January 26 2016 Commission on the Environment Meeting Minutes Draft

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO
COMMISSION ON THE ENVIRONMENT
MEETING MINUTES DRAFT

TUESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2016, 5:00 P.M.
CITY HALL, ROOM 416
ONE DR. CARLTON B. GOODLETT PLACE
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94102

COMMISSION MEMBERS:  Commissioners Joshua Arce (President), Sarah Wan (Vice-President), Elmy Bermejo, Lisa Hoyos, Jacquelyn Omotalade, Heather Stephenson, 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 in the Environment meeting convened at 5:05 p.m.  Present: Commissioners, Arce, Wan, Bermejo, Hoyos, Omotalade, Stephenson and Wald.

2.      Approval of Minutes of the November 9, 2015 Commission on the Environment Regular Meeting. (Explanatory Documents: November 9, 2015 Draft Minutes) (Action)

Upon motion by Commissioner Wald, second by Commissioner Bermejo, the November 9, 2015 meeting minutes were approved without objection (AYES: Commissioners Arce, Wan, Bermejo, Hoyos, Omotalade, Stephenson and Wald; Noes:  None; Absent:  None).

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

Commissioner Arce welcomed new Commissioners Hoyos and Omotalade.  Commissioners Hoyos and Omotalade discussed their backgrounds.

Commissioner Arce opened the meeting in honor of environmental justice champion Dr. Espanola Jackson.

Anastasia Glikshtern discussed the Natural Areas Plan, the Climate Conference in Paris and the discussion of deforestation, a book called, “The Invention of Nature,” and provided Commissioners with a letter from Professor Arthur M. Shapiro.

Jackie Flynn, Director of the A. Phillip Randolph Institute in San Francisco, thanked Commissioner Arce and the Commission for its work, congratulated the Commission for being diverse and asked the Commission to continue to be engaged in the community.

Paul Giusti, Recology, thanked and congratulated Commissioner Arce and welcomed the new Commissioners.

Lida Garcia Milhoan, Miraloma Park resident, discussed the San Francisco Natural Areas Plan, the eradication on evasive species, requested the Commission to perform an environmental impact report and asked for an end to the Natural Areas Program.

Patrick Skain referred to an article submitted into the record from Cal-IPC regarding the use of glyphosate.  Commissioner Arce said that this item is on the agenda and welcomed him to come back and speak during public comment on Item #6.

4.      Community Outreach Presentation: “#SFThingToDo” Zero Waste Campaign.  Speaker: Friday Apaliski, Marketing Specialist (8 minutes) (Discussion)

Commissioner Arce said that this portion of the agenda was the idea of Commissioner King to do presentations on the various outreach efforts and programs of the Department of the Environment.

Friday Apaliski gave an overview of the Coffee Pop-Up program which aims to encourage commuters to use reusable cups and mugs which is the San Francisco Thing to Do.  The Department used a pop-up coffee shop to bring people through the journey of a single use cup.  Over five days and two locations, the Department distributed nearly 2,000 cups and garnered 400,000 earned impressions on social media with folks using the hashtag #SFThingtoDo.

Commissioner Omotalade expressed her appreciation for the use of social media to reduce consumption.  Commissioner Wald asked about future coffee pop-up experiences.

5.      Review and Approval of Resolution File 2016-02-COE commending Monica Fish, retired Commission Secretary, for her service to the Department and Commission on the Environment.  (Explanatory Document: Draft Resolution 2016-02-COE) Sponsor and Speakers:  Commission President Joshua Arce and Deborah Raphael, Director (10 minutes) (Discussion and Action)

Commissioner Arce commended Monica Fish for her humility, reliability and hard work.  Director Raphael said that Monica Fish had integrity and believed in good government.  Commission Affairs Manager Anthony Valdez read the resolution into the record.  Monica Fish thanked the Commission and Director Raphael for the opportunity to work for the Department and thanked her daughter Allison and husband Roger for joining her at the meeting.  Commissioner Wald said Monica Fish was a consummate professional over the ten years they worked together, said she was great to have at meetings because of her knowledge and appreciated her minutes writing skills.  Commissioner Stepehnson thanked Monica Fish for her reliability and acessability.  Commissioner Bermejo thanked Monica Fish for keeping her informed.

Public Comment:

Eric Brooks thanked Monica Fish for her high level of comprehensive professionalisim.

Ruth Gravanis, former member of the Commission on the Environment, thanked Monica Fish for her administrative assistance to Commissioners and for going above and beyond to get her job done.

