March 8 2016 Policy Committee Meeting Minutes Approved






TUESDAY, MARCH 8, 2016, 5:00 P.M.






The Monday, March 14, 2016 5:00 p.m. meeting of the Commission on the Environment Policy Committee has been RESCHEDULED to Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.


*If a quorum of the Commission on the Environment is present, it will constitute a Special Meeting of the Commission on the Environment.  The Commission Affairs Manager shall make a note of it in the minutes, and discussion shall be limited to items noticed on this agenda.


COMMITTEE MEMBERS:  Commissioners Johanna Wald (Chair), Elmy Bermejo, Lisa Hoyos.



Public comment will be taken before the Committee takes action on any item.



1.     Call to Order and Roll Call. The Commission on the Environment Policy Committee meeting was convened at 5:03 p.m. (Present: Commissioners Wald, Bermejo and Hoyos)


2.     Approval of Minutes of the February 17, 2016 Commission on the Environment Policy Committee Meeting. Upon motion by Commissioner Bermejo and second by Commissioner Hoyos, the minutes of the February 17, 2016 Commission on the Environment Policy Committee Meeting were approved without objection (AYE: Commissioners Wald, Bermejo and Hoyos).


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


No Public Comment



4.     San Francisco’s Proposed Better Roof Policy: Update on Draft Ordinance. Speaker: Kacia Brockman, Renewable Energy Coordinator (15 minutes) (Discussion)


Kacia Brockman, Renewable Energy Coordinator with the Department of the Environment discussed the legislation that was proposed by Supervisor Wiener to require the installation of solar energy fixtures on certain new buildings that are being constructed with the possibility of including living roofs in the future.  The policy applies to new construction, single family homes and non-residential and multifamily units that are up to 75 feet in height.  The requirement will apply to buildings that apply for a permit starting January 1, 2017.  The requirement is a follow up to previous state code that required new construction designate an area of roofs set aside to be solar ready free from shade or obstruction.


The policy, if passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors would have to go to the State Energy Commission for approval since San Francisco is going above and beyond the state requirements.


Director Raphael asked about the reasoning behind using 75 feet as the requirement.


Commissioner Wald asked if any consideration was given to having buildings that have parking on the roof to include car ports that have solar facilities.


Commissioner Wald asked if it would be appropriate for the Committee or Commission to pass a resolution in support of the policy.


Policy Director Guillermo Rodriguez said that the item may be on the March Commission on the Environment agenda and pointed out that the idea for the policy originated from the Policy Committee and staff worked with the Planning Department and the Department of Building Inspection to draft the ordinance.


Commissioner Hoyos asked about the 1% energy threshold and the typical yield of solar facilities.


Public Comment:


Rupa Bose thanked the Committee for supporting the policy.


5.     Presentation on the San Francisco Precautionary Principle.  Commission Affairs Manager Anthony Valdez added Dr. Chris Geiger, Toxics Reduction and IPM Coordinator, Department of the Environment to the meeting via conference call.  Director Rapael, Director, Department of the Environment discussed the development of the San Francisco Precautionary Principle.


Director Raphael discussed the history of the Precautionary Principle and how it led San Francisco policy makers to ask the question of whether or not it is necessary to use a product and whether or not there are effective alternatives.  In 2005, San Francisco policy makers consolidated laws relating to the environment into the Environmental Code with Chapter 1 being the Precautionary Principle as a framework for decision making.


Commissioner Bermejo asked if there are other cities around the country that use the Precautionary Principle.


Public Comment:


Dee Seligman discussed OSHA labeling and signage requirements.


Commissioner Hoyos inquired into the process of determining the time limits for public comment.


Chair Wald indicated that she conferred with the Commission Affairs Manager and given the number of speaker cards, 2 minutes for public comment was deemed appropriate to ensure all the public could comment on items before the Policy Committee.  Chair Wald changed the time limit for public comment to three minutes to accommodate the request of Commissioner Hoyos.


Kathleen Hallinan indicated opposition to spraying pesticides in the Natural Areas Plan and supports the planning of native plants in street medians.


Eric Brooks, San Francisco Green Party and Our City, asked Commissioners to consider whether policies are necessary when using the Precautionary Principle and discussed the elimination on non-native plants and the restoration of diverse habitats.


Unidentified person discussed the Park and Recreation Departments participation in the Precautionary Principle.


Unidentified person discussed the use of pesticides on berries during fruiting season, the use of herbicides on medians and biodiversity.


6.     Update on the 2016 Reduced Risk Pesticide List for City Properties and the Recommendation that All Application of Pesticides be Supervised by Licensed Professionals.  Jen Jackson, Reduction Program Manager for the Department of the Environment said that the goal of the Toxics program is the reduction of toxics and to avoid the consequences of losing biodiversity.


