August 12 2013 Policy Committee Meeting Approved Minutes


MONDAY, AUGUST 12, 2013, 5:00 P.M.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:  Commissioners Johanna Wald (Chair), Ruth Gravanis (Vice-Chair), Nicholas Josefowitz
Public comment will be taken before the Committee takes action on any item.

1. Call to Order and Roll Call. The Policy Committee meeting convened at 5:10 p.m.  Present:  Commissioners Wald, Gravanis and Josefowitz (5:17 p.m.)

2. Approval of Minutes of the July 8, 2013 Commission on the Environment Policy Committee Meeting. (Explanatory Documents:  July 8, 2013 Draft and Approved Minutes) (Discussion and Action)  Upon Motion by Commissioner Gravanis, second by Commissioner Wald, the July 8, 2013 Meeting Minutes were approved (AYES:  Commissioners Gravanis and Wald; Absent:  Commissioner Josefowitz).

3. Public Comments:  Members of the public may address the Committee on matters that are within the Committee’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  There was no public comment at this time.

4. Informational Report on Supervisor Chiu’s Legislation to Reduce Plastic Water Bottle Sales on City Property.  (Explanatory Document:  Background on Proposed Legislation and Draft Legislation) Sponsors:  Melanie Nutter, Director and Commissioner Johanna Wald; Speaker:  Catherine Rauschuber, Legislative Aide, Office of Supervisor Chiu (10 minutes)(Informational Report and Possible Action)

Ms. Catherine Rauschuber reported on Supervisor Chiu’s proposed legislation to reduce plastic water bottle waste on City property.  The legislation would establish (1) requirements to not permit individual service plastic bottled water to be sold or distributed at large (over 1000 attendees) paid or free-admission events on City property and facilities when there is a potable source of water available on the property that would reliably meet hydration needs. 

Events shall still ensure the availability of water to guests by providing water through potable sources.  There are certain exclusions and waivers that may be granted; (2) that individual serving plastic bottled water could not be sold or distributed by any new vendors or concessions signing leases for operation on City property and facilities with certain exclusions; and (3) would codify 2007 Executive Order 07-05 by prohibiting most City departments from purchasing bottled water. (Reference Background on Proposed Legislation and Proposed Legislation explanatory documents.)  Ms. Rauschuber reported that the legislation may be introduced to the Board of Supervisors in the first two weeks of September.  Ms. Rauschuber reported that consideration was given to separating the events on City property and facilities section of the legislation from the concessions/vendors portion so the legislation would be more straightforward. 

Ms. Rauschuber reported on discussions held with City departments, event producers and organizers and feedback received about potential hardships on individual food vendors that rely on proceeds received from individual water bottle sales at events.  Commissioner Wald suggested that vendors sell the larger 16 oz. bottles required by the Ordinance instead.  Ms. Rauschuber discussed event organizers that have been successful and supportive of the concept and would be willing to provide guidance to other event organizers.  Feedback was received about an unwillingness to restrict water sales to vendors near sporting fields or events.  She reported that there is not enough access to potable water in the City for outside events, and that there are current restrictions on large trucks that could provide water on many City streets.  It would require considerable investment to create a better water infrastructure.

Commissioner Gravanis provided suggestions as follows:
• Reduce or vary the number of attendees’ requirement of 1000 based on the type of event and availability of a water source. Any Indoor event with the inclusion of sporting events should not be allowed to sell individual bottles if there is a water source available.
• Include the City department that is in charge of City Hall events in the legislation.
• Phase in additional requirements to the legislation with different implementation dates.
• Include community outreach and education that would be provided by EnvironmentNow staff in the Ordinance.
• Recommend on tickets and advertisements for events to bring your own water bottle. Require that such encouragement be included as a condition of waivers.

Commissioner Wald provided suggestions as follows:
• Producing City and County of San Francisco refillable water bottles with a CCSF logo as a revenue generator.
• Restrict the sale of single-serve water bottles at indoor/enclosed events and sporting arenas and provide water in cups instead.
• Phase in requirements for outdoor events to implement similar mechanisms that were used by the Outside Lands Event for providing water.
• Require City departments to consult with a third party as part of the review process for issuing a waiver.  Ms. Rauschuber and Director Nutter discussed the feasibility of the Department of the Environment and other lead agency(s) playing a role in approving waivers and then issuing a yearly report of waivers to the Board of Supervisors.
• Direct funds received from fines to continued outreach in order to reduce City costs.