Upon motion by Commissioner Wald, second by Commissioner Bermejo, the resolution commending Monica Fish for her service was approved without objection (AYES: Commissioners Arce, Wan, Bermejo, Hoyos, Omotalade, Stephenson and Wald; Noes:  None; Absent:  None).

6.      Approval of Resolution File 2016-01-COE Adopting the 2016 Reduced Risk Pesticide List for City Properties. Under the Environment Code, the Department maintains a Reduced Risk Pesticide List identifying those pesticides that may be used on City property, subject to restrictions.  (Explanatory Documents:  Cover Memo, Draft Resolution File 2016-01-COE, Policy on the Safe Use of Herbicides, Informal Alternatives Analysis of Herbicides, Restrictions on Most Hazardous Herbicides, Modified Posting Sign for Pesticide Treatments, Public Hearing Summary from 12/16/15, 2016 Reduced Risk Pesticide List, Summary of Exemptions Granted to City Departments in 2015) Sponsor: Deborah Raphael, Director; Speaker: Dr. Chris Geiger, Ph.D., Integrated Pest Management Program Manager (15 Minutes) (Discussion and Action)

Director Raphael gave the history of the Ordinance establishing the Reduced Risk Pesticide list and its intention, discussed the research, community and partner input that are incorporated into the Integrated Pest Management plan and program and said the program has become a model internationally.  Director Raphael said the Department continues to ask the difficult questions and find difficult answers.

Dr. Chris Geiger gave a summary of the Integrated Pest Management Program, presented long-term trends in pesticide use on City property, discussed the events that transpired in 2015 in Glen Canyon Park and the Department’s response, the classification of glyphosate as a probable carcinogen and the Department’s coordination with other City agencies to elevate glyphosate to Tier 1.

Commissioner Wald thanked the Department and Dr. Geiger, said that the item came before the Policy Committee and that there was a thoughtful conversation about the matter and thanked the members of the public for coming to speak to the Committee and Commission to express their concerns.  Commissioner Wald asked for adjustments to Attachment C, Number 10 to narrow the cases that require the need for pest management professionals. Commissioner Arce shared his concerns for the health and safety of workers that use pesticides and the supervision of qualified and licensed professionals when pesticides are being applied by workers.  Commissioner Arce recognized Kevin Woolen, of the Recreation and Parks Department, to discuss the Recreation and Parks Department’s efforts to supervise the application of pesticides. Commissioner Hoyos said she reviewed the information and had discussions with staff from the Department and outside organizations and asked for additional safeguards before she can support.  Commissioner Omotalade thanked the Department and called for continued transparency in the process.

Public Comment:

Patrick Skain referred to an article submitted into the record from Cal-IPC and discussed the use of glyphosate and other carcinogens.  Mr. Skain supported hand weeding, the use of Roundup and other pesticides as necessary.

Igor Lacan, UC Cooperative Extension, identified as the UC corporate advisor to Bay Area counties and applauded the Integrated Pest Management Program, the resulting reduction in pesticides the integration of multiple agencies to establish a plan and discussed the importance of process.

Victoria Hamman has been a resident in San Francisco since 1979.  Victoria said that her dog died of oral cancer from exposure to herbicides in Glen Park.  Victoria said that other cities in the United States and Europe have banned Tier 1 and Tier 2 pesticides and asked for a ban on Tier 1 chemicals in San Francisco.

Linda Garcia Milhoan, resident of San Francisco since 1972 and resident of Miraloma Park, shared concerns that glyphosate is poisoning animals in San Francisco.

Ron Proctor shared a video with the Commission and discussed the enforcement on the individuals that apply pesticides and the consequences for not complying with the guidelines and laws.

Dee Seligman supported the discontinuance of the herbicide garlon because of its risk to humans, animals and insects.  Dee questioned the benefits of using oxalis as it is used for food by animals, eaten by children and applied to fields where children play.  Dee said that budgets are not adequate justification for use.

Jill Fehrenbacher is a mother, environmental activist and journalist on environmental issues, born and raised in San Francisco, lives in the Glen Park neighborhood and concerned about her children playing in the Glen Canyon neighborhood because of the application of pesticides.  Jill is opposed to the use of garland to eradicate oxalis because of its risks.

Eric Brooks, Sustainability Chair for the San Francisco Green Party, shared his concerns about the use of pesticides, discussed the precautionary principle, said the policy was not intended to allow exceptions for weeds and invasive plants, said there is broadcast application of pesticides by Recreation and Parks, discussed the work of the Natural Areas Plan to remove non-natural habitats and discussed his opposition to the plan and its policies and opposes the use of Tier 1 pesticides in San Francisco.

