Minutes of May 20, 2010 Commission Meeting
1. Call to Order. The meeting was called to order by Chair Randolph at the MetroCenter Auditorium, 101 Eighth Street, Oakland, California at 1:00 p.m.
2. Roll Call. Present were: Chair Randolph, Vice Chair Halsted (represented by Alternate Chappell), Commissioners, Bates, Brown (represented by Alternate Carrillo), Chiu, Gibbs, Gioia, Goldzband, Gordon, Jordan Hallinan, Hicks (represented by Alternate C. Johnson), Lai-Bitker, Lundstrom, McGrath, Nelson, Reagan, Thayer (represented by Alternate Kato), and Wagenknecht (represented by Alternate Caldwell)
Not Present were: Resources Agency (Baird), Department of Finance (Finn), Association of Bay Area Governments (Maxwell), Marin County (McGlashan), Governors Appointee (Moy), Business, Transportation and Housing Agency (Sartipi), Santa Clara County (Shirakawa), Association of Bay Area Governments (Wieckowski), and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Ziegler).
3. Public Comment Period. Chair Randolph asked for public comment.
David Lewis, Executive Director, Save The Bay, began his comments by noting that he was passing around a letter which he sent to the Commissioners May 19, 2010.
His comments were as follows. We’re all entitled to express our personal views, of course, on any issue.
And many of you are public, elected officials and quite practiced at being careful to distinguish your individual, personal view from the official policy of the city or county or agency that you work for.
Recently, the Executive Director and the Chair of BCDC sent some communication to the news media.
They also have a special responsibility to all of you not to present their personal views in a way that gets confused with the view of this Commission, explicitly or by implication and especially in an area where the Commission does not have a view that you’ve had a chance to discuss and approve.
Their letter recently to the newspapers in Redwood City about salt pond development proposal there crossed this line.
They told you in a memo sharing their letter with you that it was their personal view. But they didn’t tell that to the news media in a way that was clear.
They signed the letter with their BCDC titles, and Will Travis in particular who’s been working for the Commission for many years is well known as BCDC’s Executive Director.
And so it was quite predictable that the press would interpret this letter as BCDC, in this case telling Redwood City that it should conduct an environmental impact review on the proposed project in Redwood City.
That was the issue that was under discussion at the press at the time and that was well known.
Of course, it’s none of BCDC’s business whether a city decides to go into any EIR process or not. It’s certainly not something this Commission has discussed.
And it’s not something that Save the Bay or anyone else has asked you as a commission to take a position on.
So I raised this with Sean and asked him to correct the record when I saw how the press had interpreted it.
He said, no. So as I did a couple of years ago when BCDC salt pond policies were mischaracterized in the press, I’m coming here to ask you to correct the record, correct the public record and to ask the Executive Director, in particular, and the Chair as well not to speak for the Commission on issues where the Commission has no position.
And BCDC’s policies which you slaved over and which the staff looks very carefully and are clear. They’re public. And they’re available for anyone to look at.
And I think on this issue in particular the best guidance is where no permit application has been filed, and no local approval has even been considered, that when people ask what the Commission thinks about this you should just point them to those policies, point them to the record of discussions that has occurred here that’s in your minutes on your website and leave it at that.
So that’s my request to you in this letter. And I encourage you to both take an opportunity to correct the record for the public and to set some ground rules that I think will be very helpful in maintaining the Commission’s impartiality and your reputation, not only on this issue, but for the long haul which, of course, is very important to Save the Bay as the organization that helped create this Commission in the first place.
Chair Randolph thanked Mr. Lewis for his presentation and called Michael Henderson as the next speaker.
Michael Henderson introduced himself. He was from Redwood City and the Salt Works.
He reported the following. I would just like to express my appreciation for the vast majority of officials who have not commented on the environmental process.
It’s a process that we all respect.
It’s a process that many, many years ago was put in place to protect all of us.
So we are moving forward with the city of Redwood City who have responsibility for the EIR review. And it is a process that is open, that will be candid and it’s an opportunity for all of us to find out exactly what are the benefits or what are the problems with the proposed application.
Thank you for your time.
Chair Randolph thanked Mr. Henderson and asked for any additional public speakers. Seeing no additional speakers he moved on to the draft minutes of the meeting held on March 4th.
4. Approval of Minutes of March 4, 2010 Meeting. Chair Randolph entertained a motion and a second to adopt the Minutes of March 4, 2010.
Motion: Commissioner McGrath moved, seconded by Commissioner Lai-Bitker to approve the March 4, 2010 Minutes. The motion carried unanimously by voice vote.
5. Report of the Chair. Chair Randolph reported on the following:
a. New Commission Members. ABAG has concurred in the appointment of Newark City Council Member Ana Apodaca as Commissioner Bob Wieckowski’s alternate at BCDC. She’s replacing Peter Drekmeier who did not run for reelection at the Palo Alto City Council and I’m sure all of us welcome Council Member Apodaca to the Commission.
Next our staff has drafted a resolution for appreciation for Michael Smiley who’s recently resigned from BCDC’s Design Review Board and I’d appreciate a motion seconded to vote of approval for this resolution. You know we get tremendous value, volunteer labor at the highest quality from the Design Review Board so their contributions and Michael’s is very, very important to the Commission.
MOTION: Commissioner Nelson moved, seconded by Commissioner Goldzband to adopt the resolution. The resolution carried unanimously by voice vote.
b. Next BCDC Meeting. If we get all the way through our agenda today we will probably cancel our next regular meeting which is currently scheduled for June 3rd, two weeks from now.
And if that’s the way it plays out our next meeting is going to be held in four weeks, June 17th. It’s going to be in Fairfield where we’re going to be holding a public hearing on an application to expand the Potrero Hills Landfill. As you all know this has been a topic on the agenda for some time.
Please make note of the location because you’re going to have to allow some additional time to get there and our staff will be in touch with you in advance on the details and directions on how to get to Fairfield.
So that completes my short report.
c. Ex Parte Communications. If any members of the Commission have inadvertently forgotten to provide staff with a report on any written or oral ex parte communications I’d invite you to let us know now.
Commissioner Lai-Bitker reported that she was contacted by Rena Rickles who expressed her support for the staff recommendation for Item 9.
Commissioner McGrath received an email from Tom Kindle from the Corps of Engineers expressing a concern about some of the questions he had raised with the staff on that matter. He sent him a copy of the questions that he had sent the staff.
Commissioner Bates reported that he also had a conversation with Rena Rickles relative to the same matter.
Commissioner Kato reported that she had discussions with Allied Defense Recycling regarding the use of the dry docks in conjunction with her job at the State Lands Commission.
Commissioner Reagan reported that he had conversations with the City of Vallejo and the proponents of the Dry Dock Proposal.
Commissioner Gibbs reported that he had not received any ex parte communications but he did attend an award luncheon in Sacramento May 19th and by surprise had the opportunity to accept a very prestigious award on behalf of BCDC.
Chair Randolph asked Commissioner Gibbs to explain.
Commissioner Gibbs reported that it was the California Transportation Foundation Annual Awards.
One of the awards was for the Environmental Enhancement Project of the Year.
And there were four or five finalists and BCDC won the award for the Skaggs Island Restoration Project along with Cal Trans District 4, the US Navy, US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bay Area Toll Authority.
Commissioner Gibbs requested to read into the record two paragraphs. Chair Randolph agreed and the following two paragraphs were read into the record.
As part of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge East Span Project Cal Trans initiated a 15.5 million dollar mitigation package for the protection and enhancement of aquatic habitats.
The restoration of Skaggs Island in Sonoma County is part of that package. The US Navy began intelligence operations on the island in 1942 and decommissioned the facility in 1993.
Since then, the hundred plus empty buildings containing asbestos and lead paint have been slowly degrading and increasing the threat of toxic materials entering the bay.
This extraordinary project to restore Skaggs Island was a result of unparalleled partnership between Cal Trans, Bay Area Toll Authority, CTC, the US Navy, US Fish and Wildlife Service and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.
Ultimately, the project required federal legislation to allow the transfer of the former naval station into the San Pablo Bay Wildlife Refuge and to allow the Navy to accept funds from the state for this purpose.
Commissioner Gibbs stated that it was quite a project and quite an award and he passed the award around and suggested that it reside in Mr. Travis’s office.
Chair Randolph congratulated Commissioner Gibbs for ably representing the Commission and congratulated the members of the Commission and especially to all the Commission staff.
6. Report of the Executive Director. Executive Director Travis provided his report, as follows:
a. Budget. Last week Governor Schwarzenneger released his May revise of his proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins in July 1st.
Unlike last year when the May revise included a proposal to eliminate BCDC as a state agency this year’s proposal does not make any specific reference to BCDC at all.
However we would be impacted by overall proposals that apply to all state agencies.
One proposal would end the practice of closing our office three days a month which has saved us in paying staff salaries about 14 percent.
However the lower salary levels would remain in place as a result of a proposal to increase employee pension contributions, a five percent pay cut and a one day a month unpaid, personal leave program.
