03.23 Approved Minutes


CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

COMMISSION ON THE ENVIRONMENT

 

REGULAR MEETING

APPROVED MINUTES (Rescinded and Corrected 12/7/10)

TUESDAY, MARCH 23, 2010, 5:00 P.M.

CITY HALL, ROOM 416, SAN FRANCISCO, CA  94102


 

COMMISSION MEMBERS:  Commissioners Matt Tuchow (President), Ruth Gravanis (Vice-President), Angelo King, Jane MarieFrancis Martin, Alan Mok, Paul Pelosi Jr., 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 convened at 5:20 p.m.  Present:  President Tuchow, Vice-President Gravanis, Commissioners Mok and Pelosi Jr.  Excused:  Commissioners King, Martin and Wald.

 

2.      Adoption of Minutes of the January 26, 2010 Commission Regular Meeting and February 25, 2010 Commission Retreat Special Meeting. (Explanatory Documents: January 26, 2010 and February 25, 2010 Draft Minutes) (Discussion and Action)  Upon Motion by Commissioner Pelosi Jr. and second by Vice-President Gravanis, the January 26 and February 25, 2010 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection.  (AYES:  President Tuchow, Vice-President Gravanis, Commissioners Mok and Pelosi Jr.; Absent:  Commissioners King, Martin and Wald) 

 

3.      Public Comments:  Members of the public may address the Commission on matters that are within the Commission’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda. 

 

Mr. Francisco DaCosta, Director, Environmental Justice Advocacy, stated that he is in attendance at the meeting to discuss the pollution in the southeast sector of the city, which he feels that the Department should play an important role in.  He discussed the upcoming Hunters Point Shipyard Candlestick Point Plan that he believes will have adverse effects on the neighborhood and which he believes the Department has not provided their input into, e.g. the creation of 30,000 units, the citing of a PG&E plant, and toxic soil that would be disposed of using trucks that will travel to the community.  He stated that the Mayor has been advertising that San Francisco is a green city and has one of the best results in its carbon footprint.  He provided a document that he compiled listing San Francisco’s carbon footprint data to the Commissioners on waste, energy, transportation and carbon dioxide.  He asked that the Department and Commissioners take an important role in the quality of life issues in the Bayview neighborhood. 

 

Ms. Denise D’Anne asked the Department and Commission to work toward banning Styrofoam packaging material which she stated causes ozone depletion and is taking up space in the landfill.  She stated that she has spent a lot of time writing letters to the Department, Commission, Board of Supervisors, and newspapers to work toward this effort. 

 

4.      Approval of Resolution supporting requests of the Golden Gate Park Preservation Alliance and the Golden Gate Audubon Society to the San Francisco Planning Department’s Major Environmental Analysis Unit to conduct an environmental review for the Beach Chalet Soccer Fields Project at Golden Gate Park.  Speaker: Mike Lynes, Conservation Chair, Golden Gate Audubon Society (Explanatory Documents: Policy Committee Draft Resolution File 2010-02-COE, Golden Gate Preservation Alliance and Golden Gate Audubon Society Informational Documents and Letters of Support) (Discussion and Action)

 

Mr. Mike Lynes stated that the Golden Gate Audubon Society has approximately 10,000 members and supporters in the San Francisco Bay Area and focuses mainly on wildlife and wildlife conservation.  He asked that the Commission on the Environment support the preparation of a California Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Beach Chalet synthetic turf conversion project in order to insure full disclosure of all the impacts before the project goes forward, to address all alternatives and mitigations, and to insure that the process is transparent and the public is fully informed about this change to the City’s most significant park.  Mr. Lynes stated that Golden Gate Audubon supports continued athletic activity and organized recreational sports at Beach Chalet and in other parts of the City and believes strongly that people should be getting out and exercising and enjoying the outdoors.  He stated that it is not their intent to clamp down on organized sports in the City, but noted that the problem is with the process that has occurred so far.   Mr. Lynes stated that an EIR is based on science and fact and has to be able to withstand public scrutiny.  The EIR and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) insures that decision makers and the public are informed before a project starts and inflicts permanent negative effects on the environment.

 

Mr. Lynes stated that the Beach Chalet project will have significant negative environmental impacts that include replacement of trees and several acres of naturally growing grass with artificial turf that reduces foraging for many birds and other species, reduction of trees, and significant increase in human use from the additional soccer fields.  By increasing human use, you increase environmental impacts to the local environment.  Increased use not only disturbs wildlife directly, it results in additional trash, human food waste that increases predators such as ravens and crows which are already on the rise in the City.    Finally the project includes the installation of lights which will have an impact on the local environment.  Mr. Lynes included a bibliography of scientific references that addresses the impact on wildlife from lights.  The project will have effects on nesting, foraging, migratory behavior and increase predation of local birds and wildlife.  An EIR would provide understanding, mitigate or avoid those impacts and include a study of the ecological effects. He stated that the natural environment is shrinking in the City.  The western end of Golden Gate Park was intended to be more wild and sylvan.  Mr. Lynes stated that the Commission on the Environment is the environmental conscience for the City and asked that they approve the Resolution requesting that an EIR be prepared for this project.

 

Commissioner Pelosi Jr. asked if there is a standard that has been set that the Commission can reference to determine how this project would fit into the category of requiring an EIR.   Mr. Lynes stated that an EIR has not been done for any artificial turf project to date.  He stated that there has been an attempt to fit all these projects under a CEQA exemption which may apply in some cases, but not this particular one.  Golden Gate Audubon is not challenging all of the conversions that were made, understands the need for greater athletic fields, and that there are places that may be more appropriate for synthetic turf.  Mr. Lynes stated that legally, an EIR is at Planning Department’s discretion, but that it would be an abuse of their discretion if they decided an EIR was not necessary because there will be adverse environmental impacts.  The Planning Department has not made a determination yet. 

 

Commissioner Pelosi Jr. asked if there are other steps that could be taken in place of an EIR that may be more cost-effective.  Mr. Lynes stated no, that other mechanisms would take away what an EIR insures.  Commissioner Pelosi Jr. inquired why an EIR has not been done on every park conversion project.  Mr. Lynes stated that this very large project has more of an environmental impact and is located in a more ecologically sensitive area in the city.  Commissioner Pelosi Jr. stated that it is in the Planning Department’s jurisdiction to make the decision whether to do an EIR.  Mr. Lynes stated that the Commission should act in their advisory capacity and guardians of the environment to take up this issue because it is a large project in an ecologically sensitive area that will have environmental impacts.