Anastasia Glikshtern opposes spraying of pesticides to eradicate oxalis, discussed other examples of using pesticides and the consequences, opposes the Reduced Risk Pesticide List and said that there has been an increase in the use of herbicides.

Jake Fig, California Native Plant Society, supports the Natural Areas Program for its efforts to remove oxalis from San Bruno Mountain to protect the habitat of federally listed butterflies.

Ray Jones has lived in San Francisco for 40 years, spends time in City parks and asked that the use of pesticides be brought to zero and put people to work at the same time.

Director Raphael discussed the intention of the Department and the law surrounding the Reduced Risk Pesticide list and the precautionary principle.

Commissioner Wan asked for clarification about the video that was showed during public comment and the application of pesticides to remove blackberry bushes.  Commissioner Stephenson asked for clarification about the oversight on contractors and applications.  Commissioner Wald asked how long it would take to create safeguards with contractors.  Kevin Woolen, of the Recreation and Parks Department, said that licensed professionals are used on a site by site basis and that it would be difficult to come up with a time frame based on labor requirements and decisions.  Commissioner Wald recommended approving a list for a six month period.  Policy and Communications Director Guillermo Rodriguez said that the Policy Committee has asked that the Department report back in six months about the oversight over licensed contractors allowing staff to come back with additional information.  Commissioner Omotalade expressed concerns about the pesticides that are being used and the supervision of licensed professionals.  Commissioner Hoyos shared her concerns about the list.  Commissioner Arce shared his concerns with a program that removes invasive species since they help with carbon sequestration. 

Dr. Geiger, in response to Commissioner Hoyos said that the Reduced Risk Pesticide list is a legal requirement and that unless a new list is adopted the prior lists stays in effect.

Commissioner Stepehenson indicated support for Commissioner Wald’s idea of a temporary approval of the list and for Commissioner Hoyos’ request for a list with additional enforcement abilities.  Commissioner Hoyos asked for clarification about what would happen if the list was not passed. 

Director Raphael proposed passing the list until the next Commission meeting on March 22, 2016 with an additional hearing of the issue at the Policy Committee meeting on March 14, 2016.  Commissioner Wald offered edits to Attachment C.

Deputy City Attorney clarified that it is not necessary to alter the attachments, just the Resolution which supersedes the attachments.

Commissioner Omotalade expressed concerns about the application of pesticides in areas where children play in parks.  Commissioner Wald indicated support for temporary approval.  Policy and Communications Director Rodriguez recommended adopting the resolution until the March 14, 2016 Commission meeting.  Commissioner Wald said that the item and the public deserves additional discussion and indicated her support for the Natural Areas Plan.  Commissioner Omotalade indicated her support for Commissioner Wald’s sentiments to be responsive to the public.  Commissioner Arce said he supports the work of the Department’s biodiversity program but said climate change must be a consideration.  Director Raphael committed to having the Policy Committee hear the issue about biodiversity and Natural Areas Plan.  Commissioner Wald discussed the mandates that are placed on the Department of the Environment by the City and County of San Francisco with little enforcement abilities and that much of the enforcement lies in the Department’s leadership and relationships.

Commissioner Arce read the amendments which included approval of the resolution until the March 22, 2016, Commission on the Environment meeting, required an implementation update to the Policy Committee at its March 14, 2016 meeting, fixed a typo on page 1 and made changes to Attachment C.

Upon motion by Commissioner Wald, second by Commissioner Omotalade, resolution File 2016-01-COE was adopted as amended without objection (AYES: Commissioners Arce, Wan, Bermejo, Hoyos, Omotalade, Stephenson and Wald; Noes:  None; Absent:  None).

7.      Review and Approval of the Department of the Environment’s Fiscal Year 2016-17 and 2017-18 Budget.  Sponsor: Deborah Raphael, Director; Speaker: Joseph Salem, Program Manager, Finance and Administration (15 minutes) (Discussion and Action)

Director Raphael said that there has been a change in speakers and that Mark Brown will be presenting the $22 million dollar roughly balanced budget which has a $167,000 deficit in the Environmental Justice program for Fiscal Year 2016-17 she expressed her confidence the situation will be mitigated including General Fund requests.

Mark Brown said that it is the first time the Department was required to submit a two year budget cycle and that it is difficult with 40% grant funding to forecast future salaries and cost increases.  Mark provided provided a high level budget summary of program area revenues and expenses categorized by impound funds, grant funds, other departments funds and work orders received, staffing and changes focusing on 2016-17.