We’d also be required to reduce our overall staff size by five percent.
As you may recall, that was proposed in the budget in January and we’ll be able to do that by not filling two the four positions that we have vacant.
Over the past few months, we’ve also been dealing with another proposal in the Governor’s budget that would allow the Attorney General’s Office to bill BCDC and other departments for the costs of its legal services.
Currently the Department of Justice receives an appropriation from the General Fund to provide legal services to general fund departments like BCDC, the State Lands Commission, the Coastal Commission and other commissions.
The proposal was advanced to encourage departments to better manage their demands on Department of Justice for legal services, which makes sense.
However, out of the 55 departments that receive legal services paid for by the General Fund the problem of over spending is largely limited to one department, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. It alone exceeded the Justice Department’s entire budget for legal services for General Fund agencies.
So, even though under this proposal, General Fund support for BCDC’s legal services would continue to be provided and appropriated into a legal services revolving fund, the Department of Finance would be authorized to adjust the General Fund appropriation level of individual departments which would essentially allow the Department of Finance to set a legal cap, a services cap for every individual General Fund client.
If BCDC reaches its individual cap, we would either have to get additional funding from the Legislature or cease all legal action.
Now, rather than abandon a system that has proven to be quite effective in favor of one that has obvious problems, we have recommended that if there must be a change to the current legal services system, it should be narrowly tailored to apply to only the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation which is the cause of the problem.
Set up a pilot program. See if you can make it work where you have a problem. And if it really works well then perhaps in a subsequent fiscal year you could apply it to other agencies.
We’ve been negotiating with the Administration, with the Legislature on this. Caitlin has been in conversations today with them on this.
And unless you have objections, we’ll continue to work with the Administration and the Legislature to try to resolve this matter in the manner that we’ve suggested.
As I mentioned, we can meet the Governor’s goal of reducing our overall staff size by five percent by filling only two of our four vacant positions.
We have found an outstanding professional to fill one of these vacancies.
b. Personnel: Sandra Hamlat will be joining our Dredging and Sediment Management Team in about a month.
She has a Bachelor of Science in economics and policy and a master of urban and regional planning with a concentration in environmental policy and regional conservation planning from U.C. Irvine.
She has worked for Environmental Science Associates.
She was a James Irvine Fellow for the California Natural Resources Agency.
She’s currently an associate planner and park and recreational specialist at the Baldwin Hills Conservancy, which is another state agency.
We’re pleased to be able to fill this important position, but we have lost another of our key staff members.
Courtney Scarborough was our NOAA fellow and she left us in early April to follow her professional passion back to marine science in Santa Barbara.
There she has accepted a position as a staff researcher in a new marine ecosystem health project.
Now, fortunately NOAA has been extraordinarily gracious and cooperative and is allowing us to replace Courtney with Heidi Nutters who has a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Antioch College and a Master of Arts in environmental studies from Brown University.
She was an intern at the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and she has worked as a botanist for both ICF Jones and Stokes and for Colorado State University Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands.
She will join our Climate Change Project Team in August.
With your concurrence we will hire Sandra and under the authorization you provided when we entered into a contract with NOAA to pay our small share of the cost of Courtney’s fellowship I will extend the contract for a year to cover Heidi’s two year fellowship.
In addition to these full time positions we have nine highly qualified interns working for us over the next few months.
They are Ouyntegish Batjargal, Alice Chung and Marilyn Clements in our Regulatory Unit.
Sean Bothwell, Ian McConnaha and Ethan Lowry in our Legal Section.
Brian Grace in the Dredging Unit.
And Paul Muse and Max Neale in GIS.
And we are fortunate to have them with us.
And that does complete my report for today.
7. Commissioner Consideration of Administrative Matters. There were no administrative matters discussed.
9. Public Hearing and Vote on Permit Application No. 3-08 from Lennar Mare Island, LLC and Allied Defense Recycling for the proposed reuse of Drydocks Two and Three on Mare Island, in the City of Vallejo, Solano County. Chair Randolph moved Item 9 ahead of Item 8 for consideration.
Karen Weiss presented the staff recommendation.
The next item is a permit application to operate a full-service ship repair facility to maintain, repair and dismantle ships at Drydocks Two and Three on Mare Island in the City of Vallejo, Solano County.
The proposed activities in the bay include maintenance dredging of up to 610,000 cubic yards over 10 years.
Proposed activities within the shoreline band include, removing four existing buildings and installing a parking lot, cranes and storage containers.
And operating, repairing and maintaining Drydocks Two and Three, including ancillary facilities.
Several mitigation measures are proposed to offset the project’s potential adverse impacts on fish including habitat creation, removing a barrier to fish migration and various restrictions on how Drydocks Two and Three are operated.
The applicant has proposed an approximately 22,000 square foot public access overlook just north of the project site with access from the nearest public road, benches, lighting and other public access amenities.
Since mailing the staff summary and recommendation the resource agencies have continued to evaluate the project based on learning that more water will fill the Drydocks and water will be drawn into the Drydocks at a faster velocity.
NOAA Fisheries is now reconsidering whether or not they will be issuing a biological opinion which will most likely require the installation of a netting or fish screen over the intake valves.
In addition, the US Fish and Wildlife Service may need to amend their biological opinion and California Department of Fish and Game may also need to amend their incidental take permit.
I will address how staff proposes to address these issues when I present the recommendation.
Primary issues for the Commission include whether or not the public access proposal provides the maximum feasible public access consistent with the project.
Whether the project would be consistent with the dredging and water quality policies and whether the project is consistent with the Commission’s policies on natural resources including, fish, wildlife and other aquatic organisms.
I’d like to introduce the applicants, Allied Defense Recycling and Lennar Mare Island who will present the project in more detail.
Tom Sheaff of Lennar Mare Island gave the following presentation.
Good afternoon Commission. I’m with Lennar Mare Island.
This afternoon I plan on addressing Mare Island in general, the site in general, also the public access component and then I will hand it off to Jay Anast and Werner Hoyt with California Drydock who can explain a few more of the details.
First of all I would like to thank staff who spent quite a bit of time out at the site and probably more importantly, for not only the Mare Island Project but also the City of Vallejo really took the opportunity and the time to understand the complexities associated with that site.
I know that many of you are familiar with the closed military bases in the bay area and you’re also aware of the environmental and infrastructure challenges that these local communities have faced.
And in spite of all that, at least on Mare Island, we continue to make incremental progress and certainly this application and your approval this afternoon would allow us to keep moving forward and more importantly, would allow California Drydock to bid for what they foresee as the first contract for ships associated with the mothballed fleet.
And I’ll let them talk a little bit more about that in detail.
I outlined a timeline for you. I think there’s just a couple of things that I’d like to highlight here.
First of all, 1993 base closure. Again, stressing the complexity and the time in which it takes to get these bases back into operation.
Secondly, down in 2002 that was the first major transfer of property on Mare Island. It transfered to Lennar Mare Island or LMI, as we abbreviate ourselves, in 2006 and the specific plan was amended.
That’s important because it really talks a lot to open space on Mare Island.
In 2007 we began park improvements that ultimately would lead to the public access that you’re going to see proposed this afternoon.
And just in the big picture, I wanted to give everybody an idea of where we are at least on our property. And I’m going to show you an ownership map in a moment.
At least on our property, we are 50 percent complete with the environmental clean up which interestingly does not include the site that we’re talking about today.
And then about 30 percent of the infrastructure island-wide is complete.
When the original reuse plan was put together it was really to emphasize jobs like many of the communities throughout the bay area that had base closures.
They took a real direct hit in the 1990s just coming out of what we thought in the early 1990s was sort of an economic downturn and a bad recession simply didn’t compare to what we have today.
But nonetheless, the City of Vallejo emphasis was really jobs, jobs and jobs. And so that’s what we tried to achieve.
As far as the reuse plan goes I won’t bore you with the elements of it, a fairly standard ending with open space and we’ll talk about that in a moment.
This was the original reuse plan. I’m going to use a laser pointer here and I’ll do it with the one in front of me. And I’m sorry for everybody at the table that can’t see.
But this is where the Drydocks are. This is the heavy industrial area here.
And these are all residential out in here, office, light industrial here. And then there’s an open space system that we’ll go into in a little bit more detail which starts up in this area, goes around the heavy industrial and down to the regional park on the end.
You will have noticed in your staff report that it was noted that for safety reasons it was not possible to get public access at the actual location of the Drydocks.
This is a current ownership map of Mare Island. Most people don’t realize that Lennar Mare Island does not own all of Mare Island. We own 650 acres.
There are multiple owners. The good news is that in those areas that have been cleaned up, primarily this area of the north island.
We are now in the process of achieving the environmental clean up, achieving the infrastructure and achieving the mapping process that allows us to move forward.
This area down in here where the Drydocks will be in the future will be transferred back to the California State Lands Commission and the City of Vallejo will actually be the beneficiary of not only the revenue but also the expenses associated with this site that was part of a State Lands Commission settlement agreement back in 2001.