 

Vice President Gravanis stated that the Policy Committee heard testimony at their March 8 meeting and approved the Resolution before the Commission.  She stated that CEQA is a state law that the City has to follow and contains guidelines that would help answer Commissioner Pelosi’s questions.  There is a list of exemptions in those guidelines as well as the kinds of projects that don’t have to be considered for an EIR, Negative Declaration or Mitigated Negative Declaration.  One of the exemptions is that if it is a minor alteration to an existing facility that is not going to increase significantly in usage, then it is categorically exempt and you don’t have to ask whether it would require an EIR. Some of those conversion projects may qualify for that exemption.  However, this project is clearly going to increase usage, which is part of the purpose of the project, so it is not just a minor alteration, and the City Attorney has spoken to that effect.  The Commission is now faced with whether the project needs a full EIR, Negative Declaration, or Mitigated Declaration.  The Policy Committee recommended that the Commission advise the Planning Department to do a full EIR.

 

Ms. Jones, Senior Environmental Planner, San Francisco Planning Department Major Environmental Analysis (MEA) Division, stated that the MEA Division has the authority under Chapter 31 of the Administrative Code to implement the requirements of CEQA.  Commissioner Pelosi Jr. asked what the environmental review process would be in this particular case.  Ms. Jones stated that a few years ago, there were a series of soccer field conversions from grass to artificial turf that were reviewed together, and an exemption was granted for a number of them.  What happens under CEQA is that there is a mechanism to appeal any environmental determination to the Board of Supervisors.  In this particular case, there was an effort to appeal the determination with regards to this particular field.  That appeal was not timely as there was not any approval action on this project.  Originally, the project had been exempted from environmental review.  At this point, these issues had been brought to the attention of the MEA Division, and studies are being conducted about the issues. Considering potential environmental issues of all projects and the public process has an important place in terms of raising issues that would not otherwise be known. In granting an exemption, the need to consider potential for any significant environmental effects is required.   

 

Public Comment:

 

Ms. Nancy Wuerfel addressed Commissioner Pelosi Jr.’s concerns and referenced the Precautionary Principle as the reason to vote for a full EIR.  She stated that the Commission is the appropriate body to make this recommendation, and it is the time and place for a review. Ms. Wuerfel stated that this Commission and Department have been created to protect Golden Gate Park, which is about to be impacted.  It is a historic site that has been registered in the Washington D.C. National Register, and the Golden Gate Park Master Plan insures that its wild nature should be protected.  She urged the Commission to side with public transparency and process and vote for the Planning Department to conduct a full EIR.

 

Mr. Neil Morgan-Butcher stated that he is a native San Franciscan whose daughter played in the soccer league and is an environmental engineer with 20 + years of experience.  He stated that he has reviewed this project and feels that Mr. Lynes’ comments about the significance of the impacts are his opinion and not based on scientific principle.  He stated that no significant impact has been established for this project.  Mr. Butcher discussed health concerns raised about breathing in tire particles or vapors, which he believes the ocean breeze would be a mitigating factor for exposure.  He stated that the concern should be more with roadways from when cars are driving, not from something sitting on the ground.  He stated that this particular area is a small and unobtrusive part of the park.

 

Ms. Shelli Meneghetti, San Francisco resident, parent and coach of three daughters and their teams who play soccer in San Francisco with the Viking soccer league. She stated that environmental stewardship begins with children developing an appreciation of the great outdoors through sports or other types of activities.  The issues raised by some are important.  The organization behind the Beach Chalet renovation and the City have more than mindfully researched the best and safest practices and have been more than responsible about how to best go about the project. For example, questions were raised about disposal of the field after its 10-year life.  The turf use for the proposed project will be recyclable and inline with San Francisco’s strict recycling policies. Questions were raised about the tree removal and proposed renovation. The proposal is to not only replace all of the trees that were removed, but to replace them with new trees with greater replacement numbers than removal.   Both these examples demonstrate strong commitments to respecting and improving the environment. This project will be a significant benefit for the San Francisco community and further better our collective living experience.  Ms. Meneghetti presented the Commission with a list of letters of support for the project.

 

Mr. Jim Ketchum, High School athletic director, stated that he has been the head of the San Francisco Little League for five years, founded the Coalition of Youth Sports, has been a field advocate for Youth of the City, a member of Presidio Trust Restoration Society, and of the Audubon Society.  He stated that he cares a lot about environmental issues.  Mr. Ketchum asked the Commission to vote no on this proposal.  He stated that there are 15 schools driving their kids to the Crocker facility 30 minutes across town. This project would dramatically reduce the number of cars driving that distance and is needed in the north side of the city.  Mr. Ketchum stated that he manages a field in the Presidio, and that field goes through multiple treatments every year with pesticides and weed killers, chemicals that the Presidio is concerned about. Artificial turf would eliminate the use of these chemicals. Leading educational institutions such as Stanford and Cal have studied artificial surface fields and have found no controversy in this product.      

 

Ms. Corrine Moya, San Francisco resident, stated that she is in support of the Beach Chalet fields’ renovation project.  She is a member of the Executive Board of the Golden Gate Women’s Soccer League and youth soccer referee.  The Golden Gate Women have over a 1000 players in their league and often have to play at the Beach Chalet fields.  Many player injuries have occurred during games due to field conditions.  The proposed field improvements would keep players safe from injury. Due to the lack of sufficient soccer fields in San Francisco, many teams have to find alternate fields to play and practice and have to travel across the bay to the north, east and south bay.  Increased travel means increased carbon emissions, pollution, and greenhouse gases, which counters San Francisco’s goal of being a sustainable city.  As a citizen of San Francisco, she would like to see the city support its need for safe and adequate recreation.

 

Ms. Deidre Appel, San Francisco resident and project manager for the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), stated that she works with the PUC’s  Water Supply Improvement Program (WSIP) and has had the opportunity to go through a number of design projects and the EIR process. The WSIP program has developed a number of very aggressive water conservation levels of service for the program.  Putting turf fields in San Francisco Silver Terrace has decreased water usage by 3000 gallons per day, over one million gallons per year.  Speaking as a soccer mom, she asked the Commission not to support this particular resolution.  She stated that the Planning Department has a full and rigorous program for finding projects to go through a Categorical Exemption, a Mitigated Negative Declaration, or the entire EIR process.  She does not see how this project because of its location in Golden Gate Park could be any different than projects at Crocker Amazon or Silver Terrace.

