June 9 2014 Policy Committee Meeting Approved Minutes


MONDAY, JUNE 9, 2014, 5:00 P.M.


COMMITTEE MEMBERS:  Commissioners Johanna Wald (Chair) and Ruth Gravanis


1. Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Policy Committee meeting convened at 5:03 p.m.  Present:  Commissioners Wald and Gravanis.  Department of the Environment Director Deborah Raphael was welcomed to the Department and to the Committee meeting. 

2. Approval of Minutes of the May 22, 2014 Commission on the Environment Policy Committee Rescheduled Meeting. (Explanatory Document:  May 22, 2014 Draft Minutes) (Discussion and Action)  Upon Motion by Commissioner Gravanis, second by Commissioner Wald, the May 22, 2014 Policy Committee Meeting Minutes section was approved without objection (AYES:  Commissioners Wald and Gravanis).  Review and approval of the May 22, 2014 Commission section of the meeting minutes would be continued to the next Commission meeting.

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 Presentation and Update on Stakeholder Engagement to Develop a San Francisco Solar Policy for New Construction. (Explanatory Document:  Draft Resolution) Sponsor:  Commissioner Arce; Speaker: Alison Healy, Renewable Energy Program Manager (Informational Presentation and Discussion)

Department of the Environment Renewable Energy Program Manager Alison Healy reported on her work with stakeholders consisting of Code Advisory Groups, the Building Owners Management Association, City departments and other advisory groups to develop a Solar Ordinance for new construction.  She reported that there is interest in combining requirements of the Solar Ordinance with a separate Green Roof Ordinance on new construction, so that other options such as green roofs, solar hot water, and possibly decks could be considered if solar is not an option.   Ms. Healy reported that the goal is to publish a first draft of the Ordinance by September.

Commissioner Gravanis suggested that both the Green Roof and Solar Ordinances make clear to what extent these installations would help insulate the house and help lower energy costs so that the property owner has a range of choices that makes the most environmental and financial sense.  She suggested factoring in the carbon sequestration of vegetation that is being planted on the roof and incorporating storm water management. 

Commissioner Wald suggested editing the Resolution so that the last two “Whereas” clauses are not “directing” the Department to take action, capitalizing “residential” on page 2, line 11, and to edit the “Whereas” clause on page 2, line 8 so there is not a suggestion that greenhouse gas goals can be met through solar.  She suggested that this Resolution be presented at the time the Ordinance is introduced.

Public Comment:  Mr. Nik Kaestner spoke in support of the revival of the Residential Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (PACE).

5. Presentation on San Francisco Unified School District’s (SFUSD) Sustainability Program.  (Continued from the May 27, 2014 Commission Meeting) (Explanatory Document:  Presentation) Sponsor:  David Assmann, Deputy Director; Speaker:  Nik Kaestner, Director of Sustainability, San Francisco Unified School District(Informational Presentation and Discussion)

San Francisco Unified School District’s Director of Sustainability Nik Kaestner presented on SFUSD’s Sustainability program that focuses on reinforcing the curriculum to protect the environment.  He discussed his work in collaboration with the Department of the Environment and other City agencies. Mr. Kaestner reported on program goals that include 75% car-free ridership by 2020, 10% utility reduction by 2015, 75% waste diversion by 2015, ubiquitous green schoolyards, ecoliterate graduates, and saving money to fund education programs. A discussion was held on the following sustainability programs:

• School transportation program elements to reduce car ridership.
• Green Buildings: updated standards, sustainable design, green cleaning, tap stations, solar photovoltaics installations, and addressing problems.
• Shared Savings Elements, Results, District Bills, Keys to Success, and Incentives.
• Zero Waste Food to Flowers Program competition and keys to success and schoolyards program best practices. 
• Eco-literacy Program, Team, and Best Practices.

Commissioner Wald suggested creating a vehicle by which programs and savings achieved can be communicated to parents of children so they can think about changing their own behavior.  Mr. Kaestner reported that SFUSD has an Eco-literacy content specialist focusing on curriculum who will be publishing a newsletter and that a district newsletter can also contain this information.  Commissioners Wald and Gravanis suggested that the Commission consider a future Resolution to the School Board in support of the program. Director Raphael and Mr. Kaestner discussed current and future plans for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) work.  Mr. Kaestner suggested that a future presentation be given on the Eco-literacy program to the Committee.     