This is the overall reuse plan. Again, this was something that the city adopted first in 1999 and then it was amended in 2005 and 2007 to achieve this plan. It was very, very close to the original community-base reuse plan in 1993.
Now to the Drydocks themselves. Here is Drydock Two. Here is Drydock Three, Drydock Four and then the first Drydock on Mare Island is Drydock number One right up in here.
These Drydocks have been dormant since at least 1996 when the base closed.
There have been a number of proposals associated with reopening them.
Due to the expense and the financial risk associated with this endeavor, it lacked primarily three things.
The capital to do it. The contracts to implement or reuse the Drydocks. And then, frankly, the very difficult permitting process.
It’s a permitting process that is necessary but can be also very daunting at times.
And so we have now engaged with a group that has undertaken a lot of that permitting risk, a lot of financial risk so far. And we’re hoping that they will achieve approval today and then get the myriad contracts going forward.
This is also a regional issue including the mothballed fleet, of course everyone I think is aware of it.
This is something that the City of Vallejo, the City of Benicia, Solano County in general, the City of Martinez and I think everybody that is involved with bay waters wants to resolve.
Mare Island has been extremely helpful in this process and they changed their process from awhile ago.
There were two or three things that they did that really helped out.
Number one. They are going to retain title to the ships as they come out of the mothballed fleet.
That is very important because they also retain the environmental liability associated with those ships which was very important to us as the landowner and the City of Vallejo, the future landowner.
Mare Island will have onsite oversight of the operation.
They also have a bonding requirement should anything not work out in the future.
And then they also have a fee-based contract which is much different from the contracting that they used to do which was highly speculative.
I won’t go through the list of oversight agencies. But the list is fairly long and it goes all the way from the federal to the state to the local level to our agreements with them.
The benefits to Mare Island and the City of Vallejo, again, I won’t go into a whole lot of detail here, but it creates initially 60 to 100 jobs.
It will contribute directly to the municipal services on Mare Island which will ultimately benefit the City of Vallejo.
And then the current economic estimates are that once they get going they’ll be an 8 to 15 million dollar economic, local economic, impact.
All very important to the city and particular as the future owner of that state lands property.
As far as the public access goes, again, Drydock Two and Three right down in here, this is Chapel Park, Alden Park, Club Drive Park, the improvements have been made to these parks. And the public access that we’re going to show you is right out in this area which is a natural extension from these improvements that have already been completed.
This is also expected to be the future museum and historic core on Mare Island.
This is an aerial picture of the very same thing again. Improvements have already been conducted through this area.
Here is the museum. And here is the public access that we’re proposing along with the future promenade that we’ll talk about in just a second.
This is Drydock Two, Drydock Three and then this is Drydock One. And this Drydock was set aside as part of a asset that the Mare Island Historic Park Foundation, a local, nonprofit would be able to take advantage of should they get a ship display in the future.
A little bit farther out, again, the promenade which is expected to be part of the Bay Trail, the city expects when a developer is chosen for the north island, this is, by the way, Highway 37 up here. Here is the causeway, City of Vallejo.
And this would extend up to Highway 37 at some point in the future.
The proposed promenade, we call it the proposed promenade, is actually part of the specific plan. It’s a commitment that we’ve made to the City of Vallejo to continue that as part of the Master Infrastructure Plan.
We have not been able to implement that program yet, primarily as a result of the environmental clean up.
There are still some very difficult environmental conditions along that site which are currently being remediated.
This is the plan that you have in your packet.
And then this is just an artist’s rendering of the view across to a residential area in the City of Vallejo. The Ferry Terminal is just off the picture here to the right. But this is a rendering of what that proposal would be.
So I’d be happy to answer any questions. And in the meantime I’ll introduce Jay and Werner who will talk a little bit about their specific project.
Jay Anast reported the following: It’s been a long road to get here and I am pleased to present our application to reopen Drydocks on Mare Island.
My name is Jay Anast. I am the Director of Business Operations and the CEO of Allied Defense Recycling doing business as California Drydocks Solutions.
I have seen the mothballed fleet in our bay ever since I was a kid probably like most of you.
Over a decade ago I began the process of assembling the best possible team to be involved in the dismantling of that fleet.
It has taken us 12 years to get before, the Vallejo Planning Commission last November.
The Commission approved our application unanoumously.
Seven months later we are before you today for approval of our dredging permits.
Permits which if you approve them will be the next important step to reopen and operate the Mare Island Drydocks.
Our goal is to open the Drydocks for the purpose of ship dismantling, maintenance and repair.
It is our plan to begin the operation through the dismantling of retired naval ships upon receipt of the BCDC permits.
To bid on those contracts we need BCDC approval of permits before you today.
If we receive the BCDC permits, we will be able to start and complete our intial dredging within the summer’s work window and become operational this year.
The Mare Contract will enable the opening of the Drydocks to be financially feasible.
We believe we offer the best value for most of the ships in the mothballed fleet because of the experience of our team and our business plan. We believe California Drydocks is in the best position to receive most of those awards that will be out there.
To do this California Drydocks has assembled a highly qualified team.
Our Project Manager, Werner Hoyt, is our staff engineer, mechanical engineer with naval experience.
Werner will be showing a little bit later a brief slide show that shows the ship’s arrival to its demolition and also to assist in any questions you may have.
Next is, Victor George our Health and Environmental Safety Officer.
Under Werner and Victor George’s direction our ship dismantling will be, while restoring Mare Island’s Drydocks history, providing 60 to 80 new union jobs, environmentally it will not be your grandfather’s drydock.
It will be a state-of-the-art in terms of environmental processes.
Gary Whitney is our Director of Marine Operations. Gary is a principal and owner of Marine Survey and Management Company, a professional marine survey.
And finally Jack Billings is our Director in Environmental operations.
Each of our team members are committed to working full-time at California Drydocks and will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Finally, Rena Rickles an attorney with over 20 years specialization in land use issues.
To save time in this presentation Rena specifically asked me to thank BCDC staff, especially Karen Weiss, for their understanding of the urgency of our need to have BCDC address our dredging permit this month.
They did that without compromising BCDC’s mission and their attention to detail. She will answer any questions you may have about the interrelationship of permits, processes and the next steps.
And personally I would like to also thank Michelle Hightower, Senior Planner for the City of Vallejo. She is truly a city assett.
We would probably not be here without her due diligence, going above and beyond the call of duty.
I would like to address two questions. Why have we chosen Mare Island and why now?
Mare Island is the ideal location for dismantling the mothballed fleet because number one, Mare Island’s close proximity to the mothballed fleet.
Two, Vallejo’s available labor force with ship industry experience.
California Drydocks has committed to hire first Vallejo residents. And we have set in place an apprenticeship training program.
Vallejo’s close proximity to the Oakland Ports and finally the availability of the Mare Island Drydocks.
The timing of this project is optimum at this point. Number one, environmental-related technologies have evolved to a level that makes it possible to locate a project of this kind in the San Francisco Bay, one of the most intensely, environmentally regulated bodies in the world.
And in California the most environmentally regulated state in the country.
Number two, the federal government agrees that ship dismantling must move forward now and be handled with full environmental oversight.
Additionally the federal government accepts the responsibility of paying for the cost to remediate and properly dispose of its ships.
And finally, three, San Francisco environmental protection agencies and groups have focussed on the problems being created by the mothballed fleet and are demanding resolution now.
So, we have the main ingredients to make this project a success. Local inventory of ships, experienced labor, available drydocks and federal funding, all of which have led to the environmental and political partnerships to have the problem resolved.
Let me add that our proposed contracts with Maritime Administration, although this was already said, I think it needs restating. Maritime Administration known as MARAD stipulates that MARAD is responsible for the ships until they are fully abated to the last bolt is removed from Mare Island.
So the federal government has ultimate contractual responsibility for each and every vessel.
Now I’d like Werner if he could come up please.
Werner will show you a brief slide show that will give you an overview of what’s involved in the reutilization of the drydocks.
Werner Hoyt had the following to report in the form of a slide presentation:
Chairman Commission Members, regarding the Drydocks Two and Three.
This is our facility footprint as it will be when we start the operation up.
We will be putting in parking for employees, no new construction or building modification initially.
This illustrates the 100-foot shoreline band on the facility of BCDC jurisdiction and the initial area that we’re looking to dredge.
This represents the overall dredging footprint for our long-term plan. We’ve included the ability to maintain the access of Drydock One for historical preservation within our dredging applications so that there’s a vehicle for that to be accomplished.
This represents our first dredging episode to open Drydocks Two and Three followed by Episode Two Dredging in year two.
This is Drydock Two and Drydock Three.
This sequence of slides represents a drydocking evolution. This particular evolution was conducted in 2000 at Hunter’s Point showing your drydock builds for the ships, flooding, opening a casson, bringing the ship around, ships in and moored, positioned, closing the caisson, beginning to pump, pumping down and the drydock empty and cleaned.