 

Mr. Kelley Watts stated that he is a soccer player in San Francisco.  He stated that tires contain a variety of carcinogens and hazardous materials in unregulated and unquantifiable amounts including but not limited to arsenic, benzene, zinc, mercury and lead.  In the United States, tires are stored intact in government-regulated storage facilities to prevent the public from exposure to off-gassing and leech aids. These landfills contain tires from all over the world that includes countries with questionable health standards.   A common misperception of synthetic field claims is that green technology is being used because of the use of recycled tires when actually tires are removed and pulverized into small particles and dust including the inner lining sidewall and thread.  The average soccer field uses 40,000 tires, which amounts to 400 tons.  The Beach Chalet complex will require over four million pounds, and the material will need to be removed and replaced every eight years. City Fields and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (SFRPD) are rushing these fields into construction knowing that the United States Environmental Protection Agency is currently reviewing safety and health concerns.  The State of California has passed SB1277 calling for an investigation, but the California Department of Health Hazard Assessment, California Department of Public Health, and Waste Management Reports are outstanding.

 

Ms. Betty Hartoc, San Francisco resident, stated that she wholeheartedly supports the Beach Chalet athletic field renovation.  She is the President of the Northern California Junior Lacrosse Association and has five member clubs in San Francisco who use city fields. Her greatest concern is for the availability of safe and accessible fields.  She discussed the need to look outside the city for practice fields and stated that currently teams have to travel to Treasure Island during commute hours, which results in more cars on the road.  The essential footprint and alignment of the fields is essentially as it has been for 75 years, so the project would not make that big of a difference in terms of the footprint, but would make a big difference in its use.

 

Mr. Richard Romano, San Francisco resident, stated that he is a long-time walker in Golden Gate Park who feels that the essence of the park is being destroyed.  He stated that one of the great environmentalists was John McLaren who worked so hard to plant grass in the park and would be very angry if he knew that it would be replaced with tires.  Mr. Romano stated that the Commission is an environmental group that should not be supporting this type of project.

 

Mr. Francisco DaCosta discussed the process that should be taken.  He stated that the Commission Policy Committee listened to constituents and came before the Commission with a Resolution, which is not binding. The Commissioners should be following the Precautionary Principle.  There are a number of artificial turf fields in the city that are toxic and were bypassed for environmental review.   The Recreation and Park Department accepted that this field would be used for ten years without any knowledge of who would provide maintenance after that time.  Mr. DaCosta stated that the city needs natural grass and not artificial fields that would adversely impact nature.  That is why the City has the EIR and CEQA rules and regulations that it has to follow.

 

Dr. Elliot Katz, Veterinarian, founder of an organization that co-sponsors the Ethnic Dance Festival with the City of San Francisco, and President-Founder of In Defense of Animals.  He explained that one of the missions of Defense of Animals is to protect the well-being and habitat of other species   He expressed his support for the concerns of the Audubon Society.  He stated that he has heard the praise “it’s not going to make that much of a difference” and before you know it you have wiped out species and natural habitats.  That is happening right now by the arrogance of human beings over the well being of others.

 

Ms. Mary Anne Miller, San Francisco Tomorrow, San Francisco resident stated that she is a long-time park user.  She stated that the west end of the park has been neglected for many years and will suddenly be a site of artificial turf that will pave over part of the park so that it is almost like Candlestick Park.  She stated that the EIR is a friend, it does not take sides, it is objective, and removes the pros and cons.  It considers only for the facts and if the wrong facts come forward, it is an impartial report that helps decision-makers in reaching a fair decision.

 

Ms. Jamie Ray, San Francisco Wildlife Rehabilitation, stated that the question is not about whether soccer fields are needed--it is about the environmental issues.  There have been references to the Precautionary Principle which is important.  When you have grass that has ground up rubber tire on top of it, there are questions that a variety of government bodies should look into.  She discussed the possible adverse effects on birds that may consume the rubber tire that may not have an immediate effect.  She stated that a review should be made of providing better drainage to allow more playing time on the current field and to employ turf specialists to take care of the field.  

 

Mr. Eric Hanson, San Francisco resident, stated that he is in favor of the project.  He stated that he has a background in environmental science and has come to recognize most projects as a series of tradeoffs.  Mr. Hanson stated that the positives of the environmental effects far outweigh the negatives, such as reduced water use, no pesticide use, reduced carbon emissions from lack of maintenance equipment necessary for the grass field, and reduced carbon emissions from reduced trips.  What could be greener than using a tire that has to be landfilled?  He stated that research has shown that tires would be safe to use on the field.

 

Mr. Robert van Ravenswaay, San Francisco resident, stated that he has concerns about this project.  The focus should be on the fact that Golden Gate Park has an approved Master Plan that this project seems to be avoiding.  The western end of the park is supposed to be more natural than the east end.  By replacing landscape with hardscape and essentially tripling the usage of fields, it creates a situation in the west end to be similar to the eastern end and changes the plan for the park.  The plan park calls for closing streets in the area that won’t fit in with the traffic brought in with the changes.  These changes have to be explored with the environmental review process that has not been explored so far. He requested that there be a focus on these issues.

 

Ms. Pam Hemphill, Commission on Animal Control and Welfare Commission, presented the Commission with a letter from the Commission’s meeting on January 14 when they voted to unanimously support a full EIR.  She stated that the impact on birds and wildlife mammals is large in that area of the park, and it should receive attention.  She stated that no one has been paying attention to the paving of all of these areas.  She stated that she wonders how many acres have been paved at the time of climate crisis when plastic is a lot hotter than grass, and how many more are on the agenda. 

 

Mr. Paul Koski, San Francisco resident, stated that he enjoys Golden Gate Park and is concerned about the proposed project.  He stated that he supports an EIR.  He stated that the standard to use which Commissioner Pelosi expressed his concern that the project is of a large size and scope.  Mr. Koski stated that an EIR would be a friend of the Commission and is a way to go forward to determine if the project is suitable for the area.  This type of project may be more suitable in another area of the city.

 

Mr. Terry Milne, member of Bernal Heights Tree Committee, urged that the Commission approve the Resolution to conduct an environmental review of the project.  He expressed his concerned about the urban forest and green cover that is represented by the trees at the west end of the park.  An Arborist report leads him to believe that they will cut down 60 trees and replace them with smaller and younger trees that do not mitigate the air as mature trees do.  Asking for an environmental review is not asking to get rid of soccer fields because they are needed, but is asking for the correct mitigations and alternatives if they are going to cut down 60 trees. 

