March 11 2013 Policy Committee Meeting Approved Minutes


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 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 Commission Policy Committee meeting convened at 5:10 p.m.  Present:  Commissioners Gravanis, Josefowitz, and Wald.

2. Approval of Minutes of the February 11, 2013 Commission on the Environment Policy Committee Meeting. (Explanatory Document: February 11, 2013 Approved Minutes) (Discussion and Action)  Upon Motion by Commissioner Gravanis, second by Commissioner Josefowitz, the February 11, 2013 Minutes were approved without objection (AYES:  Commissioners Wald, Gravanis and 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. Review and Approval of Draft Resolution File 2013-02-Policy (File Number Corrected) to approve Proposed Grant to Community Initiatives/BC3 for Workplace Electric Vehicle Charging Program. (Explanatory Documents: Approved Resolution and Funding Recommendations) Speaker:  Robert Hayden, Manager of CommuteSmart and Clean Vehicle Programs (Discussion and Possible Action)

Mr. Robert Hayden reported that the Clean Transportation Program of the San Francisco Department of the Environment administers the San Francisco Electric Vehicle Initiative funded through a Department of Energy federal grant.  The Clean Transportation staff recommends that the $50,000 grant be awarded to Community Initiatives/Business Council on Climate Change (BC3) for an electric vehicle workplace charging program.   The grant is to support the work of BC3 in electric vehicle related outreach and information assistance to San

Francisco businesses and includes owners of multifamily and commercial properties. (Reference Funding Recommendations)  Mr. Hayden explained that a professional will be hired to work full time to provide individual outreach to employers and provide one-on-one consultations about transportation.  Commissioners requested a future report on BC3’s accomplishments and associated metrics.  Upon Motion by Commissioner Gravanis, second by Commissioner Josefowitz, Policy Committee Resolution 002-13-Policy was approved (AYES:  Commissioners Wald, Gravanis and Josefowitz). 

5. Update on Renewable Energy Task Force Recommendations Report and Next Steps. (Explanatory Documents:  (1) Renewable Energy Task Force Recommendations Report, (2) Staff Update on the Renewable Energy Task Force Recommendations – March 2013, and (3) 2013 Department of the Environment Renewable Energy Program Priorities) Speaker: Danielle Murray, Renewable Energy Program Manager (Informational Report and Discussion)

Ms. Danielle Murray provided a staff update on the Renewable Energy Task Force Recommendations Report and priorities, reporting on recommendations and their level of impact, timeframe, responsible agencies, and actions to date.  She discussed recommendations that are actively being worked on currently and that are key to reaching goals. (Reference explanatory document)  Ms. Murray introduced Mr. Jason Barbose, Renewable Energy program staff member, who provided input into the process.  Commissioners provided suggestions on the following recommendations: 

  Recommendation to fully fund GoSolarSF.  Commissioner Josefowitz suggested drafting a thank you letter to Mayor Lee for his commitment to fully fund GoSolarSF for recommendation to the Commission.  Director Nutter reported that staff is preparing a memo on options and programmatic recommendations to ensure the program’s future success. 

  Recommendation to adopt a solar-ready policy. Consider an ordinance to require solar site assessments at the time of re-roofing.  Commissioner Josefowitz suggested that any new construction in San Francisco be encouraged to install solar.  Commissioner Wald suggested that the Bayview/Candlestick Park and Treasure Island developments or any other large redevelopments include in their terms and conditions a requirement for solar or solar-ready roofs.   Ms. Murray reported that the CalGreen Building Code will contain net zero goals for residential in 2020 and commercial in 2030 that may help in this effort.   A discussion was held on the use of the solar map to determine the potential for solar for every city address and/or to have solar companies do assessments and outreach to potential clients.  Ms. Murray requested the Commission’s support in adopting a related solar ordinance and will provide an update at a future date.

  CleanPowerSF.  Commissioner Wald discussed the publication of a negative newspaper article about CleanPowerSF and suggested that a letter be sent to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and Board of Supervisors expressing the Department’s and Commission’s support for the program.  Director Nutter stated that an analysis of campaign statements is needed.  Commissioner Gravanis suggested posting and distributing factsheets on the Department’s website and at street fairs to counterbalance the negative campaign.  Discussions were held about inviting SFPUC to provide a program update at either the next Policy Committee or Commission meeting with the inclusion of Local Clean Energy Alliance who requested a presentation before the Commission on plans for a local build out.  Commissioners Wald and Josefowitz suggested that this topic be agendized as a Commission action item so recommendations can be made after the presentation.   Director Nutter reported on ongoing discussions with the SFPUC on the Department’s role in outreach and education for the program.

  Enable Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Pass-throughs under Rent Control.  Ms. Murray reported that the Commission previously approved a list of energy-efficiency and renewable energy measures that could be passed through from landlords to renters above and beyond the annual rent increase limits.  Language in the Rent Board Ordinance requires that the Board of Supervisors approve the list before approval by the Rent Board.  Ms. Murray stated that an updated list would be provided to Commissioners at the April 8 Policy Committee meeting and suggested that the Commission prepare a Resolution urging the Board of Supervisors to adopt an Ordinance to adopt energy conservation pass-throughs and approve the list of measures for recommendation to the Rent Board. 

