October 21 2013 Policy Committee Meeting Approved Minutes


MONDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2013, 5:00 P.M.

*The Monday, October 28, 2013, 5:00 p.m. Regular Meeting of the Policy Committee was rescheduled to Monday, October 21, 2013 at 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 on the Environment meeting convened at 5:05 p.m.  Present:  Commissioners Gravanis and Josefowitz; Excused:  Commissioner Wald.  Commissioner Arce appointed himself as a Committee member for this meeting commencing with agenda item 5.

2. Approval of Minutes of the September 9, 2013 Commission on the Environment Policy Committee Meeting. (Explanatory Document:  September 9, 2013 Approved Minutes) (Discussion and Action) Upon Motion by Commissioner Josefowitz, second by Commissioner Gravanis, the September 9. 2013 Meeting Minutes were approved (AYES:  Commissioners Gravanis and Josefowitz; Absent:  Commissioner Wald).

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 proposed Regulations for San Francisco Green Building Requirements for City Buildings Ordinance (Ordinance No. 204-11, San Francisco Environment Code Chapter 7). (Explanatory Document:  Public Hearing Notice, Draft Regulation, and Forms)  Sponsor:  Melanie Nutter, Director; Speaker:  Mark Palmer, Senior Green Building Coordinator (Public Hearing, Informational Presentation and Discussion)

Mr. Mark Palmer announced that San Francisco received an award from the World Green Building Council for best green building policy.  He reported that the City has LEED accredited professionals from nine City departments working on implementing LEED certified projects.  Mr. Palmer reported on the quantity of LEED certified municipal green building stock in San Francisco including buildings that have been certified LEED silver, gold and platinum and work in progress to renovate existing municipal buildings to meet LEED standards.  A discussion was held on San Francisco’s Green Building policies and the work of the Municipal Green Building Task Force and its members. Commissioners congratulated Mr. Palmer on his recognition by the United States Green Building Council as a LEED fellow.     

Mr. Palmer reported on proposed regulations to be established in order to better implement Environment Code Chapter 7 in areas that include (1) applicable versions of LEED that will be used on projects; (2) construction and demolition debris management; (3) indoor environmental quality; (4) procedures to request a waiver from Chapter 7; and (5) forms.
Commissioner Arce reported on challenges experienced by the San Francisco Airport on their energy-efficient lighting replacement project. Director Nutter reported that Regulations would be approved for adoption.

5. Review and Approval of Draft Resolution 2013-13-COE Supporting a Ban on the Release of Commercially Raised Butterflies for Recommendation to the Commission on the Environment. (Explanatory Documents: Draft and Amended Resolution and Support Letters from Bay Nature and the North American Butterfly Association)  Sponsor: Commissioner Ruth Gravanis; Speakers: Peter Brastow, Senior Biodiversity Coordinator, San Francisco Department of the Environment; Liam O’Brien, San Francisco Representative, Xerces Society; and Amber Hasselbring, Executive Director, Nature in the City (Discussion and Action)

Mr. Peter Brastow reported on work in progress to create legislation to ban the release of commercially produced butterflies in San Francisco for entertainment and celebratory purposes.  He discussed the negative impact producing butterflies from unknown areas has on butterfly conservation, natural ecology, and information gathering and cited the Monarch as an example. Mr. Brastow discussed the symbolic importance of creating such a ban in order to set an example on how humans should treat other living things. 

Ms. Amber Hasselbring reported that the ordinance would not prevent educators and students from collecting, raising and releasing local butterflies.  She discussed Nature in the City’s work on curriculum and partnerships with educators in this effort. Mr. Liam O’Brien discussed how inhumane it is to release butterflies and other wildlife for celebratory purposes and the importance and support of this legislation by a growing portfolio of agencies. 
Commissioner Arce proposed adding to the Resolution “WHEREAS, this type of commercial use has long been banned with respect to native bird species.”  Director Nutter proposed an amendment to the “Resolved” clause that would state that the ordinance is to be “introduced at the” Board of Supervisors instead of “approved by”.   Commissioner Gravanis suggested that staff collaborate with the community, Board of Supervisors and Mayor to create an ordinance. Upon Motion by Commissioner Josefowitz, second by Commissioner Arce, Resolution File 2013-03-COE was approved with amendments for recommendation to the Commission on the Environment (AYES:  Commissioners Arce, Gravanis and Josefowitz; Absent:  Commissioner Wald).
6. Review and Approval of Policy Committee Draft Resolution 2013-03 to approve a grant award to the San Francisco Zoological Society for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure. (Explanatory Documents:  Draft Resolution and Funding Recommendations) Sponsor:  Melanie Nutter, Director; Speaker:  Bob Hayden, Manager, Clean Transportation Programs (Discussion and Action)