6. Director’s Update. Deborah Raphael, Director (Discussion)  Department of the Environment Director Deborah Raphael reported on the Department’s work in the areas of (1) Zero Waste: program’s emphasis on compliance enforcement of the Mandatory Recycling and Composting Ordinance; (2) Toxics Reduction: (a) Department’s role in providing education to furniture retailers and manufacturers on the change in fire safety standards to eliminate the use of flame retardants in furniture foam, and (b) IPM program: Environmental Protection Agency’s agreement with the manufacturer to cancel certain rodenticide products; (3) Clean Transportation: Vision Zero Task Force participation to prevent future traffic fatalities; (4) Environmental Justice and EnvironmentNow: launch of Integrated Pest Management pilots in public housing and IPM work with other cities on multi-family buildings; and (5) Green Building: development of laws for benchmarking multi-tenant buildings.

Director Raphael announced that there would be an open house on June 24th at 5:30 p.m. honoring the transition of Department staff.  She reported on meetings held and planned with Board of Supervisors members to discuss an environmental needs assessment for each supervisorial district. 

Commissioner Wald suggested that discussion be held at a future Committee meeting on how to outreach to the public on enforcement of the Mandatory Recycling and Composting Ordinance.  Commissioner Gravanis suggested that written communication be sent to the public informing them that enforcement measures will be taken for non-compliance.     

7. Communications.  (Explanatory Document:  Correspondence Log) (Information and Discussion)  Commission Secretary Fish reported that a written correspondence log of all Commission correspondence received and status thereof is included.  A discussion was held on the process for how communication is handled.

8. Announcements. (Discussion) Announcements were made of upcoming Department of the Environment events.  Commissioner Gravanis announced that the Recreation and Open Space Element of the General Plan will be before the Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee on Monday, June 16th at 1:30 p.m. and discussed the Department’s work to include biodiversity in the Plan. 

9. New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Discussion) Commission Secretary Fish reported on the agenda checklist that she works on to keep track of Commissioner-requests for future meeting agenda topics. Commissioner Gravanis suggested future meeting discussions of (1) Committee meeting agenda priority setting when a new Committee member is appointed; (2) review and approval of the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Ordinance Annual Report for recommendation to the Commission; (3) consumer education on the carbon footprint of products that consumers buy, labeling, and implementation of a web portal of the most common products; (4) Strategic Plan timeline for Commission approval; (5) update on compostable product labeling; (6) update on biofuels; (7) education on BPA in store receipts and future plans; (8) identifying methodologies for handling mixed plastics; and (9) written assessment of SFGTV viewership of televised Commission meetings. 

Director Raphael suggested a future presentation by an inventor who has a patented system to recycle and deal with mixed plastic loads. A discussion was held on how staff can involve the Commissioners more in their work, e.g., through the Commissioner and Department Staff liaison process and attendance at press conferences.  

Agenda meeting topics suggested for the July 14 Committee meeting include Zero Waste enforcement mechanisms and review and approval of the Green Purchasing Annual Report for recommendation to the Commission.  Commissioner Wald suggested that the Department pay more attention to ongoing communication and outreach to the public of Department accomplishments, services, and resources.  She suggested advertising the Department’s work on bus shelters.  Director Raphael suggested a presentation by the Department’s Outreach Manager and School Education Manager with a focus on Commissioner’s questions and input. 

10. 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.
11. Adjournment.  The Commission on the Environment Policy Committee meeting adjourned at 6:58 p.m.

The next meeting of the Commission on the Environment Policy Committee is scheduled for Monday, July 14, 2014 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.  Photo identification is required for access to the building; (2) on the Policy Committee’s website http://www.sfenvironment.org/commission/agendas, 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 the website link by meeting date http://www.sfenvironment.org/commission/audio. 

Approved:  July 14, 2014