Minutes of November 6, 2008 Commission Meeting

  1. Call to Order
    The meeting was called to order by Chair Randolph at the Ferry Building in San Francisco, California at 1:04 p.m.
  2. Roll Call
    Present were Chair Sean Randolph, Vice Chair Halsted, Commissioners Baird (represented by Alternate Potter), Bates, Bourgart, Brown (represented by Alternate T. Smith), Goldzband, Jordan Hallinan, Hicks (represented by Alternate Dillabough), Kniss (represented by Alternate Carruthers), Lundstrom, Maxwell, McGlashan, McGrath, Moy, Peskin, Silva, Thayer (represented by Alternate Kato), Wagenknecht, and Wieckowski (represented by Alternate Drekmeier).

    Not Present were: Department of Finance (Finn), Speaker of the Assembly (Gibbs), Contra Costa County (Gioia), San Mateo County (Gordon), Alameda County (Lai-Bitker), Senate Rules Committee (Nelson), and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (D. Smith).

  3. Public Comment Period
    Lt. Commander Lawrence Farrell, Commander and District Engineer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers San Francisco District, said he is attending this meeting to recognize Brenda Goeden. Over the last few months Ms. Goeden has worked with the Corps to finish a project that has not been completed for 25 years. He truly believes that this project would have failed without Ms. Goeden’s help. He presented Ms. Goeden with the Commander Coin of Excellence. To the best of his knowledge it has never been awarded to anyone outside of the Command.

    Lesley E. Jones said she is speaking to the Commission on an appeal. She has been associated with property at Collinsville within the Suisun Marsh area. She asked all commissioners to take their conservation hat seriously in the Suisun Marsh. She went on a Potrero Hill expedition to look at the potential expanded dump site. It could be that BCDC is more of a development commission than a very careful conservation commission especially in the Suisun Marsh. It is assumed that the Suisun Marsh Protection Plan takes care of the Suisun Marsh but she is not sure this is true. She is unclear whether the staff reports reflect the encroachment increasingly added onto the Suisun Marsh. There is more e-coli in the Bay system which is coming out of the Suisun Marsh as it gets turned into an increasingly large dump and site for disposal.

    The Montezuma Wetlands Restoration Project is having sensitive adjustments made to it, including taking water from the Sacramento River. This was not in the original plan. There should be more press regarding the Suisun Marsh and its protection. BCDC has a noble cause but is it really protecting the Marsh?

    There should be more press regarding the Suisun Marsh and its protection. BCDC has a noble cause but is it really protecting the Marsh?

  4. Approval of Minutes of September 4, 2008 Meeting.
    Chair Randolph entertained a motion to adopt the minutes of October 2, 2008.

    Commissioner Peskin moved, seconded by Commissioner Halsted, to approve the October 2, 2008 minutes.

    Commissioner McGrath complimented staff for their consistently accurate and well-written minutes.

    The motion carried with one abstention.

  5. Report of the Chair
    Chair Randolph reported on the following items:
    1. Today’s Meeting. There is one change in the final agenda for today’s meeting. At the request of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Item #9, consideration of the issue of bicycle and pedestrian access on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, has been postponed to accommodate a meeting between MTC staff and the Director of Caltrans.
    2. Election Results. A number of current and former Commission members were involved in races in Tuesday’s election.
      1. Commissioner Tom Bates was re-elected Mayor of Berkeley by defeating former Commissioner Shirley Dean.
      2. Commissioner Valerie Brown was re-elected to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors.
      3. Commission member Ed Balico was re-elected to the Hercules City Council
      4. Commission member Mike Reagan was re-elected to the Solano County Board of Supervisors
      5. Commission member Jerry Hill was elected to the California Assembly.
      6. Former Commissioners Anna Eshoo, Zoe Lofgren and Jackie Speier were re-elected to Congress.
      7. Former Commissioner Gus Morrison lost his race for the Mayor of Fremont.
      8. Former Commissioner Norman LaForce lost his race for the East Bay Regional Park District Board.

