November 13 2013 Operations Committee Meeting Approved Minutes


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2013, 5:00 P.M.


COMMITTEE MEMBERS:  Commissioners Angelo King (Chair), Heather Stephenson, Sarah Wan


1. Call to Order and Roll Call.   The Operations Committee meeting convened at 5:01 p.m.  Present:  Commissioners King, Stephenson and Wan.

2. Approval of Minutes of the August 14, 2013 Operations Committee Meeting. (Explanatory Document: August 14, 2013 Operations Committee Meeting Draft Minutes) (Discussion and Action)  Upon Motion by Commissioner Stephenson, second by Commissioner King, the August 14, 2013 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (AYES:  Commissioners King, Stephenson, and Wan).

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. Public Hearing on Green Purchasing Regulations (Precautionary Purchasing Ordinance). (Explanatory Documents:  Green Purchasing Regulations Presentation, Public Hearing Notice and Green Purchasing Regulations) Sponsor:   Melanie Nutter, Director; Speaker:  Jessian Choy, City Toxics Reduction Specialist (Public Hearing, Information and Discussion)

Ms. Jessian Choy provided an overview of the proposed Green Purchasing Regulations and background information on the Precautionary Purchasing Principle.  She reported that City staff

are required to use less-toxic green products that can be found at that includes a list of 1000 less toxic green products.  Department of the Environment staff are compiling existing purchasing requirements into Green Purchasing Regulations for specifications in current or pending contracts.  Ms. Choy discussed City green purchasing requirements by product category covering (1) biodegradable and compostable products and proper usage; (2) specifications for purchase of less toxic and energy-efficient computers; (3) adverse health effects of certain cleaners and alternative products to use; and, (4) lighting.

Commissioners and Department staff discussed (1) differences between degradable and biodegradable products and labeling of products; (2) availability of LED lighting products for purchase in the marketplace and cost savings achieved; (3) enforcement and tracking mechanisms; (4) Department purchasing standards; (5) feedback mechanisms from departments; (6) creating a comprehensive green purchasing inventory system; (7) outreach mechanisms to City departments; and (8) green specifications in contracts and the role of the Office of Contract Administration.

Ms. Julie Bryant, Zero Waste Program staff, reported on companies that are certifying compostable products, labeling of products, and simplicity of purchasing through contracts.

Ms. Mei Ling Hui, Toxics Reduction Program staff, reported on adverse environmental and health issues caused by triclosan, an ingredient found in hand sanitizers, hand and dish soap.

5. Discussion on the Department of the Environment’s Fiscal Year 2014-15 Budget and Process Including Unfunded Mandates. (Explanatory Documents:  Budget Report and Grant Detail Report) Sponsor and Speakers:  Commissioner Angelo King and David Assmann, Deputy Director.(Informational Report and Discussion)

Deputy Director Assmann provided a Department budget report through September 30, 2013 on Department projects by program area.   Topics discussed included source of funding for each program area, budget shortfalls in the areas of Clean Transportation, Energy, Climate, Biodiversity, and plans to request General Fund money for implementation of the Healthy Air and Clean Transportation Ordinance, an unfunded mandate.  He explained that funding shortages in the Clean Transportation program are in the areas of electric vehicle infrastructure, alternative fuels, and implementation of the Healthy Air and Clean Transportation Ordinance.  Commissioner King discussed the possibility of supporting a Resolution asking that General Fund money be allocated to this program. 

Deputy Director Assmann explained that the Environmental Justice program would need to identify additional funds in 2015 as grant funding will end, and additional funding is being requested for the Urban Forest program from other City departments.  He reported on restrictions on the use of Impound Account money to projects related only to Zero Waste, Toxics Reduction, Green Building and Environmental Justice and the need to identify resources for program outreach in the areas of Clean Transportation, Energy and Climate.  Commissioner Stephenson asked that the next budget report list the program area, program fees, staff assigned to the project, and source of funding.

Public Comment:  Ms. Rose Hillson suggested that the Budget Report handout incorporate budget appropriation ordinance figures through June 30, 2015 in a separate column.  Deputy Director Assmann explained that the Budget Report represents the first three months of the current fiscal year July through September, and that the $600,000 figure is a projected deficit for the 2014-15 Fiscal Year.  A budget report for Fiscal Year 2014-15 will be prepared that shows the potential shortfall and will be made available.

6. Future Operational Organization for the Department of the Environment.  Sponsor and Speaker:  David Assmann, Deputy Director (Informational Report and Discussion)

Deputy Director Assmann reported on his plans for retirement on June 30, 2014 and establishing a succession plan.  Commissioners congratulated Deputy Director Assmann and discussed future work of the Department, the status of the Operations Committee, and a succession plan.

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

Commissioner Stephenson requested a discussion on composting and recycling in public parks and public spaces.  Deputy Director Assmann and Commissioners discussed the timeframe for Commission and Committee review and approval of the budget at the January and February meetings before it is submitted to the Mayor’s Office on February 21, 2014.  It was suggested that the Commission review the budget at its January 2014 meeting, and that the Operations Committee review and approve the final budget at its February 2014 meeting.  Deputy Director Assmann reported that he would send revenue and salary needs to Committee members in the next two weeks.

8. 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.

9. Adjournment.  The Operations Committee meeting adjourned at 6:27 p.m.

** Copies of explanatory documents are available at (1) the Commission’s office, 1455 Market Street, Suite 1200, San Francisco, California between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. A photo I.D. is required for entry to the building. (2) on the Commission’s meeting website at included with minutes by meeting date; (3) upon request to the Commission Secretary, at telephone number 415-355-3709, or via e-mail at [email protected].  For an audio recording of Commission meetings, access this link and select the meeting date.

Monica Fish, Commission Secretary
TEL:  (415) 355-3709; FAX: (415) 554-6393

Approved: February 19, 2014