 

Mr. Ric Olivas, President of California Soccer Association North, stated that the association represents 2000+ adult players and 3000 or more youth players that use the park in San Francisco.  One of the real issues that should be looked at is the number of injuries that are sustained by all players, boys, girls, men and women because these fields are not being maintained.  He stated that he is against the EIR but would be in support if there was a way to get rid of the gophers that he believes causes environmental problems. Mr. Olivas stated that the last time Beach Chalet was renovated was because a ten-year old boy broke his tibia, a compound fracture, and Recreation and Park Department decided to finally closed Beach Chalet to repair all of the pot holes and gopher holes.

 

Ms. Katherine Howard, San Francisco Ocean Edge, stated that this is a fantastic discussion and hearing of all of the different sides of the questions as to why an EIR is needed. She is a landscape architect and can counter all of the objectives raised today and can discuss reasons why this project is not a good idea. She stated that she is gathering support for an EIR and showed half of the letters from residents that are concerned about the project.  There is also support for an EIR from 15 organizations, including 50 neighborhood groups that are concerned about this project.  There are 1500 signatures of people who are worried about this project.  She stated that she has full confidence that the Commission on the Environment would ask for EIR in order to give everyone an open and accountable process to talk about their concerns.

 

Mr. K.C. Charlagh, San Francisco resident and soccer player, stated that the Recreation and Park Department has had to close the fields on many days because of precipitation which caused games to be cancelled.  He stated that artificial turf is needed because the Recreation and Park Department does not have the man power to fix the fields when they are wet.  He discussed the Recreation and Park Commission hearing on this topic that included representation by 27,000 kids that were for the project.  This number shows that there is so much will for the project to go through because it will make a significant difference for recreation in the city and provides an outlet for kids to go in the right direction.

 

Mr. Thor Swift, Sunset District resident and father of two kids, stated that he supports his children and their right to play in the park.  He stated that people are treating the Beach Chalet fields as a natural environment.  Grass does not naturally grow there.  That is why it has to be watered and tended.  As he understands history, the area was sand dunes before the grass was planted, so nature is not being saved.  If you are worried about tires, worry about the cars.  People are driving their cars to Crocker Amazon to get kids to practice.  He stated that he could walk to Beach Chalet.  Mr. Swift stated that the pros of the project outweigh the cons.

 

Mr. Greg Miller, San Francisco resident, supports the Resolution to request an EIR because it is simply asking the Commission as environmental stewards in the city to remind City government that they need to obey state law.  State law dictates when an EIR needs to be done.  He feels that the public process so far has been pathetic and can list specific instances of inadequacy. Mr. Miller stated that the process requires further discussion and examination of the alternatives. Golden Gate Park is a premiere park in the region.  This project would rip out the western end and replace it with concrete, plastic, and gravel.  The City must do better for its children in terms of athletics and set an example of environmental stewardship.  What lesson are we trying to teach the children?

 

Commission Vice President Gravanis stated that the Resolution is not about saying yes or no to the project and is not about comparing the pros and cons, or deciding that the environmental problems outweigh the good--it is only to say that we need the benefit of full information by asking for an EIR.  Commission President Tuchow stated that he appreciates the diversity in the public’s point of view and that there have been many good points raised.  He is concerned that procedurally, the Charter requirements for the Commission on the Environment prohibit it from making land-use recommendations, and this issue could be considered land-use.  He stated that he understands arguments that the Commission has an obligation to the environment, and there have been a diversity of opinions whether the project is pro-environment or not.  Commissioner Mok stated that asking for a full review would not mean that the Commission is against the project.

 

Commissioner Pelosi Jr. motioned to adopt Resolution File 2010-02-COE, second by Commissioner Gravanis (AYES:  Commission Vice-President Gravanis, Commissioners Mok and Pelosi Jr.; NOES:  Commission President Matt Tuchow; Absent:  Commissioners King, Martin, and Wald).  The Resolution did not pass.

 

5.      Landfill Search Update.  Sponsor: Commissioner Matt Tuchow, Speakers: David Assmann, Deputy Director (Presentation Time: 5 minutes) and Thomas Owen, Deputy City Attorney (Presentation Time: 5 minutes) (Explanatory Documents:  Request for Proposal (RFP) for Landfill Disposal Capacity; Landfill RFP Scoring Reviews; Memo to Commission Landfill Search Chronology; Request for Qualifications, Public Comment) (Informational Report and Discussion)

 

Commission President Tuchow stated that the Commission has an obligation to ensure that the City and County of San Francisco obtains the best landfill contract.  It is important to maintain the integrity of the process, that there is public participation, and that it is a fair and transparent process with public participation.  At the same time, the Commission cannot violate those laws and regulations that require the confidentiality of the contracting process.  He reported that Commissioners received two letters, one addressed to Acting Director David Assmann and the other addressed to the Commission President, Commissioners, and Acting Director Assmann about a company that was not selected as a finalist for this contract.  Commission President Tuchow stated that the letters contained allegations that gave him reason to request a report from the Acting Director and Deputy City Attorney to make sure that the integrity of the process was being maintained.  He explained that the Commission has oversight responsibility, but is not involved in the contracting process details, but wants to make sure it is a fair process. 

 

Commission President Tuchow stated that the general allegations were that there was a change to the scope in the Request for Proposal (RFP) and that there was favoritism and inequities in the RFP process. He asked that the appropriate specifics of the process be addressed and requested a discussion about whether it was fair, whether there was favoritism, transparency, ability for public participation, and inequities in the RFP process.  He asked Deputy City Attorney Owen to summarize the rules of the process and Acting Director Assmann to speak to the specifics that were raised.

 

Deputy City Attorney Owen stated that City law requires that contracts for goods and services be competitively solicited and communicated to the business community, and that the best offers are sought after.  There are two types of competitive solicitations.  The first is an invitation for bids in which the public entity sets out the specifications that it wants for commodities or general services, e.g. janitorial, landscaping services, and construction contracts.  Bidders respond by giving the City a price based on those exact specifications, and bids are selected based on the lowest cost to the City without consideration of other factors.  An invitation for bids may require certain minimum qualifications. 

 

Commissioner Pelosi Jr. asked about the landfill process specifically and what the Commission’s ability would be to participate in the process. He stated that if the Commission does not have jurisdiction, then the subject should not be before the Commission, especially before it has been vetted by a Commission Committee.   Deputy City Attorney Owen stated that the Commission does not have a formal role in the issuance of the RFP and evaluations.  The Commission did not participate in the interviews or in the rewards and negotiations of contracts.  The Commission does not approve the contracts.  It does have oversight of the Department in general that is responsible for the contracting functions.  There are confidentiality rules under the Sunshine Ordinance and Brown Act that would prohibit disclosure of the losing or winning proposals.  The Commission does not have the authority to look at those documents at this point, so it would have a difficult time addressing some of the specifics.  It is a policy matter whether the Commission wants to get into the details. 