Commissioner Josefowitz inquired about the feasibility of serving water in plastic cups as a substitute for a water bottle.  He provided suggestions that include:
• Revising Section 2504 that allows departments to self-waive.  Commissioner Wald suggested revising Section 2508(d) for consistency with requirements.
• Requiring agencies that receive waivers to report on the number of water bottles sold or distributed.
• Increase the fine for violation of the Ordinance so that people are more likely to abide by the rules of the Ordinance and not renewing the lease for multiple violations.  Commissioner Wald suggested that the fine be applicable to a percentage of the sale.

Mr. Steven Chiv, Department of the Environment Zero Waste staff, reported that the 2007 Food Service Ware Ordinance applies to not serving beverages in styrofoam, but that plastic cups would be allowable. A discussion was held on how the Outside Lands event was organized and mechanisms that were implemented to reduce single-serve water bottle sales.  It was suggested that the cost of single-serve water bottles be increased in order to influence people to another alternative.  

Commissioner Wald asked Ms. Rauschuber to provide the Commissioners with a date that the legislation would be introduced so that Commissioners may attend the meeting to advocate for the legislation or prepare a Resolution prior to the meeting.  Ms. Rauschuber and Director Nutter discussed meeting to consider the feasibility of the Department of the Environment establishing rules and regulations for issuing waivers and requirements of the legislation.

Public Comment:

Ms. Lurilla Harris suggested that water filling stations similar to the one in Yerba Buena Park be installed in all parks. 

Ms. Taylor Emerson reported on her interest in banning bottled water sales on public property.  She suggested that a device similar to one found in Berkeley City parks be installed in San Francisco city parks that have potable water.  Ms. Emerson reported that installation costs range from $500 to $1000 for each unit and suggested starting with the ten most popular parks in San Francisco that have potable water.     

5. Written Staff Report on City and County of San Francisco Department Climate Action Plans for Fiscal Year 2012-13.  (Explanatory Document:  City and County of San Francisco Department Climate Action Plans, Five Year Program Update) Sponsor:  Commissioner Johanna Wald; Speaker:  Calla Ostrander, Staff Climate Action Coordinator (Written Informational Report and Discussion)

Ms. Calla Ostrander reported that a report on the last five years of the Departmental Climate Action program summary would be available this fall, and she would provide an overview at that time.  The written staff report includes a status update on the 2013 Departmental Climate Action Plan program, a report of all of the departments who have participated in the program in the last five years, and a list of departments that are and are not included.  Also included is a Draft Municipal Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report for Fiscal Year 2011-12 that includes a ranking of Departments by resource consumption listing those who are the top contributors to carbon emissions and a preliminary assessment of where greenhouse gas emissions reductions can be achieved in the future.

Commissioner Wald stated that since the report is relevant to the public power debate, she urged that this information be made available to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and to the Department’s Public Outreach team, who will be providing education if the CleanPowerSF program moves ahead.  Ms. Ostrander explained that data is gathered from the SFPUC, and that they and other partner agencies would be assisting in the final draft of the report. The report would be shared with the Department’s Public Outreach team and others that would benefit from the information.  All Department Climate Plans and aggregate data will be publicly available; however, facility data is not publicized because of security requests.  Commissioner Wald recommended publicizing the departments with the highest rankings to influence others to improve their program.  Ms. Ostrander reported that departments such as MUNI are not able to improve their carbon footprint until their conversion to biofuels, and that the transition to backup generators by Department of Public Health and San Francisco Airport will improve their footprint.

Commissioner Josefowitz suggested starting an annual department competition for reducing power consumption.  Ms. Ostrander reported that the SFPUC Building Benchmark report lists facilities over 10,000 square feet and benchmarking scores that can be used in a variety of ways.  She reported on the difficulty in offering incentives for reducing energy usage because electricity is so highly subsidized for general fund departments that savings are not realized as a result.  Commissioners suggested changing the subsidy.  A discussion was held on incentives that could be applied to fuel programs. 

Ms. Ostrander reported that the Department Climate Action Plan Summary would not include specific recommendations and would be informational and for review.  The report would contain recommendations from the Transportation team and the SFPUC.  The City will have to review its incentive structures and consider choices to make for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and how City resources and assets are managed. Commissioner Wald suggested holding workshops. 

Director Nutter stated that discussions have been held on the energy challenge and raising energy costs for City departments because it would then make energy efficiency more meaningful.  She suggested that the Commission consider a discussion of this topic. Ms. Ostrander urged the Commission to consider how to program can be applied in the future since over 65 departments have participated, and it is a good education and outreach tool about best practices for employees.  Director Nutter announced that the annual Blue Green Awards ceremony to recognize and honor departments that have gone above and beyond their duty would be held this fall.   