      Congratulations were extended to the winners of the above races.

    3. Ellen Sampson. Today is the last meeting Ellen Sampson will be attending as a member of the BCDC staff. Ms. Sampson is retiring tomorrow after spending 20 years as BCDC’s staff counsel. Staff has prepared a draft resolution of appreciation for Ms. Sampson. Chair Randolph and Commissioners thanked Ms. Sampson for her years of dedication and hard work.

           Chair Randolph entertained a motion and second to adopt the draft.

      MOTION. Commissioner Carruthers moved, seconded by Commissioner Halsted, to adopt the draft. Motion carried unanimously.

    4. Next BCDC Meeting.It will not be necessary to hold the next scheduled Commission meeting on November 20, 2008 and the December 4, 2008 meeting has been cancelled. Therefore the next regular business meeting will be in six weeks on December 18, 2008 at the MetroCenter in Oakland. At that meeting the following matters will be taken up:

      1. Consider contracting with a consultant to assist in a design competition for innovative ideas for responding to sea level rise by building resilient projects along the shoreline.
      2. A public hearing on whether a roadway shoulder on the upper lane of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge should be used for a multiple-use pathway during non-peak commute hours. This item was originally scheduled for today’s meeting.
      3. As part of BCDC’s overall effort to make its regulatory process more expeditious, a public hearing will be held and vote taken on amending BCDC’s regionwide permits.
      4. A public hearing on an application to make improvements to the confinement facilities at the San Quentin State Penitentiary.
      5. Two briefings: The first will be on the final plan developed by the Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force. The second briefing will be on an eelgrass restoration project in the East Bay.
      6. Consider a report on the progress BCDC is making in carrying out its strategic plan.
    5. Ex Parte Communications. Chair Randolph invited Commissioners to provide staff with a report on any written or oral ex-parte communications. Seeing no response, he then asked for the Executive Director’s Report.
  6. Report of the Executive Director
    Executive Director Travis provided the following report:
    1. Budget. At the last BCDC meeting he erroneously reported that BCDC’s budget for this year is a little over $6 million. In actuality it is somewhat less than that. To be precise the budget for this year is $5,645,000.

      The Governor left in place his Executive Order which imposes a state hiring freeze and curtails new contracts. However, the Governor has agreed that agencies do not have to comply with the provisions of the executive order if they can meet a budget reduction target set by the Department of Finance. BCDC’s target is $35,000 in General Fund expenditures this fiscal year.

      BCDC can easily achieve this savings by simply reducing a $100,000 contract it has for cartographic consulting services. A $65,000 contract will meet all BCDC’s needs for these services this fiscal year.

      In addition, because staff expects that BCDC may be asked to make further budget reductions this fiscal year, they have proactively instituted a plan that will generate $100,000 in savings. The plan involves not filling one of the two vacant permit analyst positions, using the second vacancy for a half-time employee, curtailing some planned contracts, continuing to limit staff training expenses and travel, and closely monitoring all operating expenses. Even with these reductions, staff has finally been able to reimburse Commissioners for the meetings they attended during the first quarter of this fiscal year and payments will be kept up-to-date for the balance of the year.

           Staff was informed today of a plan by the Governor that would involve one day a month unpaid furlough for state workers for the next 17 months and rescind two of the 13 paid holidays. This plan will take approval by the Legislature.
    2. EPA. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded BCDC a $600,000 grant to work with the San Francisco Estuary Project on developing innovative strategies for adapting to climate change. This effort will focus on the lower Corte Madera Creek watershed where staff will work with the County of Marin, USGS, consultants and a technical advisory group to examine riparian and tidal sediment processes, measure the local wave environment, evaluate potential adaptation strategies for managing wetlands as sea level rises in a way that will sustain their ecological health, and prepare sea level rise adaptation strategies for use by local governments and resource managers.
    3. Dutch Project. Some months ago BCDC applied for another government grant from the Dutch government. Staff joined with the Dutch-American consulting firm of Arcadis, Holland’s Wageningen University and Research Center, and the Delft-based Deltares, a consortium of Dutch research institutes, to propose a 150,000 Euro project that would bring experts from Holland together with U.S. experts to discuss adaptation strategies. The project has been approved; 80% of the money will come from the Dutch government; 20% will come from the project partners.