Our processes whether for ship repair or ship disposal include abatement to support work, repair, preservation.
Basically we deal with the same processes any general contractor deals with in a major building in the city.
Same items we encounter, asbestos, PCBs, lead, mercury, fiberglass. These are all the things that we have to address under a regulatory environment.
We deal with the processes by negative error containment for asbestos or any other material which can become airborne.
And particularly, we’ve set up with a vacuum exhaust system which we take and remove the material inboard. It’s broken up. It comes through a vacuum line and goes through an endo bladder , through a cyclone separator and HEPA filtered to prevent any material at all from getting out to the environment.
And this is an illustration of a set up on a worksite. This, I believe, was a hospital up in Oregon but basically the same set up we will use shipboard.
We’ll utilize the ship’s structures, our containment boundaries and set temporary boundaries where the structure does not exist.
Cabling removals also are accomplished within a environmental containment as they contain both PCBs and, very often, cables contain asbestos which can be spread around by the removal processes.
So we have an asbestos abatement at the same time.
Fluorescent light removals for mercury, remove pack and these get shipped for recycling.
Tank cleaning processes, materials that are discreet get packed, containerized and shipped.
For ship repair we will be dealing with outside machine work, propellers, rudders, ship’s structural.
These are illustrative of the type of work we’ll be doing including welding, cutting.
This illustrates a ship water bearing area, equipment repair, ship systems, electrical, mechanical will be addressing all that’s necessary to repair and return a ship to service.
This represents an initial or the condition we would anticipate ships coming into dock, hydro-blast, preserve and paint, final product.
This is the type of containment that has to be placed these days for over-spray, for blasting to prevent contamination of the adjacent environment.
And this is where the state-of-the-art is in the ship building industry, ship repair industry and where we’ll be working. We’re basically dealing with full wrap and containment. These illustrate what is going on in San Diego, present day and what’s required by the air quality boards.
This sequence is a rapid sequence taking a ship from docking through complete dismantling.
The note to take away from this is the housekeeping that’s associated the dismantling process to keep the site clean and safe.
And that particular project was accomplished at Hunter’s Point Drydock with oversight by all of the California regulatory agencies.
Mr. Anast asked for questions from the audience and Commissioners. Chair Randolph opened the public hearing first.
Chair Randolph reminded everyone to limit their remarks to three minutes at the maximum and that when the bell went off it was time to move on.
He asked that the next speaker in line be prepared to speak immediately after the current speaker was done.
Chair Randolph called Mark Burton up first to be followed by Stan Golovich.
Mark Burton had the following to say to the Commissioners and audience:
Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen of the Commission my name is Mark Burton. I’m an operating engineer for Napa and Solano County.
Local 3 has promoted this project from the beginning and we continue to support the efforts of Lennar and ADR for the following reasons.
A priority for ADR to hire local for this project.
The economy of Vallejo would benefit greatly by the opening of this facility.
We have dealt directly with ADR through this process and they have been sincere and honest with the operating engineers from day one.
Suisun bay’s clean up efforts will be streamlined with the opening of the west coast’s first recycling facility large enough to handle ships from the mothballed fleet.
In closing I would like to say that in this economy job creation is number one on every agenda.
With the opening of the Mare Island Drydocks Vallejo stands to gain 80 to 120 jobs directly and maybe another 100 indirectly. Every day we spend in the permit process is another day our economy and our environment suffers.
We cannot afford to deny the permit to Lennar and ADR. Operating Engineers Local 3 recommends and would appreciate if you would vote yes and grant this permit.
Stan Golovich was called next to be followed by Anita Hawkes.
My name is Stan Golovich. Good afternoon Commission.
I’m a former boating master At Mare Island Naval Shipyard for the Navy.
I have about 25 years of direct observation of the drydock operation when the Navy was bringing ships in and out and cycling the drydocks.
As has been said by Mr. Sheaff and the previous speakers, the positive regional impact in a struggling economy for the jobs, the accelerated removal of the Ship Suisun Fleet, some of the ships out there, taking them to a recycling facility 12 miles away as opposed to the current practice of towing them 5,000 miles to Texas.
Also I believe it would create sustainable marine-related services relative to new vessel construction, repair, conversions, things like that.
What I really want to talk about today, I’m sure you’ll hear a lot of what I just said, again and again. But I want to talk about today’s fish impacts.
Because I was there when the drydocks were pumped down or pumped down. There was a time when, as the water was coming down and the ship was settling, the people used to come around and get around the rim of the drydock to kind of watch and see what kind of big fish might be showing up in the water as the water went down.
Every once in a while you would see something significant.
And for the most part it was a lot of small fish.
It was a practice and a tradition for the Navy to recover as many of the fish as possible and put them back in the river.
And this was done with the shipyard divers who went into the dock with a skip boat that was lowered into the dock with a crane and they would grab as many striped bass as small fish, whatever, and put them in a skip boat and get them back in the river as soon as possible just as a matter of practice.
There were only two significant fish that I remember in like over 25 years of watching the dry docks operate.
One was the Chinook Salmon that got in there and that was returned to the river.
The most impressive one and I still remember to this day and it’s a good story. Is it was a large sturgeon.
The water was being pumped down and there was an excitement as his fin was whipping through the ten feet of water left in the dry dock. It was a large sturgeon.
Eventually it became tired and stressed out and really slowed down so the divers went down while there was about two feet of water in the dry dock with a skip boat and it took two or three guys to load it into the skip boat, and put it back in the river but it wouldn’t respond.
So a couple of divers swam around with the sturgeon for a minute or two until it came back to life and took off.
So in conclusion, adverse impacts to fish can be mitigated quite easily.
Anita Hawkes spoke next. She was followed by Shane McAfee.
Good afternoon. My name is Anita Hawkes and I’m the President and CEO of the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce.
I appreciate the opportunity to speak to all of you today and speak in support of the permit application from Lennar Mare Island and the Allied Defense Recycling for the proposed reuse of the dry docks on Mare Island in Vallejo.
As the business advocate for Vallejo, the Chamber of Commerce recognizes this project as a significant opportunity for our community, which clearly takes advantage of a unique infrastructure and establishes a new business direction for Mare Island.
At the time when our great community as well as the entire state of California is struggling, this project could be the catalyst to entice new businesses, more jobs and more importantly, hope, back into the City of Vallejo.
In the letter supporting this project which we sent to Mr. Travis, and you all have a copy of, our Board of Directors pointed out that this project is consistent with the Mare Island specific plan and was unanimously approved by the Vallejo Planning Commission this past November.
Vallejo Chamber of Commerce represents 600 businesses and well over 10,000 employee, citizen-employees.
We’re proud to work with the City of Vallejo to attract and retain businesses which will continue to invest in our greater community.
We’re a strong city with a perfect location to support this project which is compatible and would maximize the reuse of Mare Island.
We urge you to support this important project and I want to thank you so much for your attention.
Shane McAfee was called, followed by Tom Atwood.
My name is Shane McAfee. I’m the General Manager for the Parks and Recreation District in the Vallejo area.
And I would just like to take a moment to encourage you to support this project.
Part of my job everyday is to try and improve the quality of life for the citizens of the area and provide wholesome activities and contribute to the general well being of the community.
Over the years with the closing of the Mare Island Naval Base it’s been evident in the decline in and because of the lack of economic stimulus into the community.
And I know that this job in particular is not going to save the community or the schools but it’s going to be an important first step to seeing Mare Island become what it should be to help contribute once again to the economic benefit of the city.
The schools as I’m sure you know are in economic decline. The same way with the City of Vallejo trying to come out of that.
This is going to be a great boon to instill in the community a sense of pride in that the city can survive on its own and it can do what it really needs to do for the community.
As a resident in the area, to be able to see these ships be recycled locally rather than towed all the way around to Texas to be refurbished or dismantled, we can do that locally.
It will not only improve the environmental impacts but it will stimulate our economy and help our community as a whole become the best that it can.
And I just encourage you to help us in that way. And I thank you for this opportunity.
Tom Atwood was called, followed by John Silva.
Good afternoon. My name is Tom Atwood. I’m with the Vallejo Insurance Associates. I’m a business owner in Vallejo and also I’m vice-chair of the Economic Development Committee on the Chamber of Commerce.
I support LMI’s and Allied Defense Recycler’s permit application and I hope you do too because it answers so many needs in our community and also in our bay.
You’re reducing transit times so you’re reducing additional pollution in the bay.
You’re reducing fuel costs.
You are bringing economic development to Vallejo. You’re bringing economic development to Napa County, Solano County.
This is going to affect every single city in that lower point.
It’s also going to increase exposure of Mare Island to the Maritime Industry to allow future projects hopefully, to come to Mare Island and utilize those resources and infrastructure properly.
So there are a lot more speakers, so very much for your time and please support this.
Chair Randolph introduced John Silva as a former Commissioner and welcomed him back.
John Silva gave the following presentation.
