September 9 2013 Policy Committee Meeting Approved Minutes


MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 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 on the Environment meeting convened at 5:10 p.m.  Present:  Commissioners Gravanis and Josefowitz; Excused:  Commissioner Wald.

2. Approval of Minutes of the August 12, 2013 Commission on the Environment Policy Committee Meeting. (Explanatory Document:  August 12, 2013 Draft Minutes) (Discussion and Action)  Upon Motion by Commissioner Josefowitz, second by Commissioner Gravanis, the August 12, 2013 Policy Committee Meeting Minutes were approved without objection.

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.

Mr. Liam O’Brien, Lepidopterist, SF Butterfly, reported that the North American Butterfly Association, the Lepidopterist Society, the Golden Gate Audubon Society, and Nature in the City have been looking for a way to curb the release of commercially purchased butterflies at city events.  He asked for the Department’s and Commission’s support in this effort.  (Explanatory Document:  Letter from the North American Butterfly Association.)

Ms. Amber Hasselbring, Nature in the City, spoke in opposition to raising butterflies for sale and release at city events.  She reported on reasons that raising butterflies for sale is barbaric to wildlife and harmful to natural ecosystems and local butterfly populations.  She asked for the Commission’s support in this effort to ban this practice.

4. Developing Recommendations for the City's Hazard Mitigation Plan. (Explanatory Documents:  Hazard Mitigation Plan and Presentation) Speakers:  Cal Broomhead, Energy and Climate Program Manager and Bijan Karimi, Department of Emergency Management (Informational Presentation and Discussion)

Mr. Cal Broomhead reported that the Department of Emergency Management’s update to the 2008 Hazard Mitigation Plan is scheduled for completion by January 2014.  He suggested that the Commission consider developing and incorporating recommendations into the plan that may overlap with emergency management on issues such as climate change, renewable energy, and toxics reduction.  Additional issues to consider included recommendations for sea level rise, heat experiences, and electricity, food and resource shortages. 

Mr. Bijan Karimi presented an overview of hazard mitigation planning, defining it as “any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to human life and property from hazards.”  The process for managing risk and why we need to develop a local hazard mitigation plan was discussed.  Mr. Karimi reported on the status of the Plan, steps in the hazard mitigation process, the planning team and process, the most important changes to the 2014 Plan, and proposed schedule to produce a draft to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in October. (Reference Presentation and 2008 Hazard Mitigation Plan)

Commissioner Gravanis inquired about plans to develop a response plan to hazards such as pipeline breaks and other accidents that may not be included as part of the City’s assets.  Mr. Karimi reported that the focus of this plan is on mitigating and focusing on the assets that are in the City’s purview, but that response, not mitigation plans, are available for other hazards. Director Nutter inquired how the City’s adaptation planning efforts would correlate with the Plan.  Mr. Broomhead reported that adaptation planning has to be incorporated into the Plan in order to apply for funding. Mr. Karimi reported that the existing plan lists projects that individual departments will be responsible for that would be added to their work plans.  Commissioner Gravanis inquired about staff time that would be allocated to update the Plan, which Mr. Broomhead reported on.  Commissioner Josefowitz suggested considering potential impacts to the city from a changing climate that would result in less power available from Hetch Hetchy that would result in increased costs.

Commissioner Gravanis suggested that Department staff present their comments on the draft plan to the Policy Committee in October or November so that recommendations can be made before the Board of Supervisors reviews the plan in January.   She suggested that recommendations be made on how to prepare for erosion, accidents, local climate change impacts other than sea level rise, and how to educate San Francisco residents on hazards of household toxics in emergency situations.

5. Presentation on Product Stewardship Model for Increasing Collection of Household Batteries and Mercury Containing Lamps.  (Explanatory Document:  Presentation) Speaker:  Sushma Bhatia, Toxics Reduction Program Manager (Informational Presentation and Discussion)

Director Nutter reported that one of the key strategies in the Zero Waste and Toxics Reduction programs is Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).  The Department is studying what can be done at the local level to champion EPR knowing that this strategy is important in reaching zero waste and to succeed in toxics reduction.  Ms. Sushma Bhatia reported on the rise of product waste in the United States and the change in the nature of products.  Products now contain more mixed and toxic material which creates added cost for dismantling and is a hazard to human health and the environment.  She reported on bans that have been passed in some states to make sure these products do not end up in the landfill.  One such ban in California is the California Universal Waste Law.