Commissioner Wald asked about the changes in the budget presentation.  Commissioner Stephenson said that the Operations Committee went through the budget as was presented in years past including additional information such as the realignment of the Department and feels confident about the current budget.  Director Raphael said that this year Deputy Director Kass has worked to make sure the presentation is given in a more clear and concise manner.

Commissioner Arce asked for an update on Alemany Farms and recognized Alice Carruthers and discussed a future partnership with Alemany Farms to support urban farming and its programs.  Policy and Communications Director Rodriguez noted that the Board of Supervisors passed legislation consolidating responsibility for urban farming into the Recreation and Parks Department.

Commissioner Hoyos asked about money in the budget to pay for employee leave.  Director Raphael said the risks are not reflected in the budget document.  Commissioner Wald offered the Commission as actively advocate for finding grant opportunities.  Commissioner Bermejo asked the source of the grants. Commissioner Wan asked about the grant priorities and the General Fund ask for the year to deal with the structural deficit.

Public Comment:

Eric Brooks of San Francisco Clean Energy Advocates, Californians for Energy Choice and Green Party of San Francisco, supported the Alemany Farm and encouraged the Department to work with the Department of Public Works and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to receive additional PG&E funding.

Alice Carruthers, Director of the Alemany Farm thanked the Department for their financial support in the past and thanked the Department’s Environmental Justice Program Manager Annie Eng for supporting the farm.

Upon motion by Commissioner Stephenson, second by Commissioner Wald, the budget was approved without objection (AYES: Commissioners Arce, Wan, Bermejo, Hoyos, Omotalade, Stephenson and Wald; Noes:  None; Absent:  None).

8.      Nomination and Election of Commission on the Environment President and Vice-President.  (Discussion and Action)

Commissioner Arce announced he is resigning from the Commission effective the end of January 2016 and nominated Commissioner Wan to be President.  Commissioner Wan declined the nomination citing work and family related travel and work commitments.  Commissioner Wan nominated Commissioner Bermejo to be President.  Commissioner Bermejo declined the nomination citing concerns about the time commitments.  Commissioner Bermejo nominated Commissioner Omotalade.  Commissioner Omotalade accepted the nomination.

Upon motion by Commissioner Wald, second by Commissioner Hoyos, Commissioner Omotalade was elected President without objection (AYES: Commissioners Arce, Wan, Bermejo, Hoyos, Omotalade, Stephenson and Wald; Noes:  None; Absent:  None).

Commissioner Omotalade nominated and moved for Commissioner Bermejo to be Vice President.  Commissioner Bermejo accepted.  Commissioner Arce seconded.  Vice President Bermejo was elected Vice President without objection (AYES: Commissioners Arce, Wan, Bermejo, Hoyos, Omotalade, Stephenson and Wald; Noes:  None; Absent:  None). 

9.      Director’s Report. Updates on Department of the Environment administrative and programmatic operations relating to Budget Planning, Strategic Planning, Clean Air/Transportation, Climate, Energy, Public Outreach and Education, Environmental Justice, Habitat Restoration, Green Building, Zero Waste, Toxics Reduction, and Urban Forestry. Speaker:  Deborah Raphael, Director (Discussion)

Director Raphel announced the Green Business Awards on February 10, 2016 where 71 businesses will be honored, the last ton of material was sent to Altamont, Energy Watch staff brought a member of the California Public Utilities Commission on a tour of public housing and a local business to show energy efficiency programs in San Francisco and the Energy Efficiency Coordinating Committee created by Supervisor Mar will begin meeting shortly.  Commissioner Omotalade commended the Department for meeting people where they are and for having a presence at public events.

Commissioner Arce said he was pleased that the Energy Efficiency Coordinating Committee was moving forward since the effort to have the Committee meet has happened for eight years.

Public Comment:

Eric Brooks of San Francisco Clean Energy Advocates noted the launch of Clean Power SF, encouraged strong public outreach by the Department and discussed the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s philosophy on the buildout.

10.   Policy Committee Report.  Highlights of the January 11, 2016 meeting. (Discussion)

Commissioner Bermejo gave the report in place of Commissioner Wald who had to leave the meeting.  At the December Policy Committee meeting the Committee approved a resolution in support of Portola as San Francisco’s Garden District, had a discussion about the Reduced Risk Pesticides List.  In January the Committee again discussed the Reduced Risk Pesticide List, heard a presentation about the Medicine Take Back program and staff will be coming back to the Commission as milestones are achieved and for approval for a fee structure.  Staff asked that the annual report move to a fiscal year format and will provide an update to the Commission shortly.

Public Comment:

Eric Brooks asked that the Policy Committee agendize the Reduced Risk Pesticide List item for both the February and March.