Good afternoon Chairman, members of the Commission. I’m speaking as a citizen and I live in the City of Benicia.
When I was on the County Board of Supervisors I represented the District including Mare Island.
And I’ve looked forward for that island to kick off and development and to be the magnet for the development of the entire area.
I’ll go back in history a little bit when the Benicia Arsenal closed in ’62, ’63.
And it took about 10 years to get that magnet business to come into it. And when it did that place has flourished.
And Lennar has done a good job and a lot of planning into what goes on Mare Island and I think this is a thing that all of us in that area have been looking for is a vibrant port for ship repair, dismantling, building.
I think it opens up that whole area. They say it’ll bring between 60 and 100 jobs. In reality, I believe it will be more than that because there will be other business that will come in that will live off of those dry docks and the work that goes there.
And I think it’s so important for the north bay and the training that young people can get by working in this facility and other facilities on that island.
So I respectfully request a yes and the support of the staff recommendation.
Russ Barnes was introduced and stated the following:
Good afternoon. I’m Russ Barnes. I’m the President of Cooper Crane and Rigging, Western Dock Enterprises.
We are a Mare Island business. Actually our yard abuts the project location. They’re between Dry Docks Two and Three and we’re between Three and Four.
My point is that we support the project. We find it consistent with the historic and current uses of Mare Island and particularly with the existing businesses and industrial community.
Please, I urge you to issue the permit.
Osby Davis, the Mayor of Vallejo was introduced by Chair Randolph. He reported the following:
Good afternoon Mr. Chairman and Commissioners. It’s a pleasure to be here and address you.
I won’t spend your time talking about things that you’ve already reviewed in your staff report and that you’ve heard in terms of the technical aspects of this.
If you’re like me you get tired of hearing somebody go back over and over that once you have a public hearing.
But what I would like to address you about is, the importance of this project to our city, to what I like to say is, my city.
You seldom have an opportunity to pass on an application which is a win/win for all the parties who are involved in the project.
This is one of those opportunities where you can approve an application that would be a win/win. Approve an application that would allow a yard to dismantle ships at a local facility in our city at Mare Island, at a place when it’s much more environmentally safe to move the ship the short distance to Mare Island than it is to thousands of miles that we might take it. So we have a project that is good for our environment.
Third we have a project that is going to be housed at a place where we already have the infrastructure and the facilities. We don’t have to go through that process.
What better use of Mare Island, a former shipyard than for dismantling and repairing and rebuilding ships?
The fourth thing is that the economic market today I think all of you are already aware is such that from the federal government all the way down to cities we talk about the creation of jobs.
And clearly the creation of jobs in our city is critical.
And so this project would, in fact, bring jobs. But more importantly in this project, with the city that is struggling to pull itself out of financial despair this could be the spark, the catalyst, the spark that generates the hope and recognition that we can and we will pull ourselves out of this difficult financial situation we find ourselves in.
We’re struggling as you know to pull ourselves out of bankruptcy. We have a number of projects on the board to do that. But this could just be the project that gives hope to the community again that we can and we will.
And so I encourage you to look at this as more than just an application as you see so many times. But as possibly a catalyst for renewing a community that is struggling at this point in time financially.
And I’ll finish by saying this. It’s not often that our Council and maybe many councils, our council, in the City of Vallejo unanimously agree upon anything. But I can say that there is unanimous support by our Council for this project.
And I urge you to approve the application.
Chair Randolph introduced Mike Ammann.
Mr. Ammann gave the following presentation: Good afternoon Chairman Randolph and Commissioners. I’m Mike Ammann. I’m President of the Solano Economic Development Corporation.
I’m a partner with the City of Vallejo in their efforts to attract new investment into their community.
I concur with everything that has been said before but would like to bring out at least two other points.
One. There is another little hidden asset that no one has talked about that complements this whole new era of marine industry that this project would start off.
And that’s California State University, Maritime.
It is one of the finest educational institutions in the world preparing students to work in the marine industry.
It’s a hidden asset which is complementary to this and makes this even more important for future job opportunities and future development on the island.
Another concern that you have is with public access and viewing of what is occurring across the river, if you like, or the strait.
The City of Vallejo has worked to get some stimulus dollars for the Bay Link Ferry Terminal.
And for the first time after this improvement there will be a public viewing area over the top of the terminal.
Again, another access point to be able to watch either the dismantling or the repair or perhaps, hopefully, even in the future, the construction of new ships.
Thank you very much. I do support this and hope that you will become part of this success story.
Dennis Klimisch was introduced next by Chairman Randolph.
Mr. Klimisch gave the following presentation:
Good afternoon Chair and Commissioners, Dennis Klimisch. Klimisch is collision repair operating in Vallejo for over 63 years.
We don’t have the history that Mare Island had or the number of years but 150 years of naval history, that has not been mentioned.
The other thing is because I’m in the collision repair business dismantling, working with metal, hazardous waste materials, all those things, everything has very much been approved.
It’s able to be contained, disposed of, separated, recycled, these are all things that they very much have in control.
I also want to mention that I am one of the Planning Commissioners that approved this project in November and at that particular evening I was very much impressed with Allied Defense Recycling and their abilities to do these projects comfortably, affordably, in a reasonable amount of time and within the abilities that Mare Island offers.
Paul Roberts spoke next.
Good afternoon Mr. Chairman and Commissioners. My name is Paul Roberts. I’m a Vallejo resident. I’m an architect with an office out on Mare Island.
And perhaps even more importantly, I’m in negotiations to buy a piece of property, several buildings, within about 300 feet or so of this proposed site for office use.
I’m delighted with what they put together. I think this is a really positive proposal for the City of Vallejo. And I strongly endorse this proposal.
Chair Randolph asked if there was anyone else that want to speak on this item.
Seeing none he thanked everyone for their succinct comments.
Chair Randolph entertained a motion and a second to close the public hearing.
MOTION: Commissioner Reagan moved, seconded by Commissioner Lai-Bitker. The motion carried unanimously by voice vote.
Commissioner Jordan Hallinan: Are there any good pictures of the public access in question? In reading through the report it’s kind of hard to visual exactly where the public access that would be provided within the first year and then the additional public access that would be fabulous after you remove the fencing and all of that.
Can somebody elaborate on that and maybe show a picture up on the screen?
Tom Sheaff: Sure I’d be happy to. Tom Sheaff again with Lennar Mare Island.
Let me just sort of orient everybody. This is the causeway right up here.
This is Highway 37. From the causeway down to south of Dry Dock Three is Lennar Mare Island’s portion of Mare Island. Out here was the housing and residential historically and there are new homes out there today.
There are 275 homes that have been built and sold out of an entitlement of approximately 1,400.
In this area down here is job generating, office, light industrial, those type of uses.
And then the historic core is down in this area. The historic core is very important to the City of Vallejo as I think a couple of speakers mentioned.
The fabric of the City of Vallejo was really built on the shipyard. For 150 years it’s hard to miss the fact that that component was extremely important to the city.
And so as a result during the planning process this museum which is about a 45,000 square foot building that is now housing about 2,500 artifacts is an area that we really want to get the public to.
And as a result, we, for lack of a better term, sort of barbelled the open space all the way up to this area in terms of this proposed promenade and then brought it back into this area.
If you’ve ever been on Mare Island this is where the mansions are and the chapel is back in this area.
So, for this application when, we met with staff on site everyone realized that the public access in this area was not appropriate but that as a condition of approval we would continue our work back in this area and past the museum and provide this public access just in this area only.
Now in the future we expect to move the promenade, througout this area. It will most likely occur in pieces rather than all at one time just as a matter of feasibility.
For example, right up in this area right here is one of the 15 most contaminated areas on Mare Island and it will still take some time to clean up.
So that’s, generally speaking, the issue that’s before you today and then the future.
Commissioner Jordan Hallinan: Okay, just so I can understand. So currently to get to those homes where’s Waterfront Avenue? Tom Sheaff: Waterfront Avenue is technically right over where the promenade is. Waterfront Avenue and the proposed promenade are synonymous.
Commissioner Jordan Hallinan: Okay, now there’s no public access there now because of the contamination?
Tom Sheaff: Right now there’s a number of leased buildings. For example, here there is the existing ferry terminal is up in here.
Technically there are no gates. You can actually access the waterfront right now.
We don’t encourage it.
And we keep pretty close track of it from a security standpoint.
But I wouldn’t say that it’s restricted at this point because there’s businesses down there. Contractors go down there.
Visitors go down there.
But it’s not signed and we don’t encourage it. So what we’re doing with this public access here that will be part of this project is that it will be signed.
It will show that you can go down here. There will be benches. And then eventually the City of Vallejo, Lennar Mare Island will continue that promenade all the way up to the causeway.
Commissioner Jordan Hallinan: I can understand kind of what you have planned for the future and that could be how long?
So the green, it’s like this little sliver and how would anybody get to that within the next year?
Tom Sheaff: This is a public street currently that runs right through here. This is a public street. This is a public street. This is a public park. That’s a public park.