      To avoid the complexities of international financial regulations, BCDC will not receive any funding directly from the Dutch or the European Union, which must also approve the project. But neither will it be obligated to provide any of the 20% match. However, BCDC will clearly benefit from the exchange of information that will result when this international symposium is held in San Francisco next spring. BCDC staff will, of course, be involved in the detailed planning for this exciting conference.
    4. Cargo Monitoring Report. BCDC’s annual regional maritime cargo monitoring status report was sent to Commissioners last week. This report compares actual cargo throughput with the projections BCDC uses to determine how much waterfront land has to be reserved in port priority use areas to meet regional needs through the year 2020. The latest monitoring report shows that the amount of cargo moving through the Bay Area is slightly higher than staff projected, but can be accommodated with the facilities now online and planned for the next decade. Virtually all of the cargo that was once unloaded a few items at a time is now being shipped in containers with the exception of newsprint, steel, and automobiles more of which are now moving through our ports. It is important to note that the 2007 data in this report does not capture the marked decline in shipping volume that has occurred this year as a result of the global financial crisis. Therefore, staff believes it is prudent to wait for the 2008 data before deciding whether to make any revisions in the regional seaport plan. Linda Scourtis is available to answer any questions Commissioners may have about the cargo report.
    5. Personnel.There is a new unpaid intern on the staff. His name is James Zoulas. He has both a master’s degree and a doctorate in geography from UCLA. He is analyzing sand mining data and evaluating the environmental affects of shoreline protection projects and will be with BCDC through March.
  7. Commission Consideration of Administrative Matters
    On October 24, 2008 staff sent the Commission a listing of the administrative matters to act upon. Bob Batha is available to respond to any questions the Commissioners may have. There were no questions.
  8. Public Hearing and Vote on Appeal No. 2-08, Tonnesen Pet Cemetery, Extension No. Five to Solano County Marsh Development Permit No. MD-82-12
    Chair Randolph noted that Item 8 is a public hearing and vote on an appeal relating to Suisun Marsh. The Commission will hold a public hearing and vote on whether a substantial issue is raised by an appeal of Solano County’s decision to allow a pet cemetery to be operated for an additional five years within the secondary management area of the Suisun Marsh. If the Commission finds that a substantial issue does exist, then under the provisions of state law, the County’s approval becomes invalid and the Commission will then hold a de novo hearing on the application, probably at the December 18th meeting.

    The procedure for this item will be: (1) staff will summarize the proposal and the provisions of law that will guide the Commission’s consideration of this matter. (2) a representative from the project applicant will have an opportunity to give an overview of the project. (3) the appellant will present the appeal; and (4) any members of the public who want to comment on this matter will be heard.

    The specific provisions of the Suisun Marsh Preservation Act require that if BCDC decides the appeal raises a substantial issue, then the public hearing must be kept open until BCDC takes up the application itself de novo at a subsequent meeting.

    Also, the provisions of the Suisun Marsh Preservation Act require BCDC to depart from the procedures it typically follows. The Marsh Act provides that the Commission must conclude a substantial issue has been raised unless, by a majority vote, it finds that no substantial issue is raised. The staff report provides the exact language of the motion to ensure that the Commission’s actions are procedurally correct.

    Max Delaney, Coastal Program Analyst, provided the following background information:

    In 1982 Solano County issued the Marsh Development Permit No. MD 82-12 which authorized the creation and operation of a pet cemetery for five years located in the secondary management area of the Suisun Marsh.