Public Comment:    

Ms. Lurilla Harris inquired whether Department Climate Action Plan reports include subcontractor information.  Ms. Ostrander reported that the MTA, SFPUC, and School District have large subcontractors and information is not currently available for those fueling at private stations. If they fuel at City stations, that fuel usage is charged to the parent agency, but information on where the fuel is going to is not available to Ms. Ostrander.

Mr. William Zeller reported that a small portion of fuel used by the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) and community colleges is for their non-revenue fleet and is accounted for in the GSA Central Shops fuel report that is included in the report.  If the fuel purchase is part of a contract, then the information could be made available.  Ms. Ostrander reported that the SFUSD and several other agencies that are not within the City’s jurisdiction have never submitted a Climate Action Plan, but there are opportunities to influence their decisions.

6. Staff Report on Car Idling Reduction Campaigns.  (Explanatory Document:  Attend the Idle Reduction Workshop Flyer) Sponsor: Commissioner Johanna Wald; Speakers:  Robert Hayden, Manager of CommuteSmart and Clean Vehicle Programs and William Zeller, Senior Clean Vehicle Program Coordinator (Informational Report and Discussion)

Mr. Robert Hayden reported that cities around the country have recognized the importance of and impacts of car idling on air quality, health, climate, and the environment.  The Department of Energy through the Clean Cities Coalition program is starting to focus on this issue.  Mr. William Zeller, Coordinator for the Clean Cities Coalition, works with stakeholders and cities on ways to reduce petroleum fuel usage for transportation and has scheduled an idle-reduction workshop along with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District on September 24 (reference Attend the Idle Reduction Workshop explanatory document). 

Mr. Hayden stated that the worst offenders for idling are heavy duty vehicles that are generally over 10,000 lbs. reporting that there are approximately 35,000 estimated to be operating in the city.  He reported on the amount of climate-related emissions resulting from idling diesel vehicles and the increased expense in fuel costs to fleet operators caused by excessive idling.  California has a state law targeted to heavy duty trucks that specifies that any diesel vehicle over 10,000 lbs. cannot idle for more than five minutes at a time, but the law does contain many exemptions.  The enforcement process is not effective because of a lack of enforcement personnel in the CARB and air quality management districts.  Measurable results have been seen in San Francisco through education and outreach by the Department of the Environment’s EnvironmentNow team on the Safe Routes to Schools program’s anti-idling campaign to 15 schools.  An intern is close to completing a research project on city activities in this area, types of programs available, possible solutions, and lessons learned.  Moving at a local level would require an ordinance and considering details for an enforcement program, public outreach and education. 

Mr. William Zeller reported that CARB staff would like to see a more thorough and model ordinance be created.  Mr. Hayden reported that cities may only be able to act if it is authorized in the California Vehicle Code, which enables municipalities to act on traffic enforcement.  He reported that New York City has reduced their car idling allowance adjacent to schools to one minute from the current three minutes.  A discussion was held on potential strategies to stop idling that includes using car anti-idling mechanisms, developing new technologies, outreach to truck owners, targeting areas for enforcement based on the amount of high-diesel particulates, patrolling by park enforcement personnel, using alternative power sources for food trucks, etc., issuing fines that could be used for outreach and education, working with SFMTA to minimize bus idling, and offering incentives.  Mr. Donnie Oliveira suggested creating a city registry of certified truck haulers as an incentive.

Mr. Hayden reported that the scoping process is beginning on creating a city or regional ordinance and that he would issue a report back in six months.  Director Nutter reported that Department work plans are being completed for the next fiscal year and suggested that the Commission consider items that should be moved expeditiously so Department staff can consult with the Mayor’s Office or Board of Supervisors about sponsoring the item.
7. Presentation on Eco-Districts Type III (Eco-Neighborhood) Pilot Program.  (Explanatory Document:  The Eco-Neighborhoods Project) Sponsor:  Commissioner Johanna Wald; Speaker:  Donnie Oliveira, Outreach Program Manager (Informational Presentation and Discussion)

Mr. Donnie Oliveira provided an overview of the Eco-Neighborhoods project that will empower communities with the support and resources they need to craft and implement their own sustainability action plans with assistance from City agencies.  He reported on project coordination efforts between himself, the San Francisco Planning Department, and City Administrator’s Office staff on developing a roadmap that would help neighborhoods and existing community leaders to create their own sustainability roadmap at a neighborhood level.  Mr. Oliveira reported that the Inner Sunset neighborhood has been selected as the first pilot project because it has strong neighborhood associations, capacity for new projects, and interest in environmental programming and sustainability initiatives.  He will be coordinating with neighborhood groups in the district on the type of project they would like to see in the next year and help build capacity.  An interest has been expressed in bicycle safety and transit projects.