 

Acting Director Assmann reported that he has been working on this project for nine years.  He has been doing the tracking of waste to the Altamont landfill.  The City and County signed a long-term disposal agreement in 1988 for 50 million tons or 65 years, whichever came first.  He stated that when he first started to track the disposal going to Altamont, his first projection was that we would run out of space in 2005, which did not happen because disposal has been going down every year since 2000.  In the last year, the city is at half of where it was in 2001 in terms of disposal.  He first had a meeting on the next phase of disposal capacity in 2001 when Supervisor Ammiano asked to do an analysis of the status and report on projections.  

 

Commissioner Pelosi Jr. asked how people who did not win the tentative award were informed.  Acting Director Assmann reported that the Department issued a letter to the contractors who did not win the tentative award explaining the criteria for why they were not selected and explained the process for selection. The Department went through a series of public hearings in 2007 and put together overarching considerations.  The Department then went through a Request for Qualification(s) process in 2008, and then an RFP process in 2009.  The Selection Committee consisted of the City of Oakland’s Environmental Service Manager, the City Administrator, and himself to evaluate the proposals.  A tentative award was made based on those proposals.  A protest was received, evaluated and responded to.  The next stage was to enter into negotiations and once negotiations were complete, the contract would go before the Board of Supervisors to determine at a public hearing whether to approve the contract.  The negotiating team with Recology, the winner of the tentative award, was Acting Director Assmann, Mr. Ed Lee, City Administrator, and Mr. Ed Reiskin, Director of Public Works.  The RFP has not changed since it was issued. 

 

Commission President Tuchow asked to provide an opinion if there was any favoritism in the RFP process.  Deputy City Attorney Owen stated that he had not participated in the actual evaluation process, but has seen the documents, and based on what Acting Director Assmann has said, he would say no.  Acting Director Assmann reported that there was no favoritism in the selection process and referred to the explanatory document score sheet that provides the criteria used for selection.  Commission President Tuchow asked if there was any impropriety or illegality to the process.  Deputy City Attorney Owen stated not that he is aware of.  Acting Director Assmann stated no.

 

Commission Vice-President Gravanis asked Deputy City Attorney Owen to review the applicability of the 32 Ordinance, the relationship of the disposal and hauling contract, what can and can’t be done, and the timeline.  Deputy City Attorney Owen stated that there are two separate issues. The 32 Ordinance covers hauling within the City. The disposal contract is not governed by the 32 ordinance, they are not linked in any way, and there is no timeline that links the two.  Regardless of who gets the landfill contract, the current permit holders within the City retain those licenses.

 

Public Comment

 

Mr. Francisco DaCosta, Director of Environmental Justice Advocacy, stated that he is interested in knowing when the carbon footprint information would be made available to the public.  He stated that there is a PG&E site that contains tons of toxic waste that has to be moved. Similar to the PG&E site, the landfill is near the water.  He inquired whether barge, rail, or truck hauling would have the least carbon footprint.  He is looking forward to receiving detailed information to adjudicate and make more precise comments on this issue.

 

Ms. Brigit Barnes, Land Use and Environmental Law Attorney in Loomis, CA. stated that she represents a citizen’s group in Yuba County and Wheaton.  She submitted a detailed letter that raises serious concerns (see explanatory document).  Ms. Barnes stated that the RFP and various contract documents identified that the city was extremely concerned that the successful proposal would limit the risk of litigation involving a City and would limit the environmental impacts to the host community.  She stated that the documentation she has pulled from the Yuba County file on this issue as well as information she has received relative to the current Commission’s review of the RFP indicates that the successful proposal has not been clearly and adequately presented to the Commission that has voted in favor of it.  There are existing permits in Yuba County that have to go through a new process and have to be expanded.  The Regional Waste Management Board has objected to all of these permits, all of which has not been adequately presented to this Commission.  She requested more time to present on this issue.  Commissioner Pelosi Jr. explained that the information was presented to the Department, not to the Commission. This Commission did not have involvement on the RFP and RFQ and did not vote, score or make an award.  It received periodic updates on procedure from the Department and City Attorney’s Office.  The Board of Supervisors would be hearing this item before it is accepted.  The hearings that were held were with the Department, not the Commission.  Ms. Barnes stated that she is just getting started in a review and it is important that the administrative record have a record of the relevant documentation and concerns.

 

Ms. Irene Creps, San Francisco resident, retired teacher, whose family were farmers in Yuba County since the 1860’s.  The landfill that is being discussed is about a mile away from the Wheatland-Lofton Pioneer Cemetery where members of her family are.  She stated that she would like to compare the two sites that San Francisco is choosing to send their garbage.  She is proud of San Francisco for the fact that it has one of the best garbage collection systems in the country using the blue, black, and green bins.  She is proud that San Francisco sends its garbage to the Altamont Pass that is located in the inter-coast range which is has very little rainfall and can’t leak out into the Sacramento valley. The Yuba County site is one of the poorest counties in California. The storm tracks goes from San Francisco diagonally to the Sierra foothills where there is 40 inches of rainfall.  There is a tremendous watershed in those tributaries.  She asked to study the soil nature of the site.

 

Dr. Richard Paskowitz, stated that the Commission is in the position of oversight.  He stated that the leading contractor, Norcal Waste, has been dishonest to the people of Yuba County, specifically Wheatland, and to the Department and Commission.  The 1988 Chandler Act says that the landfill would be for local use only.  The intent was otherwise. In 1996, it was said that the landfill would be a bi-county project alone.  The intent was otherwise.  In 2000, it was said that the landfill would be only for local regional use.  The intent was otherwise.  In 2010, it was reported to the Department that the Yuba County permits were in place.  That is not true.  This company has been lying to the people and is abusing the county, farmland, and waterways by putting a dump immediately next to a waterway.  The company said that they have the permits, but they do not. .

 

Mr. John Lynn Smith, Law Firm of Reed Smith, stated that he is here representing Waste Management of Alameda County as part of a bid protest.  Waste Management was one of the entities that did not get the tentative award.  He stated that he does not have enough time allotted for public comment to discuss the opportunities, process, and procedures raised in letters he has provided to the Commission and Acting Director Assmann.  He stated that in 2007 when there was public comment and a survey done, and overriding considerations were identified.  He stated that the number one issue enumerated was to minimize and mitigate climate impacts, minimize transportation emissions, and maximize methane recovery.  Mr. Smith stated that when the contract will be made available in its final form, questions should be asked as to whether the Department secured the best contract for the City and County of San Francisco, the Commission should ask whether there is an opportunity to reduce carbon emissions through transportation by 67% over the current proposal, and did the Department meet the overarching considerations to minimize transportation emissions and maximize methane recovery. 