Ms. Bhatia discussed the concept and goals for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) that would assign the responsibility to producers and manufacturers to make provisions for the product at the end of its usefulness.  A discussion was held on the differences in the product chain with and without an EPR program.  Ms. Bhatia reported on opportunities created in San Francisco for residents to dispose of their hazardous waste, the amount of household hazardous waste collected, and amount spent on collection and disposal in San Francisco in 2013.  Examples of voluntary and mandatory product responsibility models were provided.  Additional presentation topics discussed included (1) EPR bill adoption in California; (2) San Francisco policies and programs; (3) EPR local priorities; (4) EPR models for batteries and lamps in other jurisdictions, and (5) fluorescent lamps and batteries collected citywide. (Reference Presentation)

Commissioners discussed voluntary versus mandatory approaches to EPR legislation. Ms. Bhatia reported that legislation would only be required for a mandatory approach and presented the example of the safe medicine program which is a voluntary partial EPR program.  Director Nutter reported that we need to further evaluate benefits of EPR legislation at the local level.  Commissioner Gravanis announced that Committee members are supportive of the concept and are eager to see what next steps are.

6. Update on San Francisco Environment’s Current Strategic Planning Process. (Explanatory Document:  Strategic Plan Draft) (Continued from the August 12, 2013 Meeting) Sponsors:  Commissioner Johanna Wald and Melanie Nutter, Director; Speaker:  Melanie Nutter, Director  (Informational Report and Discussion)

Director Nutter reported on the Department of the Environment’s Strategic Plan revision process that would serve as a guidepost for Commission and Department work for Fiscal Years 2013-2017.  The Plan was created in consultation with the Commission, senior staff, a strategic planning consultant, and a Department subcommittee.  Director Nutter reported on elements of the Plan that include acknowledgements, plan purpose, foreword, who we are, Department values, framework and related plans, vision, mission, five Strategic Plan goals and objectives, key performance indicators and strategies, monitoring and assessment, contributors to the Plan, and plans to move forward.  She reported that the five goals would remain consistent, and that strategies and objectives would be updated on a yearly basis as new opportunities present themselves to achieve those goals. 

Commissioner Josefowitz inquired about including adaptation and green jobs as Strategic Plan goals.  Commissioner Gravanis stated that Goal 5, to increase awareness and capacity to foster sustainable and resilient communities, would have to include provisions for green jobs to be effective.  Director Nutter reported that many Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are in the Department’s control and others would require a citywide effort to achieve.  Commissioner Josefowitz stated that many of the KPI’s are more measurements of effort than implementation of the actual goal.  Director Nutter reported that metrics were created for areas that a baseline was available for, so in cases where impact could not be measured, the output of activity was selected. 

Commissioner Josefowitz provided additional comments that include:
• For Goal 1, “Reduce Green House Gas (GHG) Emissions,” revise the KPI from “percentage of buildings with energy or green building ratings…” to “percentage of square feet…”.  Percentage of businesses could be weighed by the size of the business, number of employees, or waste generated.  Business type is not a good enough metric.
• For Goal 3, “Protect people and environment from toxics and pollution”, on the KPI “number of city government green contracts” to weigh by value or tonnage instead of number.  The KPI may be to find a way to acquire better data if better data is not available.  Revise “percentage of brownfield sites” to “square footage of brownfield sites.”
• For Goal 4, “Protect nature and enhance the City’s ecosystems,” on the objective to “protect and manage existing green spaces,” revise KPI from “financial resources available for green spaces management” to the result, not the financial resources.  For the same goal, revise the KPI from the “number of San Francisco participants in urban agriculture projects and number of community projects” to square footage of gardens, amount of produce produced, and tons value.  Revise the number of community groups dedicated to caring for our natural areas to hours spent.
• For Goal 5, “increase awareness and capacity to foster sustainable and resilient communities,” revise the number of EnvironmentNow staff to number of EnvironmentNow staff employed in green jobs after leaving the Department and measure what they are doing versus that they exist. For “number of eco district programs and number of resiliency project plans created in conjunction with neighborhood leaders,” set KPIs in terms of plans implemented rather than created.
• Create a companion document of goals and data that the City does not collect and establish a process for collecting data.
• Structure KPIs differently so there are fewer KPI’s for each goal in order to create more effective measurements.
• Consider major strategies by current programs versus future programs.