Jen Jackson discussed the timeline of the Department’s response to the reclassification of glyphosate, the City’s reduction of the use of herbicides, the unintended consequences of replacing herbicides with others, the Department’s response to public comment through the new proposed policy on herbicides, the various taskforces, technical advisory committees and conferences hosted by San Francisco to discuss alternatives to the use of herbicides and pesticides.


San Francisco has been working to train gardeners on bay friendly landscaping and pilot projects with Recreations and Parks and is training residents on how to avoid using pesticides.


The Department has been working to protect workers from the applications and is exploring additional alternatives.


Chris Geiger, Toxics Reduction and IPM Coordinator, Department of the Environment discussed the Department’s efforts and the challenges to finding alternatives to certain herbicides.


Commissioner Hoyos asked about the Department’s communication with other cities regarding their bans on herbicides.

Commissioner Hoyos asked about the average use of herbicides per acre.


Commissioner Hoyos asked about spot treatment versus broad treatment of herbicides on field of oaxalis.


Peter Brastow, Biodiversity Coordinator for the Department of the Environment and assisted with the response to the question.


Commissioner Hoyos asked for further clarification on the amount of herbicides that are used particularly in areas where children play.


Kevin Woolen of Recreation and Parks Department helped respond to the question.


Commissioner Hoyos asked about the timeline for having supervision of herbicide applicators.


The recording devise ran out of batteries and the meeting paused.


Commissioner Hoyos asked for the protocol on worker health and protection.


Director Raphael asked about trainings for pesticide applicators.


Commissioner Hoyos asked what pesticide needs to be used for respiratory protection.


Public Comment:


Ron Proctor, San Francisco Forest Alliance, discussed spraying of herbicides in San Francisco’s parks and opposes an exception to Recreation and Parks.


Tom Bordon discussed and demonstrated a map of herbicide use in San Francisco Parks and natural areas.


Dee Seligman discussed herbicide programs in other cities and made various requests of the San Francisco IPM program.


Jeff Ritterman, Physicians for Social Responsibility, discussed best practices in the IPM industry, the effect of glyphosate on applicators and the public.


Morley Singer, former faculty at UCSF, discussed the Precautionary Principle and the use of pesticides.


Jessica Appel, Supervising Biologist, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, discussed the coordination between the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and the San Francisco Department of the Environment, the consequences of adjusting the IPM list, the mandates on the SFPUC and the behavior of invasive species.


Dr. Robert Gould, President, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, acknowledge efforts to reduce the use of pesticides, discussed the impact of pesticides on applicators and the public and questioned whether it was necessary to use herbicides.


Rob Bakewell, Friend of Oak Woodlands Golden Gate Park, discussed support for the limited use of herbicides to control invasive plants.


Kathleen Hallinan, discussed a study by the American Public Health Association regarding chemical exposure to glyphosate, various other articles, a petition with 12,000 signatures regarding pesticides, a map, the use of personal products.


Jill Fehrenbacher, discussed the application of herbicides in Glen Canyon, a petition that was circulated, her children and oxalis.


Rupa Bose discussed biodiversity in San Francisco, the growth of oaxalis and made various requests of the IPM program.


Jake Sigg, CNPS, discussed efforts to protect natural areas and the removal of oaxalis.


Eric Brooks, SF Green Party and Our City SF, discussed opposition to the use of herbicides, the effect of their application and its risks, the Precautionary Principle.


Anastacia Glikshtern, discussed opposition to the application of pesticides in San Francisco and the application of glyphosate.


Tim Ramiriez, Natural Resources Group, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, discussed the SFPUC watersheds and offered assistance to answer questions and the work of the SFPUC to comply with applicable laws.


Commissioner Hoyos asked about what changes can be made to the list on restrictions on herbicides before the March 22, 2016 Commission on the Environment relevant to reduction and elimination of the use of Tier 1 pesticides, the use of pesticides in areas frequented by children and concerns about the impact on workers and children.


Commission Affairs Manager Valdez indicated that the Sheriff’s Department and the janitor had come to the door with the expectation that the meeting would end by 8 p.m.


Director Raphael said the Department will work before the Commission meeting to address Commissioner Hoyos’ concerns.


Commissioner Wald said the public comments and comments by staff should be closely considered before the next Commission meeting.


The Committee continued Item 7 and Item 8.


7.     Director’s Update.


8.     New Business/Future Agenda Items.


9.     Adjournment.  The meeting was adjourned at 7:54 p.m.


The next meeting of the Commission on the Environment Policy Committee is scheduled for Monday, April 11, 2016 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 entry to the building. (2) on the Commission’s website; (3) upon request to the Commission Affairs Manager, at telephone number 415-355-3709, or via e-mail at [email protected]. If any materials related to an item on this agenda have been distributed to the Committee after distribution of the agenda packet, those materials are available for public inspection at the Department of the Environment, 1455 Market Street, Suite 1200, San Francisco, CA 94103 during normal office hours or will be made available on the Commission’s website as attachments to the agenda or meeting minutes.

Posted: March 22, 2016