There is quite a bit of activity in this area. It would be hard to miss.
Commissioner Jordan Hallinan: Okay, so the homes and anybody coming into that neighborhood would now have that, that little green sliver now gives them access to come out to the waterfront.
Tom Sheaff: Correct.
Commissioner Jordan Hallinan: And that’s the piece that you would do within the 12 month period.
Tom Sheaff: Correct.
Commissioner Jordan Hallinan: Got it. Thanks.
Chair Randolph: Commissioner Nelson.
Commissioner Nelson: First off, a disclosure and then a question for staff and the applicant.
The disclosure is just that my employer, the Natural Resources Defense Council has been very involved in the discussions about the ghost fleet.
I have not been. I don’t believe we’ve been at all involved in the discussions regarding this project and its connection with the proper disposal of the ghost fleet.
So I just wanted to make sure I disclosed that. I don’t see any impediment to my participating in discussion or a vote but wanted to make sure that I was clear about that connection.
The question for staff. It’s interesting that this is coming up at the same time we’re looking at the Corps dredging proposal.
Mare Island has always been notorious for having a particularly heavy sediment load.
So assuming that this project moves forward it would, if it were to continue over the long term add to the ongoing maintenance dredging requirements in the bay.
And I just wanted to ask staff and the applicant if they’re interested to comment on how this would dovetail with the LTMS goals of reducing over time the amount of in-bay disposal happening on an ongoing basis.
We’re trying to ramp that down.
And I just wanted to ask how this proposal would dovetail with that.
Brenda Goeden: Brenda Goeden, BCDC. I’m the Dredging Program Manager.
This project through the Dredging Program has committed between now and 2012 to beneficially reuse approximately 33 percent of the dredged material.
And after that if they continue to do maintenance dredging they would need to bump that number quite a bit to meet the goals from 2012 on.
And so we would expect them to dispose of almost 80 percent to beneficial reuse if we are working within the LTMS targets.
And so far they’ve been cooperative in identifying ways that they can do that.
Commissioner Gibbs: I have a question for staff. Usually for projects of much less complexity both in terms of footprint and environmental complications we hear a whole stream of speakers with objections.
Nobody appeared to have an objection to this project and I just wanted to note from staff whether any objections that were put to you on any grounds with relation to this project.
Karen Weiss: I don’t think there were any. No one called and objected to the project.
There were concerns on fish and wildlife impacts that we’ve been working with the natural resource agencies on.
Commissioner Gibbs: Well that is good to hear and kudos to the project planners. It seems like an outstanding project and you’ve achieved a very rare feat here.
Commissioner McGrath: As the Regional Board Member we acted on this quite some time ago with comprehensive discharge requirements that reflected the careful control of potential contaminants.
We’re also involved in the litigation over the ghost fleet and happily could see the resolution.
Although our concern either in the Regional Board or here is not primarily jobs, that is something that, all other things being equal and being resolved, we can take comfort in.
But I would point out that from an environmental perspective there are two benefits of beginning to dismantle ships locally.
There’s the obvious one of reducing the costs and the greenhouse gas emissions of towing the ships such a long way.
But there’s also a capacity issue in remediating the ships in the fleet.
There isn’t sufficient capacity to clean the ships, ship them off to Texas and do it at a rate that we would like to see.
And when I was out there for the little celebration on resolving the litigation, and there were quite a few people from Mare quite happy about it, I watched a big sheet of paint come off the deck on the ship that was on the sideline, not one of those that are remediated.
So getting those ships remediated and out of the way is of net benefit.
And so I wanted to point out that the capacity to spend money more effeciently and to resolve that bottleneck could both have other benefits environmentally in terms of discharges to the bay that we should be concerned about.
Commissioner Reagan: I wanted to express how important Solano County sees this project as you’ve heard as a catalyst for not only cleaning up the mothballed fleet that is in our waters but also the revitalization of the economic engine of the City of Vallejo.
And with that I’d move the staff recommendation.
(Motion by Comm. Reagan to approve staff recommendation of the project) Chair Randolph: Any further questions. Is that a second? (Seconded by Comm. Nelson) All in favor say aye please. Oh wait. We skipped a step (laughter).
Commissioner Bates: I’m sorry. Maybe I misunderstood. I thought that staff said they were going to give us their report and their recommendations and then we were going to have an opportunity to vote after we heard what their recommendations were. Chair Randolph: We should hear the staff recommendation.
Karen Weiss: On May 13th you were mailed a copy of the staff recommendation which recommends that the Commission authorize the proposed project.
Approval of the recommendation as conditioned will allow the following activities to occur within the shoreline band.
Restoration, use and maintenance of Dry Docks Two and Three.
Use of 11 of the onsite buildings and two pump houses.
Installation, use and maintenance of 120 space parking lot.
Movable cranes and storage boxes and installation of an approximately 22,000 square foot public access overlook with site amenities.
In the Commission’s bay jurisdiction approval includes:
Conducting maintenance dredging to remove up to 610,000 cubic yards of sediment over 10 years.
And for the first two episodes dispose, of at least 33 percent of the sediment at an improved beneficial reuse site or an upland site outside of the Commission’s jurisdiction.
Off-site public access for this project includes:
An approximately 22,000 square foot public access area. An overlook with guardrails, lighting, benches, public access signs and other site amenities approximately a fourth of a mile northwest of the project site location.
The staff recommendation contains special conditions that require the permitee to take a variety of measures.
In order to protect the special status fish species the applicants must implement all the conservation measures described in the incidental take permit issued by the California Department of Fish and Game.
Including having a designated biologist onsite during all operations, monthly and yearly monitoring reports, and limiting the annual use of the Dry Docks.
The permitees must also mitigate to offset the project’s potential adverse impacts on fish.
Including creating an approximately five acre site as new habitat and removing a fish migration barrier.
Further, the authorization of this permit does not take effect until the US Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries have issued their biological opinions.
And if the biological opinions differ from the California Department of Fish and Game incidental take permit the permitees must amend this authorization to reflect the biological opinions.
The permitee must also provide a lease from the US Navy for the work to be performed in the submerged lands before the authorization of this permit takes effect.
Other conditions include:
Limitations on the amount and depth of onsite dredging, seasonal limitations for maintenance dredging, limits on in-bay disposal, the permanent guarantee of the public access planned and reviewed by BCDC staff, and recordation of the permit with the County of Solano once the permit is approved.
As conditioned the staff believes that the project is consistent with the Commission’s law and policies.
And with that we recommend that you adopt the recommendation.
In your packet today you have also received a letter from the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce supporting the project.
Chair Randolph: Thanks. And let me ask also whether the applicants have understood the recommendation and support it.
Jay Anast: Yes we do understand and agree.
Chair Randolph: Thank you. Further comments from the Commission? Commissioner McGrath.
Commissioner McGrath: Just a question of the staff. It appears that there are mechanisms to provide either offsets which is in the Fish and Wildlife conditions or mitigation such as reducing the rate of pumping in or netting.
So presumably any type of conditions that might be added in the consultation process could be readily resolved.
I want to be assured that should those not be significant they can be done administratively without this matter returning to the Commission.
Their time is of some essence. So if they’re major, of course, they would have to come back to the Commission.
But if they’re readily achievable I want to make sure that they can be resolved administratively.
Will Travis: That’s exactly our intent.
Chair Randolph: Very good.
Commissioner Nelson: A question that I realized I should have asked before. I haven’t looked at my Bay Plan Maps recently.
Is this portion of Mare Island still a port priority use area?
Chair Randolph: Further comments, questions?
MOTION: Commissioner Reagan moved, seconded by Commissioner Nelson to approve the staff recommendation.
VOTE: The motion carried unanimously with a roll call vote of 17-0-0 with Commissioners Bates, Carrillo, Chiu, Gibbs, Gioia, Goldzband, Gordon, Jordan Hallinan, Lai-Bitker, Lundstrom, McGrath, Nelson, Reagan, Kato, Caldwell, Chappell, and Chair Randolph voting “YES”, no “NO” votes and no abstentions.
8. Public Hearing and Vote on Consistency Determination No. CN 2-10, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Maintenance Dredging.
Jessica Hamburger is going to give the background on the project.
Good afternoon Chair Randolph and Commissioners. You have before you today Consistency Determination No. 2-10 submitted by the US Army Corps of Engineers for maintenance dredging of federal navigation channels in the Bay over the next three years.
The Corps proposes to dredge up to a maximum of 9.8 million cubic yards of sediment to provide safe navigation by commercial and recreational vessels.
Depending on the project location, type of sediment dredged and placement site availability, the dredged sediment for each project will be placed either at an approved beneficial reuse or upland location, at one of the authorized disposal sites in San Francisco Bay, or at the San Franciso Deep Ocean Disposal Site.
The staff believes that the Consistency Determination raises three primary issues.