11.   Operations Committee Report.  Highlights of the January 20, 2016 meeting. (Discussion)

Commissioner Stephenson said that the Committee discussed the budget including a conversation on the reorganization of the Department and the request for a report back on the plan.  The Committee heard a presentation from the outreach team on the efforts around the #SFThingToDo campaign and a presentation by the Environment Now program.

12.   Announcements.  (Discussion)

Commissioner Arce said that he would like to meet with Mr. Brooks regarding his union Local 261 which has been working to early enroll members in Clean Power SF and the challenge is that members face the digital divide.  Commissioner Arce also announced that it was his last meeting, that it has been an honor to serve on the Commission and that he is proud of how the Department has engaged various communities and has quantified its work, that he appreciates the coordination between the Director and the Commission and recognized Dr. Espanola Jackson as a mentor to both Commissioner Arce and Commissioner Omotalade

Commissioner Omotalade said that it was a pleasure to work with Commissioner Arce and thanked him for his passion for building bridges and removing barriers to create change.  Director Raphael said she was sad to see Commissioner Arce go, that he will be invited back for a proper farewell, that she appreciated his skill in facilitating and wishes him luck in his future endeavors.

Commissioner Bermejo met Commissioner Arce via the Latino Issues Forum on policy papers about the environment and was pleased that she was able to reconnect with Josh and serve with him.  Commissioner Hoyos thanked Commissioner Arce for his orientation and perspectives.

Commissioner Arce acknowledged his wife Lisa and his sons Desmond and Lennon Sebastian and thanked his family for their support.

13.   President’s Announcements.  (Discussion)

There were no announcements.

14.   Commission Affairs Manager Written Report. (Explanatory Document: Commission Affairs Manager Report, Correspondence Log, Subscription Notice) Speaker: Anthony Valdez, Commission Affairs Manager (Discussion)

Commission Affairs Manager Anthony Valdez noted that Commissioners have received materials in their packet including a subscription notice to people wishing to remain on the list.  Anthony also noted that he had Commissioners’ W-2s.  Commissioner Stephenson asked for the website for people to opt-in to the email list.

15.   New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Discussion and Possible Action)

There were no new business and future agenda items.

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

There was no public comment.

17.   Public comment on all matters pertaining to the subsequent closed session on Public Employee Performance Plan and Appraisal Report.

Eric Brooks asked about the length of the agenda item.

18.   Vote on whether to hold closed session to evaluate the performance of the Executive Director, Deborah Raphael.  (Cal. Govt. Code § 54957; SF Admin. Code § 67.10(b).) (Action)

Upon motion by Commissioner Wan, second by Commissioner Arce, the Commission moved into closed session without objection (AYES: Commissioners Arce, Wan, Bermejo, Hoyos, Omotalade, Stephenson; Noes:  None; Absent:  Wald).

19.   CLOSED SESSION – PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE PLAN AND APPRAISAL REPORT

Possible closed session to evaluate the performance of the Executive Director, Deborah Raphael.  (Explanatory Document:  Performance Plan and Appraisal Report) (Cal. Govt. Code § 54957; SF Admin. Code § 67.10(b).)  (Discussion and Possible Action)

OPEN SESSION

Reconvene in open session:

Vote to elect whether to disclose any or all discussions held in closed session.  (SF Admin. Code § 67.12(a).)  (Action)

Upon motion by Commissioner Arce, second by Commissioner Wan, the Commission voted not to disclose any or all discussions held in closed session without objection (AYES: Commissioners Arce, Wan, Bermejo, Hoyos and Omotalade; Noes:  None; Absent:  Stephenson and Wald).

20.   Adjournment.

Commissioner Arce reminded Commissioner Omotalade to never forget to thank Deputy City Attorney Tom Owen, Anthony Valdez and the staff at SFGTV.

Upon motion by Commissioner Hoyos, second by Commissioner Arce, the Commission adjourned without objection at 10:23 p.m. (AYES: Commissioners Arce, Wan, Bermejo, Hoyos and Omotalade; Noes:  None; Absent:  Stephenson and Wald).

The next Regular Meeting of the Commission on the Environment is scheduled for Tuesday, March 22, 2016, 5:00 p.m. at City Hall, Room 416.

** 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.  Photo identification is required for access to the building; (2) on the Commission’s website http://www.sfenvironment.org/commission/agendas, or (3) upon request to the Commission Secretary at telephone number 415-355-3700, or via e-mail [email protected]. The meeting audio can be reviewed at website link http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=165

 

Posted: February 8, 2016