    The permit has received five year time extensions by the county on four previous occasions (1987, 1992, 1997, and 2002). On June 5, 2008 the Solano County Board of Supervisors conditionally approved a resolution and staff report granting a fifth five year time extension.

    Background on the Suisun Marsh permitting process was provided. The Commission issues marsh development permits in the primary management area and the local government, the county, issues permits in the secondary management area. Marsh development permits issued for the secondary management area can be appealed to the Commission. The Commission has received an appeal by Ms. June Guidotti objecting to Solano County’s action to grant this fifth five year time extension to Marsh Development Permit No. 82-12.

    The Marsh Act requires that the Commission first determine whether an appeal of the county’s decision on the project raises a substantial issue as to the conformity of that project for the Marsh Act, the Marsh Protection Plan, and Solano County’s Local Protection Program. If the Commission determines that the appeal does not raise a substantial issue then the appeal will be dismissed and Solano County’s permit will become final. If the Commission determines that the appeal does raise a substantial issue then it must hold a de novo hearing and decide whether or not to issue a permit for this project.

    In evaluating whether an appeal point raises a substantial issue the Commission should consider two things: (1) whether the appeal point raises a legitimate question as to the conformity of the project with the Marsh Act, the Marsh Protection Plan, and the county’s local protection program; and (2) whether the Commission has enough information to determine that the project is in conformance or not with these three documents.

    The appellant has raised 13 separate appeal points regarding the pet cemetery. The Commission staff has determined that 8 of the 13 appeal points are non-appealable matters because they fail to address any inconsistency of the project with the Marsh Act, the Protection Plan, and the county’s local protection program. The remaining five appeal points do raise appealable matters; however the staff believes that none of these issues raise a substantial issue.

    Summary of the five appealable issues: (1) that the pet cemetery is located in an area zoned for limited agriculture in Solano County’s general plan that should not be used as a waste disposal/commercial burial site for animals; (2) that the California Department of Fish and Game requested information from the permittee about the habitat types and sensitive species located within the project area to assess potential changes that might occur to these resources as a result of the operation of the pet cemetery and that this information was not provided; (3) that water quality testing required by the permit is inadequate to assess potential groundwater contamination that may occur from the operation of a pet cemetery; (4) that the permittee needs to update its waste discharge requirements from the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board to continue operating the pet cemetery; and (5) that the pet cemetery needs a liner underneath the disposal area to protect groundwater within the project site.

    The applicant, Mr. Greg Tonnesen, is available for any questions the Commissioners may have.

    The appellant, Ms. June Guidotti, said she is concerned about this pet cemetery/sanitary landfill. The fire department went to this site to issue a cremation to burn. She said she does not believe that anyone would like to have someone dumping frozen animals over their fence. The Beagle’s have low doses of radiation in them and all the pharmaceutical drugs that are being pumped into these animals for euthanasia are going into the water table. Her granddaughter, when she was five years old, licked the water in the sprinkler and came down with 108 fever.

    She is concerned that Fish and Game and the mosquito abatement, for which Bud Tonnesen is the brother-in-law to Lois Tonnesen who is applying for this application may cause a conflict of interest.

    She asked to have a document added to the record; an e-mail from Roberto and a picture depicting the Tonnesen property and the aquifer that runs into the Suisun Marsh. The well is 70 feet deep and the leakage is running into the Bay.

    She objects to the extension of the use permit submitted by Lois Tonnesen for the continued operation of a cemetery on the parcel 00461204110. This land is zoned limited agriculture and is within the confines of the Suisun Marsh protection zone and should not be used for a solid waste commercial burial site for small animals.

    She requested that the Commission deny the Marsh Permit 82-12 because this is not a pet cemetery; it is a solid waste disposal site that is degrading the quality of the groundwater and is not zoned to have a solid waste commercial burial in the Suisun Marsh. She is firmly against the extension of this permit and hopes this panel steps up to the plate to save the water and save the marsh. She asked the Commission not to approve this extension until they have had a chance to perform an adequate study on the chemicals that are in the animals.