Commissioner Gravanis suggested that for Goal 1 “reduce greenhouse gas emissions”, on the objective to “increase number of residential and commercial buildings” that a strategy should be to not construct buildings so high. For the same goal include a strategy to remove cars that require high gas usage.   For Goal 2 “achieve Zero Waste” suggestions would be provided for the narrative.  She suggested that influencing people to shop smarter should be added as a strategy.   For Goal 4, to revise the term “urban forest” as San Francisco does not have an urban forest.  In order to increase tree canopy, it is important to include locations and type of trees.

Director Nutter reported that the idea is to continue to assess goals, objectives, and strategies to understand what is being achieved and to provide a basis for future discussions and revisions.  Commissioner Josefowitz inquired about who would be responsible for collecting the data for the KPIs.  Director Nutter reported that Public Outreach Program Manager, Donald Oliveira has been working with relevant staff to collect data.  Next steps would be measure progress and create a plan for how the plan is implemented into a four-year schedule and then for presentation to the Commission.  Commissioner Josefowitz suggested creating a separate function devoted to this work so there is accountability.  He suggested that this function could also include assisting underperforming units to improve performance.  Director Nutter reported that resources would be required to create an internal strategy consultant, but that discussion should be held on how to engage in an analysis of data on a regular basis. 

Commissioner Josefowitz suggested holding brainstorming sessions on how to improve on underperforming KPI’s.  Director Nutter suggested that for some program areas, the performance of a KPI involves participation by other agencies and other factors would be involved that are not entirely in the Department’s control.  Commissioner Josefowitz inquired if targets would be included in the Strategic Plan.  Director Nutter reported that internal targets would be included in the second year after engagement with other City departments.  Commissioner Gravanis stated that the Commission and Department would want goals that would be broad enough to last for four years and that would provide the ability to include and revise strategies and KPIs in order to adopt new strategies.

Commissioners stated that additional comments would be provided after further review.  Director Nutter will provide staff with comments and potentially include a final on the September 24 agenda to the full Commission for approval

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

Director Nutter reported on the Zero Waste award she accepted on behalf of the Department at the C40 and Siemens Climate Leadership Conference in London. She reported on the launch of the Bay Area Bike Share and press event held followed by an inaugural ride led by the Mayor.   Highlights of the senior staff retreat were discussed. For Climate, the AdaptSF Steering Committee met to address issues of climate change and adaptation city-wide, and a plan is scheduled to be created in the fall.  Commissioners were invited to a Department Open House on September 12.  It was announced that the Board of Supervisors is back in session, and more information would be provided on Department initiatives in the future.  Climate Action Strategy will be published and may be added to the September 24 full Commission agenda or the next Policy Committee meeting (Reference Director’s Report).  Commissioner Josefowitz inquired about the status of Friends of SFEnvironment.  Director Nutter reported that an advisory committee would be reconvened to talk about staffing and next steps.

8. Communications.  (Explanatory Document:  Correspondence Log) (Information and Discussion) 

Commission Secretary Fish reported on the status of correspondence received as listed in the Correspondence Log.
9. Announcements. (Discussion)  Director Nutter reported that she would be attending the Annual Urban Sustainability Director’s Conference next week in Memphis, Tennessee.

10. New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Discussion)  Commissioner Gravanis requested (1) an update on the plastic water bottle legislation; (2) For biodiversity, a Resolution endorsing an Ordinance or the concept of banning the release of commercially raised butterflies for the October Policy Committee meeting.  Commissioner Josefowitz suggested a follow-up discussion on the Strategic Plan and providing input into KPI’s for the Plan.  Director Nutter stated that the Climate Action Strategy Plan would be presented to the Commission either at the September 24 meeting or the October Policy Committee meeting.  Commission Secretary Fish announced that the next meeting of the Policy Committee meeting would be held on October 21, 2013.

11. 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.

12. Adjournment.  The Commission Policy Committee meeting adjourned at 7:17 p.m.

The next meeting of the Commission on the Environment Policy Committee meeting will be rescheduled to Monday, October 21, 2013, 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., (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: October 21, 2013