(1) Whether the proposed maintenance dredging is consistent with the Commission’s laws and the Bay Plan policies regarding dredging; water quality; fish, other aquatic organisms and wildlife; and sub-tidal areas;
(2) Whether identifying the preferred disposal site as a particular beneficial reuse, upland disposal or ocean disposal site with an ocean or in-Bay fallback site is sufficient to meet the Commission’s policies on feasible alternatives to in-bay disposal when other beneficial reuse, upland disposal or ocean disposal sites may be available; and
(3) Whether the steps outlined below to protect state and federally-listed species are consistent with the Commission’s laws and Bay Plan policies.
I will address how the staff proposes to address these issues when I present the recommendation.
The goal of the Long-Term, Management Strategy for the placement of dredged material in the San Francisco Bay Region (LTMS) is to gradually decrease in-Bay disposal by implementing beneficial reuse and other alternatives.
The year 2010 marks the tenth year of the LTMS program and the beginning of the third phase of voluntary reduction and overall in-Bay disposal of dredged material.
From 2010 to 2012 in-bay disposal is limited to a maximum of 1.64 million cubic yards per year.
The Corps as a partner in the LTMS Management Plan has shown its commitment to the LTMS goal of reducing disposal of dredged material in the Bay through its integrated alternatives analysis and commitment to beneficially reuse sediment from several of its projects.
I would like to introduce Mr. Laurie Suda from the US Army Corps of Engineers who will present the project in more detail.
Mr. Suda reported the following:
Mr. Chairman and Commissioners, my name is Laurie Suda. I’m with the Army Corps of Engineers. I also have with me Ed Keller of my staff.
We also have Arijs Rakstins, the Programs and Project Division Chief.
And we have Merry Goodenough, our District Counsel.
They will answer any of your questions or questions from the public.
This is not a Corps of Engineers project per se. We have been working collaboratively and with other resource agencies.
I’d like to thank a few people and it’s quite a long list.
[Cal Fish and Game and a multitude of other people were thanked by Mr. Suda.
Also a number of people from the Water Board were thanked.
People from National Marine Fisheries were thanked.
People from EPA were thanked.]
These people have worked diligently to get the information to the Commission as quickly as possible.
They have been very thorough and have given us much help and many good suggestions and a few critiques where we missed some things.
But we have corrected those, we hope.
We’re requesting concurrence for our consistency determination for the Corps for 2010 through 2012 Operations and Maintenance Dredging Program for San Francisco Bay channels.
The waste discharge requirements and the Department of Fish of Game processes which are continuing, we can talk about it in specific answers to any specific questions later.
The channels covered are listed in the handout that we provided.
The previous CD covered 2007 through 2009.
The previous CD estimated dredging at 7,650,000 cubic yards without the Main Ship Channel.
This is outside your jurisdiction but we include it because we have beneficial reuse and other LTMS agencies are interested in that beneficial reuse.
The actual dredged volume was 5,729,663 cubic yards.
In the current document the proposed volume has been reduced to 6.5 million cubic yard, for over the three year period.
The Corps is a partner with the LTMS efforts and over the last three years we’ve been able to stay within the step-down volumes for in-Bay placement.
Our program has presented also stages from the newer step-down program volumes for the next three years.
The Hamilton Wetlands Project has helped, has enabled us to use beneficially a significant volume of the dredged material over the last three years.
Approximately, 5.9 million cubic yards of dredged material have been placed at Hamilton.
Of that, approximately 1.6 million has come from maintenance dredging projects, including non-federal dredging projects.
Chevron, Valero and BP have placed about 100,000 cubic yards at Hamilton.
There’s approximately 1.5 million cubic yard capacity currently available at Hamilton.
We expect that the remaining capacity will be filled in either 2010 or 2011.
While we’re working on coordination from other agencies to bring the rest of Hamilton online there may be a lapse in the availability of Hamilton in 2011 and 2012.
The way in which we planned our O&M Program within the next three years will enable us to meet the LTMS goals for reduced volumes in the Bay even with the lapse in the Hamilton Project.
If we go to your handout on the second page, between ourselves and your staff, there’s a change in the recommendations, from your staff recommendation.
If you want to look at a staff recommendation, this is on page 13.
We request a wording change to special condition J, the last paragraph.
“The Corps shall implement Items 1 – 16 and Item 17 to the extent that final measures are within the authorizations and funding provided by Congress.”
“The Corps will”, and this is where the changes start, “support any additional authorization and/or requests, this is what your staff has asked us to put in, funding needed to implement these measures.”
Just in an aside, we have to have the authorization before we can request. So with that caveat I’ll finish. Merry has another issue.
Merry Goodenough: No, what you said in the beginning is accurate. We need authority but there’s another instance where we could ask for funding.
And that is if the longfin smelt were to become federally listed then that would be another instance where we could definitely request funding.
So that’s why the “and/or” is accurate.
Chair Randolph: Commissioner McGrath.
Commissioner McGrath: I have a few questions about feasibility which I didn’t see enough information here to satisfy my curiosity and I would remind the Commission that there is not a firm regulatory requirement to do anything in particular but there’s a goal and it’s predicated on feasibility.
So I think feasibility and how we’re doing and what the barriers are is very important.
I really appreciate the figures for 2007, 2008 and 2009. As I looked at them I noticed quite a bit of difference between the projections of what was going to be reused at sites such as Hamilton and what actually occurred.
And so my first question, and I have about three of them, is what was the reason for these differences in what was proposed and what actually occurred?
Ed Keller: Ed Keller with the Corps of Engineers. Hamilton at one time when we were looking at the last three years CD had been projected to be online sooner than it actually did come online.
And so you’ll see that in 2007 we don’t have any material going to Hamilton at all, and our beneficial reuse numbers suffered from that.
In 2008 Hamilton was fully operational. We did have significant volumes come in 2008 and very large volumes.
Most of that volume that came in has come in 2009 from the O&M projects.
Now the Oakland Harbor deepening project began December of 2007 placing material. So it was more of a timing issue with availability of that site.
Commissioner McGrath: So a portion of the site that for the Oakland deepening project was ready but the rest of it wasn’t.
Ed Keller: It’s not that it was held off. It was that the Oakland deepening project started in December of 2007. By December of the year we’re typically done with our own maintenance dredging projects.
The Oakland deepening project is a year-round project. So it was placing sediment all year long during that time. We did place material in 2008 and even more material in 2009.
Commissioner McGrath: The second part of feasibility if I can hone in on this a little bit, has to do with any cost differential between in-Bay disposal, ocean disposal and upland reuse.
That’s the economic part of the feasibility considerations. And I didn’t see any information on that.
But I did see that there’s apparently 19 million dollars available for the upcoming year.
Can you walk me through how any additional increment is paid for and whether or not funds are currently available and roughly what the cost difference is between upland reuse and the other alternatives?
Ed Keller: Hamilton, some of you may know, has the opportunity to have a cost share so that the Operations and Maintenance Dredging Program does not suffer additional costs for going to the upland site.
That’s borne by the Hamilton Project.
So the projects that have a legacy site of going out to the ocean which had a typically higher per yardage price historically, there is a less cost share for Hamilton on those projects than, say, for an in-Bay site which had a very low dredging rate per yard, which would have a higher rate paid by Hamilton.
Hamilton is also a cost share project with the state of California.
And we know the budget issues with the State and so Hamilton has also a great concern about the State’s ability to provide cost share because we can’t legally spend the federal side without the state side in place also.
We have been trying to get those projects which typically had a higher historic rate to Hamilton because that means the Hamilton project gets them at a lower rate per yard so that we can be very careful in using the Hamilton money to bring as much material there as possible for the beneficial use.
Commissioner McGrath: So, economically, the Corps of Engineers with the appropriation, this $19 million, as I read the staff report and the information I got by email from the staff, there’s a total of $19 million available and that pays for any cost differential between the historic disposal site and the current one?
Ed Keller: The money right now that we have in hand is not just paying for that. We hope to get into our agreement with the State for the Bel Marin Keys addition of that project.
And so some of those funds may very well go towards getting the rest of the site prepared and getting it moving.
Not all of it is going to go or earmarked for material movement.
Commissioner McGrath: And how far will that 19 million dollars go in terms of the Commission’s ability to find that there’s a feasible alternative before it?
Ed Keller: I’m not sure I caught that question.
Commissioner McGrath: The 19 million dollars is available and there’s a given amount of material. Will that cover the full cost differential for the next three years or just part of it?
Ed Keller: That funding is only by year. One fiscal year only. So that’s fiscal year 2010 funding.
We expect that Hamilton will be able to afford a full cost share for all of our material coming from Richmond Inner Harbor, a portion of Richmond Outer Harbor and the Oakland Harbor Projects for O&M.
Commissioner McGrath: It was clearly feasible for 2010. Does 2011 depend on both Congressional funding and bond availability from the Coastal Conservancy?
Ed Keller: More for the federal because the state has a certain amount of things that they’ve already done.
If we can get into an agreement with them to move forward they have a lot of credits that they can then take.
And so they may not need additional funds. Their crediting could come into the project.