 

Commissioner Pelosi Jr. stated that the Commission will not see the final contract and it will not require a vote of the Commission.  Acting Director Assmann confirmed.  He stated that the final contract would go to the Board of Supervisors to consider for approval at a public hearing.   Mr. Smith asked what the Commission’s role would be in this process.  Commissioner Pelosi Jr. stated that it is to ensure integrity to the process and make the public aware.  He stated that he is surprised that the issue is on the agenda and did not go to a Subcommittee first.  He noted that the issue was before the Operations Committee in the past.  Commissioner Pelosi Jr. stated that issues that were raised concerning whether permits were approved or not should be verified. If there is a misunderstanding, then it is important for the Department to investigate and for the Board of Supervisors to consider these issues. He stated that the contractor who did not win should try to determine why their score was not higher, whether application questions and procedures were clear, and not worry about the competition.  The Board of Supervisors would be able to identify if there was any dishonesty.  He explained that the outcome of this determination was because there was a disparity in cost.  The burden is to show why the score should be higher. 

 

Mr. John Lynn Smith stated that this is an RFP process and not a public contract bid that you have to award the contract to the lowest bidder. The Commission and Department have to ask whether it got the best contract for the City and County of San Francisco, were stewardship goals and objectives to be a good steward of the environment met, could something have done better?  The beauty of the RFP process gives you that opportunity.  There are no timing restrictions. You have been presented with the opportunity to look at transportation alternatives. You can debate whether transportation alternatives were thoroughly evaluated as part of the RFP process. Mr. Smith stated that Waste Management’s score would have been higher if transportation alternatives were thoroughly evaluated and was a single item for consideration of the twenty-one factors.  Commissioner Pelosi Jr. stated that should be presented. (See Explanatory Documents from Mr. John Smith for additional information.)

 

Mr. Eric Smith, Green Depot, stated that he is most interested in the transparency of the process and hopes that will be the case moving forward.  He suggested that in the negotiation process, the economics should be reviewed as well as identifying how new jobs would be created in the city, and to account for how waste would be transported in emergency situations.  He stated that Mr. Gavrich helped negotiate the City’s original waste contract and has valuable information to share which is important and has ramifications.  He explained that the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission also has ideas about waste generation and digestion and hopes that Commission takes all that into consideration.

 

Mr. Steve Stewart, City of Livermore Community Development Department provided his comments on behalf of the City of Livermore as the host community.  He stated that the Altamont landfill has been utilizing revenue from the tipping fees and partnerships of other funding sources for a number of programs that benefit East Alameda County. These programs include open space, habitat acquisition and preservation, recycling, diversion education, and development of community facilities in Livermore’s downtown core.  For example, over 1500 acres of open space has been acquired and preserved in East County, and funds from the education fee provide grants to environmental science programs at local schools and school recycling composting infrastructure projects.  The City respectfully requests that the Commission discuss disposal options that will utilize the Altamont landfill and continues supporting regional and community programs in one of your finer City suburbs.

 

Mr. Jeff Williams, City of Livermore City Council member, stated that he is unclear about the Commission’s oversight role but asked that in its oversight role, that it should assure that overarching considerations spelled out by Acting Director’s summary of information to date has taken place.  Livermore is the city closest to the Altamont Landfill and feels that they have been spectacularly good stewards of the environment and can continue to provide that service to the city of San Francisco.  Commissioner Pelosi Jr. asked what the Commission’s oversight responsibility would be. Deputy City Attorney Owen stated that there is no specific quantifiable standard--it is what the Commission feels is appropriate; however, the contracting process is specifically given to the Department.

 

Mr. Tom Bruen stated that the RFP is not clear or fair because any person in the business reading the RFP would construe it as asking for two things, the identify of the landfill that would be provided to the City and the gate rate as waste comes across the scale of that landfill.  It does not ask for transportation costs.  Transportation is a hugely critical factor in determining competitive proposals.  If you want to know if you have the best price, you have to know where the landfill is and how the waste will get there. Apparently Recology is saying that they are going to use rail haul to Yuba City.  The score sheet shows that Waste Management tied with Recology on everything except price.  Did staff look at transportation costs?  How do you compare bids if someone bid on transportation and nobody else knew it was bid on? Acting Director Assmann stated that everything was taken into consideration, all comparisons were made, and transportation was considered.   

 

Mr. Glenn Kirby, Alameda County Stop Waste Recycling Board President and is representing a portion of Alameda County and Sierra Club’s Executive Board.  He stated that both organizations are interested in this process, and he is happy to be here to observe and learn.  This agenda item is an update and not an action item.  This is actually the correct forum for public comments because the staff was involved in the negotiations and in the RFP process.  His understanding is that the Commission has oversight of the staff’s responsibility to negotiate this contract.  There are discussions between your Commission staff and staff of StopWaste.org, and he hopes that those discussions would result in a recommendation that takes into consideration the benefits and concerns of both San Francisco and Alameda County.

 

Mr. David Gavrich stated that between 1980 and 1984, he was privileged to be working as one of four managers in the newly formed City’s Solid Waste Management program. Senator Dianne Feinstein had just become Mayor at the time when the City of Mountain View (where waste was taken for a number of years) gave the city an ultimatum to either pay rates that are 50% higher than was being paid before or take waste elsewhere.  Mayor Feinstein called the Solid Waste Management program office and was extremely angry about being held hostage by another city and gave the group a clear goal to strike the best possible deal for the longest possible term because she did not want the Mayor or Board of Supervisors to be held hostage again. The new deal was to go to her within 18 months when the term of the Mountain View agreement would expire. The group came back to the Mayor and Board with a deal for 15 millions tons of capacity in 65 years, whichever came first, at a rate that was and would remain for its term about 30 to 40 percent below the market rate for waste. This resulted in a City savings of 27 million dollars a year for over 600 million dollars over the 25 years so far and there is more than five years left in the contract. 