Director Nutter reported that Mr. Oliveira and the Department of the Environment have been instrumental in development of the Eco-Neighborhood project and in screening and providing outreach and community building in neighborhoods.  She explained that the Inner Sunset has the capacity for this type of project at this time, and that going forward plans are to work with neighborhoods that do not have as much capacity to apply lessons learned.  Commissioner Gravanis inquired whether a menu of potential projects would be provided.  Mr. Oliveira reported that neighborhoods would be dictating the process, and City agencies would be working together to offer resources, technical support, and help on how to fundraise, select, and execute projects (reference explanatory document on the process and method). He explained that the next neighborhood may have different needs and require a change in strategy.  A formal project launch and neighborhood event is scheduled in October/November.  Commissioner Wald suggested that the Committee hold a meeting to host members of the community to provide feedback about the success of the project.     

Public Comment: 

Ms. Nancy Cross discussed the need for the City to provide a livable community for residents residing in San Francisco downtown and Tenderloin neighborhood shelters by providing more open space and parks where activities can be planned. 

8. Update on SF Environment’s Current Strategic Planning Process.  (Explanatory Document:  Strategic Plan Structure) Sponsors:  Commissioner Johanna Wald and Melanie Nutter, Director; Speaker:  Melanie Nutter, Director (Informational Report and Discussion)

Director Nutter suggested that this agenda item be continued in order to provide more information received from senior staff and the plan consultant.  Upon Motion by Commissioner Josefowitz, second by Commissioner Gravanis, this agenda item was continued to the September 9, 2013 Policy Committee meeting (AYES:  Commissioners Wald, Gravanis and Josefowitz).

9. Director’s Report and Updates.  (Explanatory Document:  Director’s Report) Speaker: Melanie Nutter, Director (Informational Report and Discussion)

Director Nutter announced the launch of the Climate Adaptation Interagency Working Group.  Two successful meetings have been held that were attended by all of the major infrastructure departments to discuss what the risks are to the City and County of San Francisco as it relates to the impacts of climate change and how to think in the short and long term on how to address risks.  A presentation was received from Capital Planning staff on the Ten-year Capital Plan.  The Department of the Environment was offered the opportunity to present to the group on adaptation strategies that could potentially be funded in future geo bonds for the City. An article on the launch of the group is available on the Department’s website.

Commissioners Gravanis and Wald suggested that meeting updates should be posted on the website. Commissioner Wald suggested that City groups who are interested in this topic be invited to future meetings to provide input and support.  Director Nutter reported that the plan is to discuss strategies with City agencies initially and then open it up to external stakeholders and bring it out to neighborhoods.    

10. Communications.  (Explanatory Document:  Correspondence Log) (Information and Discussion) 

Ms. Lauren Lester, Department of the Environment Executive Assistant, announced that the Correspondence Log was included in the Committee packet for review.  Department staff was thanked for their work on the Correspondence Log and responses to correspondents.

11. Announcements. (Discussion) 

Director Nutter announced that the Department of the Environment would be hosting an Open House in September.  Event invitations to Commissioners would be forthcoming.

12. New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Discussion)

The Department of the Environment Strategic Plan is scheduled for the September 9, 2013 meeting.  Commissioner Gravanis suggested that (1) the Toxics Reduction team provide information to be included in the Director’s Report on what to do with BPA paper receipts and whether they should be placed in the recyclable bin or in landfill; (2) staff copy the Commission on Department of the Environment initiatives and policy statements that are submitted to the State Legislative Committee; (3) the Commission revise its agenda setting procedure to make sure that meetings are kept within a three-hour or reasonable timeframe; and (4) the Commission be provided with guidelines for Commission meeting agenda language in order to comply with Sunshine Ordinance requirements.   Commissioner Wald stated that she would be speaking to Director Nutter about suggestions for Commission on the Environment retreat topics since the item had not been discussed at the August 6 Commission meeting.  Commissioner Josefowitz suggested that topics that were suggested but would not be selected for the Commission retreat be forwarded for future Committee discussion.

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

Ms. Nancy Cross discussed the need for San Francisco to think regionally in terms of transportation and clean air initiatives.

14. Adjournment. The Commission on the Environment Policy Committee meeting adjourned at 7:27 p.m.

The next meeting of the Commission on the Environment Policy Committee meeting is scheduled for Monday, September 9, 2013 at 5:00 p.m., in City Hall, Room 421.
** Copies of explanatory documents are available at (1) the Commission’s office, 1455 Market Street, Suite 1200, San Francisco, California 94103 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., (2) may be available on the Policy Committee’s website with each set of minutes, or (3) upon request to the Commission Secretary at telephone number 415-355-3709, or via e-mail at [email protected].  The meeting audio can be reviewed at this website link by meeting date

Approved: September 9, 2013