Mr. Bob Hayden reported that The Resolution would approve up to $65,000 in grant funding from the federal government and the Country Transportation Authority for purchase of equipment for the solar-EV charging infrastructure at the San Francisco Zoo visitor’s parking lot to be disbursed during Fiscal Year 2013-14.  Commissioner Josefowitz inquired about the number of charging stations that would be installed.  Mr. Hayden reported that there would be five electric vehicle charging stations, one of them tied in with the solar collector that would also be used for public education, and that solar equipment ranging from a relatively simple, less expensive solar canopy to a fully-integrated solar/EV, non-grid connected system were being considered by the Zoo. 

Commissioner Josefowitz questioned the high cost of infrastructure and suggested that an effort be made to decrease costs. Commissioner Arce inquired whether the Zoo would be competitively bidding for the labor.  Mr. Hayden reported that to his knowledge there is only one company that has designed this type of solar collector system that integrates a solar canopy, battery storage, and EV charger specifically configured to a parking space such as in the Zoo’s parking lot, and he reported that all labor for the charger installations is being provided by City electricians using other grant funds.  

Commissioner Gravanis suggested that there be reporting, monitoring, and metrics associated with the success of the project.  Mr. Hayden reported that the excess amount would be reimbursed back to the grant agency for regional transportation projects. He reported that the EV infrastructure system is being monitored, and that a report would be provided to the Commission on the success of the project.  Commissioner Gravanis stated that she would support the project with the caveat that Commissioner Josefowitz be consulted on future grants of this type, that there be competitive bidding, and that an educational message be included about the benefits of not driving.  Commissioner Arce suggested that Mr. Hayden provide a report at the December Policy Committee meeting on actual project costs.

Public Comment:  Ms. Anastasia Glikshtern discussed the high cost of government spending as the reason for budget deficits. 

Upon Motion by Commissioner Josefowitz, second by Commissioner Arce, Policy Resolution 003-13-Policy was approved (AYES:  Commissioners Arce, Gravanis and Josefowitz; Absent:  Commissioner Wald). 

7. Presentation and Discussion on Final Updated Climate Action Strategy Release and Community Outreach Plan.  (Explanatory Document:  San Francisco Climate Action Strategy 2013 Update) Speakers:  Calla Ostrander, Climate Action Projects Manager and Donnie Oliveira, Public Outreach Program Manager (Informational Presentation and Discussion)

Director Nutter suggested that this item be continued to either the November Commission Retreat or to a future Policy Committee meeting.  Upon Motion by Commissioner Josefowitz, second by Commissioner Arce, the presentation on the final updated Climate Action Strategy Release and Community Outreach Plan was continued (AYES:  Commissioners Arce, Gravanis, and Josefowitz; Absent:  Commissioner Wald).

8. Review of Commissioner Survey Responses on Prioritization of Topics for the Commission on the Environment Retreat and Selection of Topics. (Explanatory Document:  Survey Responses) Sponsors:  Commissioner Wald and Melanie Nutter, Director; Speaker: Melanie Nutter, Director (Discussion and Action)

Director Nutter reported on the top three Commissioner-survey responses received on prioritization of topics for the Commission on the Environment Retreat scheduled for November 12 (highlighted on the Survey Responses explanatory document). Commissioners Josefowitz and Arce discussed the importance of including a discussion on the Department’s role in advancing 100% renewable energy goals.   Commissioner Arce suggested including a discussion on identifying actions for reaching 100% zero waste diversion goals.  Commissioner Gravanis asked that there be a focus on creating an action plan from discussions held. Commissioner Josefowitz suggested framing priority topics in the context of the Department’s Strategic Plan with a discussion of main objectives, staffing, goals, and performance targets.  It was suggested that staff present on not only achievements but on challenges and lessons learned. The Climate and Renewable Energy topics will include discussions on metrics for measuring success.  The Community Outreach and Engagement topic will include a discussion on mapping relationships. Upon Motion by Commissioner Josefowitz, second by Commissioner Arce (AYES:  Commissioners Arce, Gravanis and Josefowitz; Absent:  Commissioner Wald), the Commission Retreat agenda and schedule selected is as follows:

2:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. – Welcome and Introductions—President Arce
2:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. – FY 2013-2014 Strategic Plan Presentation – Director Nutter
3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. – Discussion and feedback on metrics in Strategic Plan – All
3:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. – Public Comment on Items not on the Agenda
3:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Presentation - Final Climate Action Strategy – Calla Ostrander
4:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. – Presentation - Renewable Energy Task Force Report – Danielle Murray
4:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Discussion of 100% renewable energy goal and a path forward – All
5:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. – Public Comment
5:15 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. – Community outreach and engagement – Staff to be determined
6:15 p.m. – Public Comment & Next Steps

Public Comment:  Ms. Anastasia Glikshtern stated that the rate being charged for use of green composting and blue recycling bins may be counterproductive to the Department’s goal to decrease landfill and increase use of recycling and composting.

9. Quarterly Review and Selection of 2013 Accomplishments of the Commission on the Environment and its Committees for inclusion into the Commission’s 2013 Annual Report.  Sponsor:  Commissioner Johanna Wald; Speaker:  Monica Fish, Commission Secretary (Explanatory Document:  List of 2013 Commission and Committee Agenda Topics) (Discussion and Action)

Item 14 was heard before Item 9.

Commissioners reviewed Commission and Policy Committee agenda topics discussed at meetings from August to October 2013 and made selections.  Upon Motion by Commissioner Josefowitz, second by Commissioner Arce, selections were made as outlined in the List of 2013 Commission and Committee Agenda Topic Selections for the 2013 Annual Report (AYES:  Commissioners Arce, Gravanis and Josefowitz; Absent:  Commissioner Wald).

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

Director Nutter presented the written Director’s Report and highlighted the American Council on Energy Efficiency (ACEE) published their first annual City Energy Efficiency Scorecard and San Francisco scored third, outranked slightly by Portland and Boston.  The Biodiversity Initiative has their first interagency working group meeting in September and three grants were received.  October 1 was the deadline for restaurants to comply with the checkout bag ordinance by eliminating plastic bags.   Commissioner Josefowitz spoke in support of the extension of safe medicine disposal program at pharmacies versus police stations and student participation in “Walk to School Day.”  He suggested expanding the program to other areas.   Commissioner Arce inquired about the outcome of meetings held with the Mayor’s Office of Housing, Urban Strategies and Bayview YMCA, to set up an Integrated Pest Management peer-to-peer education program for Alice Griffith and Hunters View residents. Director Nutter would provide a report back with staff comments.  

11. Communications.  (Explanatory Document:  Correspondence Log) (Information and Discussion)  Commission Secretary Monica Fish reported on status of communications received for the Commission as outlined in the Correspondence Log.  

12. Announcements. (Discussion)  There were no announcements made at this time.

13. New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Discussion) The next Regular Meeting of the Policy Committee is scheduled for November 11, a legal holiday.  A discussion was held on the possibility of cancelling or rescheduling the November meeting. Future agenda topics suggested include (1) Streamlining the Request for Proposal process (Operations Committee), (2) Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE); (3) Healthy Air and Clean Transportation Ordinance; and (4) Solar legislation and review of building codes. 

14. 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. 

Ms. Anastasia Glikshtern speaking on behalf of the San Francisco Forest Alliance expressed concern about pesticide use by the “Natural Areas Program.” She stated that due to growing evidence of the danger of pesticide use, the Natural Areas Program should stop using herbicides because they do little to improve growing conditions for native plants and present health risks to children, pets and people applying the pesticides.

15. Adjournment.  The Policy Committee meeting adjourned at 7:00 p.m.

The next meeting of the Commission on the Environment Policy Committee meeting that is scheduled for Monday, November 11, 2013, in City Hall, Room 421 will be rescheduled or cancelled due to the legal holiday.

** 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., (2) may be available on the Policy Committee’s website http://www.sfenvironment.org/commission/agendas 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 http://www.sfenvironment.org/commission/audio.

Approved: December 9, 2013