 

Mr. Gavrich stated that he has heard from Mr. Assmann that Department staff has not only entered into sole negotiations with a single favorite disposal contractor, but there were only two contractors in the competition.  Staff decided to exclude one of three contractors that had five nearby landfills before the process began.  Mr. Gavrich stated that this Commission has oversight responsibility and asked who was hurt by that judgment call to exclude one contractor that would save the City hundreds of millions of dollars.  He stated that it is Incumbent on this Commission to let the hearings begin, let the Policy Committee hear this matter so that people are able to speak for more than one minute on a billion-dollar contract.  Mr. Gavrich stated that if this winning proposal was brought forth to the Board of Supervisors, the Commission would be looked at as a total embarrassment. 

 

Commissioner Pelosi Jr. asked why Allied Republic was excluded.  Acting Director Assmann stated because they failed to show up for a mandatory pre-bid process which was a requirement to acquire information on the bid process. They subsequently submitted a proposal that was not considered because they did not attend the mandatory pre-bid. 

 

Ms. Joan Seppala, Independent Newspaper Publisher, that serves East Alameda County, stated that the citizens in East Alameda County are concerned about the environment and have appreciated what Waste Management has done.  They would like the city to take into account the pace setting innovations that the Waste Management LNG plant provides because if this were taken into account, the transportation scoring would be much higher.  She is concerned that the process may not have provided a level playing field and hope that changes are made.

 

Mr. Bob Baltzer, Chairman of Friends of Livermore, stated that he has a personal and organizational ax to grind, which is the tipping fee revenue that comes to the City of Livermore and Tri-Valley County.  As Mr. Stewart has explained, this fee is a tremendous help to the environment and revitalization of the downtown.  The Commission is an environmental oversight group, and it appears that its overarching concerns are being lost with the idea of hauling the waste to a distant land site without the advantages that the Altamont site has, particularly the methane, etc.

 

Unidentified Speaker, YUGAG, stated that Wheatland is Class 1 farmland and showed pictures of rice fields that have standing water even though it hasn’t rained in weeks, walnut orchards, plum orchards, cattle grazing, and beautiful farmland.  She stated that Wheatland has a small landfill in the neighborhood which is being threatened with 3000 tons per day of this City’s waste that will trash her backyard. She asked whether the Department and Commission are only concerned about San Francisco’s environment or about the environmental overall.  She hopes that instead of listening to all of the people that want these contracts, that the Department does an independent study of how Wheatland’s environment would be impacted.  It is beautiful land that is seriously threatened by 3000 tons of garbage per day on a water slough. The corner of this landfill is on a slough.  If there is any type of accident or leak, she would be concerned about the crops and pollution of food.  

 

Commission Vice President Gravanis stated that there is uncertainly about the role of this Commission with respect to the process and asked for clarification. She asked whether the Commission should pursue the idea of further discussion after bids are unsealed in order to have a freer discussion prior to the winning proposal going to the Board of Supervisors. Commissioner Pelosi Jr. stated that this is an important contract that this Commission does not have jurisdiction over.  He asked when the contract would go into effect.  Acting Director Assmann reported that the projection is August of 2015.  Commissioner Pelosi Jr. stated that there does not seem to be an allegation of impropriety, so the Commission’s role is limited in terms of review and involvement.  There does seem to be a misunderstanding with regard to the transportation element of the contract, and there is time to extend the process before going to the Board of Supervisors. He suggested that the Department evaluate ways to address this issue as to whether transportation was fully vetted and that people involved in the bid describe if they knew transportation was involved how that would effect their score.  If someone missed a meeting and that is the way the City runs contracts and the requirement is part of City rules and procedures, exemptions should not be created.  The complaining entity should request that the City Attorneys Office make a ruling whether someone missing a pre-bid hearing should disqualify them from participation.  It should not be a determination made by the Commission or Department.  The Department was following procedures and the process was transparent.  He stated that he does not feel it is appropriate to refer this issue to a Committee or to the Commission because it is a legal issue, and he encouraged interested parties to request clarity from the City Attorney’s Office on the City’s legal procedures.

 

6.      Update on the progress of actions taken by the Board of Supervisors and the Department as a result of the Resolution adopted by the Commission on the issue of Cell Phone Radiation. Sponsor:  President Matt Tuchow; Speaker:  Debbie Raphael, Toxics Reduction Program Manager (Informational Report and Discussion)  Ms. Raphael reported that after the Commission adopted the Cell Phone Resolution, the Mayor introduced legislation which required retailers to post point-of-sale information on cell phone radiation values.  The Board of Supervisors President directed the Ordinance to be heard at the Small Business Commission as well as the Board of Supervisors Neighborhood Services and Operations Committee.  Staff went before the Small Business Commission two weeks ago and while there presenting, the Small Business Network President stated that she was dismayed that the legislation was not presented before her Coalition.  The Small Business Commission asked the Department to work with the Small Business Network and come back to them at their next meeting a month later.

 

Ms. Raphael stated that there was a meeting of the Small Business Network last night.  Department staff prepared a fact sheet for small businesses about what the proposed Ordinance would do and how it might affect small businesses.  Accompanying the fact sheet was a letter from Acting Director Assmann encouraging and inviting members of the small business community to work with the Department directly to reduce the impact to small businesses.  The Small Business Commission relayed their concern about potential impacts on very small businesses whose cell phone sales would be incidental to their overall sales.  Almost unanimously, the Commissioners felt that cell phone safety was an important topic and took time in their comments to discuss their own personal stories about their concerns for cell phone radiation and the importance about the right to know.  The Commissioners thought that the issue was of utmost importance and were glad that the City was looking at the issue, but were concerned with the impact on small businesses.  In the next two weeks, the plan is to craft language of proposed amendments to present to the Small Business Commission that might either phase in or exempt different business sizes and to talk to the small business community about how they define themselves and delineate business. The legislation would be presented to the Small Business Commission in the next two weeks and then heard at the Board of Supervisors.

 

Commissioner Pelosi Jr. stated that he is more concerned with behavioral problems with cell phones.  The science does not support medical concerns addressed so far so he feels there would be a stronger argument regarding the impact on children and social behavior as a way to deter cell phone use.  Ms. Raphael stated that she would like to show the Commission draft language that is being developed in consultation with the Department of Public Health. She explained that ninety-five percent of the material that will be handed out and being developed is on headset use, texting, and behavioral ways to reduce exposure.  The material is respectful of the state of the science at this time.