    Roberto Valdez said he is a concerned citizen. He is here today to try and persuade this Commission to perform an independent assessment. He is concerned about the cumulative impact to the wetland species and the impact this cemetery may have on the Contra Costa Goldfields, a federally endangered plant. He supports Ms. Guidotti’s concerns and has submitted, for the record, an e-mail he sent to BCDC staff.

    Lesley Emmington Jones said this issue is a good example of something slipping under the radar screen. The Potrero Hills project is not under the radar screen because the California Environmental Quality Act was applied.

    This is a sensitive area and this Commission is a caretaker of the Suisun Marsh. This is a cumulative project with more accumulation on the water. The Suisun Marsh and its details must be looked at carefully and cumulatively.

    What is the CEQA obligation that has been complied with here? What is the NEPA obligation that has been complied with here? What about the Clean Water Act? There should be major red flags going up about the Suisun , as well as the Delta, and the sea level rise. This Commission has nothing to lose and everything to gain to be careful conservators of what we have in the Suisun Marsh.

    Chair Randolph explained that the public hearing will be left open until the Commission decides whether or not there is a substantial issue that has been raised, in which case, a hearing de novo on this project will be continued at the December meeting.

    Max Delaney presented the staff recommendation: the staff recommends that the Commission find that this appeal does not raise a substantial issue with regard to conformity of the project to the Marsh Act, the Marsh Protection Plan, and the county’s local protection program.

    The language for the motion is: “I move that based on findings set forth in the staff recommendation the Commission determine that Appeal No. 2-08 raises no substantial issue as to the conformity of Marsh Development Permit No. MD 82-12 or the Suisun Marsh Preservation Act, the Suisun Marsh Protection Plan, and the Solano County component of the Suisun Marsh Local Protection Program and that the Commission dismiss the appeal.

    MOTION: Commissioner McGrath moved, seconded by Commissioner Carruthers, that based on findings set forth in the staff recommendation the Commission determine that Appeal No. 2-08 raises no substantial issue as to the conformity of Marsh Development Permit No. MD 82-12 or the Suisun Marsh Preservation Act, the Suisun Marsh Protection Plan, and the Solano County component of the Suisun Marsh Local Protection Program and that the Commission dismiss the appeal.

    Commissioner Carruthers asked if the Commission were to undertake this appeal who would be responsible for administering the permit. Mr. Travis said BCDC would be the primary permitting agency.

    Commissioner McGrath said it seems there is a policy in the plan that talks expressly about allowing this but also cautions against the proliferation. How large is the secondary management area and are there any other sites for the disposal of waste that are designated within this area? Mr. Batha said in regards to the second question, no, the only ones that are specifically mentioned are: 1) this particular pet cemetery and 2) the Potrero Hills Landfill in the secondary management area. In regards to the first question, he is not sure how big the secondary management area is in terms of acreage but the primary management area is approximately 80-85,000 acres and the secondary management area is approximately one quarter to one third that amount. The landfill is another exception with a larger impact. In terms of proliferation there is one site for the pet cemetery and one site for the landfill.

    Commissioner Drekmeier asked if the “small animals” being euthanized are mostly cats and dogs and if any of the animals have been used for medical testing, if so, would these various uses require different permits? Mr. Tonnesen said there is no medical testing involved in the euthanasia. The animals are people’s pets that are put to sleep at the Veterinarian Hospital; 60-70% are cremated. This is a small scale facility and in 30 years only 4 acres of the 15 have been used.

               Commissioner Bates asked how the Water Quality Control Board interacts with this permit. Mr. Tonnesen said the water is tested quarterly. There are four testing wells on the site and there have never been any problems.