Commissioner Wald suggested conducting outreach to tenants who are in favor of the proposal and would approve of energy-efficiency measures installed in their housing that may reduce their costs.  Commissioner Josefowitz suggested to first find a way to improve building stock through a voluntary program with landlord and tenant participation.  He suggested developing metrics on how much more tenants pay without energy-efficiency measures in comparison with what tenants pay in energy-efficient buildings. 

  Support expanding Virtual Net Metering.  Ms. Murray reported that virtual net metering has great opportunity to expand access to solar in San Francisco, however there remain questions about whether and how landlords can recoup the cost of solar investments from tenants. Commissioners supported staff to work with the tenant community and the Rent Board to investigate further.

6. Department of the Environment Biodiversity Program.  (Explanatory Document:  Biodiversity Presentation) Speaker:  Peter Brastow, Biodiversity Coordinator (Informational Presentation and Discussion)

Director Nutter reported that Mr. Peter Brastow is working on a Department Biodiversity Strategic Plan and is working with other agencies to create a robust nature program for the Department.  Mr. Brastow reported on the Commission’s Resolution adopted in 2011 that recommended that the Department establish a biodiversity program to make protecting, restoring, and enhancing the City’s biodiversity Commission policy and requesting that staff add biodiversity staffing and programs to its fundraising priorities and incorporate nature into its sustainability programs.  He reported on his work on the Department’s biodiversity program, program mission to protect, conserve and restore the biodiversity, habitats, and ecological integrity of San Francisco’s natural environment, and goals and objectives for coordination, facilitation, and collaboration. 

Mr. Brastow provided an overview on current activities in the state of California and the Franciscan Bio-Region, defined biodiversity and natural areas, and presented on biodiversity hotspots of rarity globally and in the United States.  Additional presentation topics included a report on local biodiversity, management of and the threat of invasive plants, current preservation efforts for endangered species and urban wildlife, habitat restoration and monitoring, and available resources that address biodiversity.  Mr. Brastow discussed the role of education and community stewardship in order to meet biodiversity preservation goals and reported on current urban activities to restore habitat. (Reference Biodiversity Presentation) 

Commissioners, Director Nutter, and Mr. Brastow discussed the need to fundraise and identify grants to expand the program.  A suggestion was made to include the Department’s biodiversity work into the California Academy of Science’s upcoming biodiversity exhibit in May 2014.  Commissioner Gravanis suggested that Mr. Brastow develop a list of activities for volunteers and engage with staff on an outreach program.   Director Nutter suggested working with Department graphic design staff and on projects to engage volunteers in partnership with the Recreation and Park Department.

Mr. Brastow reported on current priorities to (1) draft a proposal to identify other City department needs for a biodiversity program and how the Department can play a role in these efforts; (2) develop content for a new webpage and an April newsletter article; and (3) develop a collaborative working interagency and NGO group to formulate the Biodiversity Strategic Plan.  A discussion was held on the best use of social media to communicate biodiversity activities and information to the public.  Mr. Brastow reported on an upcoming event on April 27 with the Recreation and Park Department that would be a public launch and announcement of the biodiversity initiative and related activities.   Mr. Brastow was asked for a status update on work accomplished at a future meeting and action item requests for the Commission.    

7. Review and Approval of Resolution File 2013-04-COE to Propose Amendments to Commission Resolution 006-12-COE in support of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Expansion. (Continued from the February 11, 2013 Meeting) (Explanatory Document:  Draft Resolution File 2013-04-COE) Sponsor/Speaker:  Commissioner Ruth Gravanis (Discussion and Possible Action)

Commissioner Gravanis reported on amendments that are being proposed to the Commission Resolution in support of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary expansion to address problems presented by SFPUC and SPUR at previous Committee meetings.  Additional amendments were also proposed to address revisions suggested by Commissioner Wald.  Upon Motion by Commissioner Gravanis, second by Commissioner Josefowitz, Resolution File 2013-04-COE was approved for recommendation to the full Commission to adopt the amended Resolution (AYES:  Commissioners Wald, Gravanis and Josefowitz).

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

Director Nutter provided a written Director’s Report and highlighted (1) the Department’s move to 1455 Market Street and invited Commissioners to an upcoming opening celebration (date to be determined); and (2) Lisa and Douglas Goldman grant received to support climate adaptation work.  Commissioners Wald and Gravanis suggested positioning biodiversity work as climate adaptation work.  Commissioner Gravanis on the behalf of the Commission commended the Department and all of the people involved in creating that new office space.  Commissioners Wald and Josefowitz concurred. 
9. Communications.  (Information and Discussion)  Director Nutter reported that staff has been working on a response to Dr. Espanola Jackson regarding Department diversity that will be issued shortly.  Commissioner Wald suggested that the Commission’s Communications process standing rules should state that Commissioners should receive copies electronically of all responses issued on correspondence addressed to the Commission. 
10. Announcements. (Discussion)   There were no announcements made at this time.

11. New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Discussion)  Future agenda items discussed for the April 8 meeting included (1) Committee review of approved list of pass-through items; (2) Committee priorities and the Sustainability Plan; (3) Quarterly review of Commission/Committee accomplishments, and (4) creating a Commission Standing Rules document.

12. 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 were no members of the public present at this time.

13. Adjournment.  The Policy Committee meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.

The next meeting of the Commission on the Environment Policy Committee meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 8, 2013 at 5:00 p.m., in City Hall, Room 421.

Respectfully submitted by Monica Fish, Commission Secretary
Telephone (415) 355-3709; Fax (415) 554-6393

** 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) 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:  April 8, 2013