 

7.      Resolution approving the Department of the Environment Integrated Pest Management’s 2010 Reduced Risk Pesticide List.  Sponsor:  Acting Director David Assmann; Speaker:  Chris Geiger, Ph.D., Green Purchasing Program Manager (Explanatory Documents:  2010 Reduced Risk Pesticide List and Draft Resolution File 2010-04-COE) (Discussion and Action)

 

Dr. Chris Geiger stated that the Reduced Risk Pesticide List for City properties is brought to the Commission annually to approve and is included in the packet. It lists all of the changes that were made since last year’s list.  The list is legislated under the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Ordinance that a list be kept of approved pesticide products for City properties.  He explained that the number of pesticide products on this list is not a performance measure, it is a toolbox--the performance measure is how much is used.  Dr. Geiger reported that two products were added to the list and five removed, the most notable one removed being gopher baits that are being discontinued on City properties because the evidence shows that they do not work well enough to justify their use.  There is also some possibility of secondary toxicity to raptors that data is mixed on, but the fact that it does not work well enough warrants taking it off the list.  He explained that formulations of products are constantly changing.  Another new product is a least toxic product that is being used on golf courses that will reduce the use of some of the more toxic products. 

 

Dr. Geiger reported on major changes in the language for restrictions on product use for second generation rodenticides that would require that a significant public health hazard exist for its use in commercial establishments. He explained that this came to their attention because of the death of seagulls along the waterfront and the discovery of this kind of rodenticide in those seagulls.  The language was clarified to ensure that everything was being done in order to restrict use of those products.  With the Commission’s approval, the 2010 Reduced Risk Pesticide List would be in effect for the next year.

 

Commission Vice-President Gravanis stated that she has heard reports about commercial establishments using some of the products that are not on the approved list and asked what sort of enforcement was available, especially with restaurants along the waterfront where the rodenticide boxes have been observed.  Dr. Geiger stated that staff talks to the Port on a regular basis about their leased properties.  There was discussion with the properties in question about the restrictions on the product.  They were cooperative and indicated they would not use the product. There was a public health concern for one of the properties which allowed them to use the product, but there was less of a public health concern for the other.  He stated that it is difficult to get in touch with all leased properties but staff is doing their best.  Commissioner Mok inquired about how the restrictions would apply to new leaseholders.  Dr. Geiger stated that the IPM Ordinance applies to any lease newer than1996.  

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Jamie Ray thanked the Department for their work on reducing pesticide use in particularly in regards to second generation anticoagulant rodenticides.  She requested that the Department include another poison on the list (name unclear).  She stated that there are other places such as the San Francisco Zoo and parks on City and County property that do use rodent poisons around the property and around garbage cans and no public health hazard exists.  She inquired what can be done with enforcement in those areas.

  

Upon Motion by Commissioner Pelosi Jr., and second by Commissioner Gravanis, the 2010 Reduced Risk Pesticide List was approved without objection. (AYES:  Commission Vice-President Gravanis, Commissioners Mok, Pelosi Jr. and Tuchow; NOES:  None; Absent: Commissioners King, Martin, and Wald).  (Explanatory Document:  Approved Resolution and Reduced Risk Pesticide List)

 

8.      Resolution amending the Commission on the Environment’s Bylaws to change the meeting location of the Operations Committee from the Department of the Environment, 11 Grove Street, to City Hall, Room 421.  Speaker:  Monica Fish, Commission Secretary (Presentation time: 5 minutes) (Explanatory Document: Draft Resolution File 2010-03-COE) (Discussion and Action) Commission Vice-President Gravanis motioned to approve the Resolution.  There was no second.  Ms. Fish reported that the reason for the Resolution is because she feels there is not adequate meeting space accessible to the public at 11 Grove Street. The Resolution was not approved.

 

9.      Commission on the Environment Committee Appointments.  Speaker:  President Matt Tuchow (Discussion and Action).  Commission President Matt Tuchow appointed Commissioners Pelosi Jr., Gravanis and Wald to the Policy Committee and Commissioners Martin, Mok and Tuchow to the Operations Committee.

 

10.  Operations Committee Report. (Information and Discussion)

Chair’s Report:  Review of the agenda for the April 21, 2010 meeting. Commission President Tuchow appointed Commissioner Mok as Chair.  Operations Committee Chair Mok stated that the April 21, 2010 meeting agenda has not been established at this time, but will be worked on.

 

11.   Policy Committee Report. (Information and Discussion)

Chairs Report:  Highlights of the February 22 and March 8, 2010 meetings and review of the agenda for the April 12, 2010 meeting to be held at City Hall, Room 421.  Commission Vice President Gravanis reported that the Policy Committee at their February meeting discussed the Candlestick Point and Hunters Point Shipyard Sustainability Plan and at their March meeting discussed the outreach survey that was sent to environmental groups, the Golden Gate Park soccer field issue, and an update on the Urban Forest Plan.

 

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

         Monica Fish, Commission Secretary

·         Communications and Correspondence

·         Update on Pending City Legislation

Ms. Fish stated that Commissioners have in their packet a written update on current environmental legislation since the last meeting and all correspondence received. She asked Commissioners to pay particular attention to a request by the Mayor’s Office to fill out the Commissioner Appointment form and submit it back to the Mayor’s Office by April 1. She brought to the Commissioner’s attention a memo from the Municipal Transportation Authority stating that their Board would be voting on March 3 whether to eliminate free parking privileges for all Commissioners.  She would provide an update once it is received.

 

13.  Director’s Report. (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. (Information and Discussion) Acting Director Assmann reported that a written report has been provided. There was no further discussion at this time.

 

14.  Announcements.  (Information and Discussion)  There were no announcements made at this time.

 

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

 

16.  New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Information, Discussion and Possible Action) Acting Director Assmann stated that the Director Search Committee may be providing recommendations to the Commission at their May 25 meeting on candidates for the position of Department Director.

 

17.  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. Denise D’Anne suggested that an audit be prepared on how material is used in the City and waste.  She stated that she has spent ten years of her career with the City’s Department of Human Services where she saved millions of dollars because she found ways to reduce waste and encourage more efficient operations.  She reported on the paper waste in the City from printing on one side of the paper and the variation in paper use in countries such as the United States, Europe and Africa, with the United States as the leader in paper use. She discussed the proposed chopping down of sixty trees for the soccer filed project in Golden Gate Park and how the replacement trees would not do the job of sequestering carbon. 

 

18.  Adjournment.  The Commission on the Environment meeting adjourned at 7:50 p.m.

 

Monica Fish, Commission Secretary; TEL:  (415) 355-3709; FAX: (415) 554-6393

 

The next Meeting of the Commission on the Environment is scheduled for Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 5:00 p.m. at City Hall, Room 416. 

 

 

** 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 at https://sites.google.com/a/sfenvironment.org/commission/environment-commission included with minutes by meeting date; (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: December 7, 2010

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