    Commissioner McGrath said he understands Ms. Guidotti’s concern about water quality and as the Regional Board’s representative he clarified the following point. It is not the marsh that cleans-up material. There is a lot of research on waste water and other kinds of disposal that indicate that disposal of materials can putrefy in soil and is not a problem as long as water supplies are away from it and above the groundwater. There is an organism community in every bit of soil that looks on this as food. One needs to be sure that there is plenty of separation between any waste and water and it needs to be monitored.

    Commissioner Jordan-Hallinan said it sounds like there are testing wells on either side of the cemetery but who is doing the testing. Mr. Tonnesen said Golder & Associates is doing the testing and they submit those findings to the county on a quarterly basis.

    VOTE: The motion carried with a roll call vote of 20-0-0 with Commissioners Potter, Bates, Bourgart, T. Smith, Goldzband, Jordan Hallinan, Dillabough, Carruthers, Lundstrom, Maxwell, McGlashan, McGrath, Moy, Peskin, Silva, Kato, Wagenknecht, Drekmeier, Vice Chair Halsted, and Chair Randolph voting “YES”, no “NO” votes and no abstentions.

    MOTION: Commissioner McGrath moved, seconded by Commissioner Wagenknecht to close the public hearing. The motion passed unanimously.
  9. Briefing and Public Hearing on Bicycle and Pedestrian Access on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. This item has been postponed until December 18, 2008 at the request of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
  10. Public Hearing and Vote to Initiate a Possible Amendment of the San Francisco Bay Plan to Address Climate Change. Chair Randolph said this item is a public hearing and vote on whether to initiate the process of amending the Bay Plan to address climate change.

    Leslie Lacko, Senior Planner, provided the following information:

    The San Francisco Bay Plan contains limited findings and polices that address sea level rise. There has been a profusion of new information regarding climate change that has led to new legislation (Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006). There is heightened concern about the impacts of climate change and the consequent rise in sea level.

    In light of these changes, an update to the Bay Plan is needed to: (1) add a climate change section to the Bay Plan that includes findings and polices that address climate change adaptation and incorporate mechanisms for an iterative planning process to address rapidly changing environmental conditions and scientific information; (2) update the existing findings and policies on sea level rise and coastal flooding to be consistent with current information; and (3) add new policy language in the section on public access that requires public access projects to account for sea level rise.

    There was no public comment.

    MOTION: Commissioner Tim Smith moved, seconded by Commissioner Carruthers to close the public hearing. Motion carried unanimously.

    MOTION: Commissioner Carruthers moved, seconded by Commissioner Wagenknecht, to approve the staff recommendation. The motion carried unanimously.Commissioner Drekmeier asked if BCDC staff is aware of any studies of the energy efficiency, and therefore greenhouse gas output from ocean transport versus rail. He asked if BCDC should be encouraging more ocean transport or if rail is more efficient. Mr. LaClair said the real question is the kinds of fuel ships should be using. There have been some initiatives to clean up the fuels that ocean going cargo vessels burn and this would have an impact. Also, having ships use shore side power in lieu of their burning bunker fuel to power the ship while it is in port. There are a number of steps that could be taken to clean up the industry but there are no laws to compel this.

    Mr. Travis said that under AB32 California will be looking at this issue and all of the trade-offs that are involved between using one mode over another.

    Commissioner Bourgart said the Business Transportation Housing Agency, which he represents at Caltrans, is doing a lot of work in this area with respect to goods movement and the comparative emission levels of the different methods that can be used. The primary trade-off is between rail and trucks. Rail is much more fuel efficient in general with many fewer emission. He is looking to make progress on all fronts with all modes, in particular, to try to move as much cargo by rail as compared to truck.
  11. Briefing on the Cosco Busan Spill and the Harbor Safety Committee of the San Francisco Bay Region. The following briefing was provided by Commissioner Joan Lundstrom who chairs the Harbor Safety Committee:

    The Harbor Safety Committees were established by the State Legislature after the Valdez oil spill disaster in Alaska.

    San Francisco is the fourth busiest container shipping port in the United States and fourth in terms of oil tanker movement.

