenda for the upcoming rescheduled meeting of April 15, 2009, at 5:00 p.m., Room 421, City Hall.

 

Commissioner Tuchow reported that the Operations Committee met on February 4th to review the Department’s budget.  The budget had been previously reviewed at the full Commission meeting and because of the timing of the submission, the Commission agreed to approve the budget contingent to review at the February 4 Operations Committee meeting.  At the February 4 meeting, budget revisions were reviewed and no significant changes were recommended.

 

9.      Policy Committee Report. (Information and Discussion)

Chairs Report:  Highlights of the February 9 meeting and review of the agenda for the April 13, 2009 meeting to be held at City Hall, Room 421.  

 

Chair Wald requested that Commissioner Martin report on the February 9th meeting.  Commissioner Martin reported that the February 9th meeting discussion included a review and adoption by the Policy Committee for recommendation to the Commission of Urban Environmental Accords 9, 15 and 17.  In addition, a brief update and presentation was given on refuse service rates and regulations in response to public comment received at a prior meeting that there was not an available rate structure that applies to people who are not using the service but are required to pay for it.  Committee members learned that the intention is to introduce a new rate that will allow people to have less service, but the service would still be required by law. 

 

Commissioner Martin explained that the Policy Committee did not hold their March meeting because a full Commission meeting was held in its place and asked that future Policy Committee meetings not be cancelled for this purpose in the future.  President Pelosi Jr. stated that due to timing issues, a special meeting was called to discuss an important issue regarding water pollution in the bay which he wrote an excerpt on for the meeting.  It was explained that PUC’s speakers did not attend as previously planned, and that in the future, additional lead time should be provided. Commissioner Martin reported that an agenda item is scheduled for the April 13 Policy Committee to discuss issues of pollution and would include a discussion by SWAle and PUC.  It was recommended that all Commissioners be copied on the Policy Committee’s future agenda checklist to keep apprised of upcoming items.

 

Vice-President Gravanis stated that the Department does not have staff or funding assigned to water issues but is in support of having a hearing on San Francisco’s Wastewater Master Plan and pollution impacts.       

 

10.  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

 

The Commission Secretary’s Report can be accessed at the link above.

 

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

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.

 

The Director’s Report can be accessed at the link above.

 

12.  Announcements.  (Information and Discussion)

 

Commissioner Martin reported that she was able to attend a presentation at the Rosa Parks Elementary School who is one of three in the nation grand prize winner of Eco Media Green Schools Challenge.  The students created a competitive video entry submission and won $250,000 to green that school.  Three schools were chosen, one in San Francisco, Chicago and Miami.  Acting Director Assmann stated that he would request that the Department’s School Education Program give special recognition to Rosa Parks Elementary School when they do the awards ceremony. 

 

13.  President’s Announcements.  (Information and Discussion)

 

President Pelosi Jr. stated that he and Mr. Blumenfeld met with the Department of Energy staff to identify solar projects in San Francisco as $6 billion has been dedicated to home guarantees.  It was explained that the Department of Energy believes they can turn the $6 billion into $300 billion worth of projects by doing guarantees instead of direct lending.  President Pelosi Jr. reported that every couple of months 25 cities within California get together to discuss best practices, and that the next meeting would be held in mid-April.  President Pelosi Jr. stated that he had met with the Department of Energy in Washington D.C. and there has been new jobs created in this area.   

 

Commissioner King left the meeting at 6:07 p.m. Commissioner Tuchow left the meeting at 7:20 p.m. Commissioner Wald left the meeting at 7:25 p.m. The meeting adjourned at this time due to a loss of quorum.

 

14.  New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Information, Discussion and Possible Action)  There was no new business or future agenda items discussed at this time.

 

15.  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. Paul Liotsakis, Associate Director, San Francisco Community Power, reported that the organization is a resource conservation organization, focused primarily on water and energy efficiency measures, and provides training for people on marketing and auditing buildings for implementation of efficiency measures.  Mr. Liotsakis encouraged the Department that when and if receiving stimulus money, that Request for Proposal(s) are issued that would allow non-profits to participate as it relates to outreach, marketing, and implementation of efficiency measures.  It was explained that the Department has a policy of meeting their energy efficiency goals through contractors who are not always local.

 

Ms. Aimee Horikiri, discussed the public school system’s operations in terms of energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.  It was recommended that public universities adopt ISO14000 standards to govern their office operations in order to reduce waste of energy and natural resources. Statement was provided and is available at the Department of the Environment upon request.

 

16.  Adjournment. The Commission on the Environment meeting adjourned at 7:25 due to a loss of quorum.

 

** Copies of explanatory documents are available at (1) the Commission’s office, 11 Grove Street, San Francisco, California between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., (2) on the Commission’s meeting website with each agenda or meeting minutes at https://sites.google.com/a/sfenvironment.org/commission/environment-commission; and (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: May 26, 2009

 

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