    The Harbor Safety Committee has monthly public meetings. The Committee has evolved into a forum where everyone comes to hear current information. Typically, there are 40-50 people in the audience.

    Cosco Busan spill happened one year ago. Because of dense fog the vessel hit the corner of the Bay Bridge. Within seconds 53,000 gallons of bunker fuel spilled into the water.

    More than 2,300 birds were killed.

    The cost was $90 million, of which $66 million was for clean-up and $22 million for claims.
    The Governor directed the State Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) to make recommendations for both prevention and response.

    OSPR directed the Harbor Safety Committee to come up with recommendations for preventing spills, such as speed restrictions, tug boat escorts, weather conditions, communications equipment, and other technologies. Recommendations from the Committee were:

    To permanently fund PORTS through the five cents per barrel tax on oil that comes in by ship or by pipeline.
    The expansion of wind sensor systems.

    Adopt guidelines for when to move in fog. The Committee believes large vessels should not move through certain areas if visibility is less than one half mile. If the ship is already moving and visibility is less than one half mile it should anchor if it is safe to do so.

    Use of navigation technology. Bar pilots should be required to carry their own portable navigation equipment when piloting the Bay. Pilots should have advanced training of navigation technology.

    Seventy percent of the vessel traffic on the Bay are commute fast ferries and they are increasing in number. Protocols are needed and the Harbor Safety Committee Ferry Operations Workgroup reviewed this issue. Ferry routes on the Bay have been established.

    The Harbor Safety Committee’s recommendations have been submitted to OSPR and the Governor.

    Mr. Travis said it is impossible to underestimate the importance of the Harbor Safety Committee because once the oil gets into the water the battle is lost. The challenge is to come up with a mosaic of procedures, regulations, and management techniques that will minimize oil spills.

    Commissioner Lundstrom has been very effective in bringing consensus within the Harbor Safety Committee members.

    Commissioner Drekmeier mentioned that after the spill there was some criticism that booms were not placed quickly enough to contain the oil. Was that a fair criticism, and if so, is there anything that could have been done to improve the response time. Commissioner Lundstrom said one of the members of the Harbor Safety Committee sat on the Incident Specific Response Review and booms were deployed in an hour and a half. Booms only work if you have currents less than two knots and only work in certain circumstances.

    Commissioner Carruthers asked if permanent funding for PORTS has been achieved. Commissioner Lundstrom said the Governor has placed it as a line item in the budget. The funding source is there through OSPAF. The Western States Petroleum Organization backs this in the San Francisco Bay.

    Commissioner Halsted asked if technical precautions are possible in trying to ease the collisions with bridges. Commissioner Lundstrom said the Bar Pilots raised the issue of protection of bridges (fendering). Caltrans was urged to look at the most advanced measures to protect the bridge structures. It is looking to a grant within the next year from the National Organization of Bridge Protection to study enhanced fendering of bridges.

    Chair Randolph asked if high speed ferries on the Bay as the water transit system grows is a subject of particular focus or concern. Commissioner Lundstrom said the Committee is concerned and it will be receiving a briefing from the Water Emergency Transit Agency on where the new routes may be.

    There were no public comments.

  12. Consideration of Strategic Plan Status Report. Mr. Travis said there is one new recommended objective on page 4 of the Strategic Plan. This recommendation came from the Bay Planning Coalition and it is recommended that the Commission incorporate this new objective.

    MOTION: Commissioner Goldzband moved, seconded by Commissioner Halsted to approve the incorporation of the new objective on page 4. The motion was carried unanimously.

  13. New Business
    There was no new business.

  14. Old Business
    There was no old business.

  15. Adjournment
    Upon motion by Commissioner Nelson, seconded by Commissioner Moy, the meeting adjourned at 2:45 p.m.


Will Travis
Executive Director

Approved, as corrected, at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission Meeting of December 18, 2008

R. Sean Randolph, Chair