Commissioner McGrath: So a further bond freeze would not necessarily threaten the Conservancy’s share as long as an agreement can be reached.
Ed Keller: I believe that is a correct statement, yes sir.
Commissioner McGrath: Okay. Thank you.
Chair Randolph: If there are no further questions right now we’ll open public hearing.
Only one request to speak, Ellen Johnck.
Ellen Johnck, Executive Director of the Bay Planning Coalition representing a broad spectrum of the users and operators in the Bay and very supportive of keeping the process going for keeping our navigation channels safe and reliable.
And, of course, this is the, every three year consistency determination that’s before both the Water Board and BCDC and we know there’s been issues with the endangered species and the longfin smelt.
It looks to us as if you’ve worked out some agreements with the Corps so that we can move forward on those and we’ll continue to be working very closely with the Corps and the agencies of the LTMS to ensure that we can keep things rolling.
So I’m just here to say, we support your support of the consistency determination.
Chair Randolph: Thanks Ellen. We do have one more request to speak. Jim Haussner.
Jim Haussner: Thank you Mr. Chairman, members of the Commission. Jim Haussner, California Marine Affairs and Navigation Conference.
CMANC has been around for about 50 years and our role is to collectively present to the Administration and Congress the needs of navigation projects throughout the State of California as there is no state port agency.
To give you an example, we’re working on executing the FY ’10 Program with the Corps of Engineers because that’s the current year we’re in.
We’re engaging Congress and I’d like to point out that Senator Feinstein is now supporting a 20 million dollar request in FY 2011 for the Hamilton Project as a stand-alone project for the O&M. And we congratulate her and between Bay Planning Coalition and CMANC we’re also supporting that.
And we’re also working with the Administration, the Corps of Engineers, and OMB in providing facts and details in their preparation of the President’s FY ’12 budget request.
So it’s an ongoing process as we move forward here.
And we want to thank the staff. This year has been very difficult for BCDC staff because of the issues of the longfin smelt and the fact that it’s a state issue rather than a federal issue, it threw a little bit of monkey wrench. As you know, the environmental work window opens here shortly come June 1st and so, from the ports and the navigation interests, we certainly need to get forward and moving on dredging some of these channels so we can allow the ships to come through in a loaded manner as well as to support the President’s export policy program to allow the ships to get out as full to closely loaded as they can without leaving agricultural products behind on the docks or not providing for the full ability of the vessels to maximize their cargo capacity.
Also noting that this is the first year of next drop down, 2010. We reduced it again and the Corps and staff is looking at that and we fully fall into the next 2010 through 2012 drop down and we’re certainly appreciative of the Corps working on that with staff in order to meet the LTMS goals.
So we certainly support the consistency determination and hope the Commission will do so as well.
Chair Randolph: Great, thanks Jim. Anybody else from the public to speak? If not then I welcome a motion and a second to close the public hearing.
Commissioner Lundstrom: So moved.
Commissioner Lai-Bitker: Seconded.
Chair Randolph: Commissioner Lundstrom, Commissioner Lai Bitker. All in favor, say aye please. Opposed or abstained. Okay, thanks very much.
Commissioner Lundstrom: I represent BCDC on the Harbor Safety Committee of the San Francisco Bay Region and I chair that group.
And the Corps of Engineers sits on my committee as does the Captain of the Port for the Coast Guard.
It’s a 20-member committee. And the Corps reports at every meeting on dredging projects and the bar pilots and the tanker folks at just about every meeting for the last number of years have reported on their concern on the Pinole Shoals Channel.
This is the area on your exhibit, it’s up bound going to the terminals, the oil terminals and the refineries and the tanker operators and the chemical ships operators going up bound have consistently asked for the Corps of Engineers dredging and surveys.
Interestingly enough, just recently we got everybody together in one room and the tanker operators and the bar pilots proposed a realignment of that that would save dredging because the original channels were designed in the 1920s, but meanwhile the flow of water moved, and the actual channel moved over.
So it was just about two months ago we got agreement and there was a special analysis by the Corps to realign that channel so it wouldn’t have to be re-dredged as much and it would provide for safe navigation.
So I think that by looking at it, this saves a major amount of re-dredging.
So I think by having the maritime industry and the Corps look to ways to save dredging and this is substantial that it provides for safer navigation.
So just for the record I just wanted to say, over a period of time in this particular area has been of concern to, particularly to the tanker industry and the chemical ships that go up bound to the Ports of Sacramento and Stockton.
Chair Randolph: Thanks. Commissioner McGrath.
Commissioner McGrath: I intend to support this but I’ve got a concern and it’s one that I don’t know how the Commission generally deals with it.
First let me tell you what I heard today. I heard information in some level of detail about the current feasibility of alternatives to in-Bay disposal and the past record that convinces me that indeed alternatives are feasible.
And so I’m comfortable voting on it. I’m a bit uncomfortable with the nature of the discussion and the staff recommendation in that it didn’t have that discussion of feasibility.
I was kind of triggered by the language on the top of page 17 that seemed to say the expected volumes for in-Bay disposal are within the annual target limits of the Commission’s regulation and that was the end of the consideration.
And, of course, what’s feasible and why it’s feasible and how well it’s working, I think is part of that consideration that should be reflected in the record.
So my request is, is there a way to change the findings that are recommended to incorporate the details that we heard today about why it is feasible, why it has been feasible in the past and the things that we heard today which are the 21 million dollars is available and there is a proposal for a further 20 million dollars which should enhance feasibility going forward.
It seems to me that that’s important to the record. So that if anybody looks at why is the Commission approving this, the basis of its decision is there in the record.
I don’t know that we, certainly we haven’t made those changes to a set of findings since I’ve been on the Commission.
Executive Director Travis: Well the purpose of a public hearing is to hear from the public. And that information is part of the public record.
We can certainly incorporate it into the findings.
Commissioner McGrath: So did I give the staff enough direction there to be able to amend the findings to cover my concerns and have the record be more complete?
Brenda Goeden: Yes, if you include as part of your recommendation on the vote for us to change the findings to include that detail we can do that.
Commissioner McGrath: Then is it appropriate to at this time move the staff recommendation with that slight modification or do we have it on the table yet?
Well I’d like to move it with that modification since it appears to be non-controversial.
Brenda Goeden: Perhaps we could read the recommendation and then add the modification.
Commissioner McGrath: Okay.
Jessica Hamburger: The staff recommendation was mailed to you on May 13th. Similar to the 2007 to 2009 Consistency Determination this recommendation provides flexibility in the individual project volumes.
Both expected and maximum volumes are included because the dredge volumes cannot be accurately defined until a pre-dredge survey is completed.
The Corps has stated that with successful use of the available beneficial reuse sites and ocean disposal the LTMS in-Bay disposal target limits will not be exceeded.
Currently there is approximately 1.5 cubic Million yards of available space at Hamilton.
It is possible the project may be filled to capacity in 2010 or 2011.
Once this project is complete the Bel Marin Keys expansion of Hamilton would need to be both permitted and available for the Corps projects or other beneficial reuse sites to be used.
It is possible that beneficial reuse sites including the Bel Marin Keys expansion, may not be available in time for the Corps projects, which would then likely be disposed of at the deep ocean disposal site as described in the project description section.
Since the issuance of the LTMS Programmatic Biological Opinion there have been additional species listed by both NOAA Fisheries, the Green Sturgeon and the California Department of Fish and Game, longfin smelt.
The LTMS agencies have initiated a new programmatic consultation with NOAA Fisheries regarding salmonids and green sturgeon and expect to receive an amended biological opinion from NOAA Fisheries in 2010.
This amended biological opinion will refine the environmental work window set forth in 2000 for salmonids and will likely include new terms and conditions to protect the listed green sturgeon.
The Consistency Determination is conditioned to require the Corps to comply with the new biological opinion or request an amendment to this Consistency Determination.
The Endangered Species Act “4-d Rule” prohibiting take of green sturgeon will be issued on May 21st 2010 and will become effective June 21, 2010.
NOAA Fisheries staff has informed the Commission that as long as the programmatic consultation is underway and moving towards completion NOAA Fisheries does not need to provide separate take authorization for maintenance dredging projects occurring between June 21, 2010 and the date the biological opinion is finalized.
In the event the programmatic biological opinion is not completed, the Corps would be required to consult with NOAA Fisheries on a project-by-project basis for impacts to green sturgeon.
Per special condition II-I the Corps must comply with the amended biological opinion or do individual project consultations with NOAA Fisheries.
In April 2010 the California Department of Fish and Game determined that the Corps’ maintenance dredging projects completed with a hydraulic dredge are likely to result in incidental take of two fish species listed as threatened or endangered under the California Endangered Species Act, (CESA), the delta smelt and longfin smelt.
Although the Corps as a federal agency is not subject to CESA and therefore would not need to get an incidental take permit the Corps must comply with the federal consistency requirements of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA).
Section 930.39(a) of the CZMA federal regulations requires the Corps to submit a consistency determination that indicates whether their proposed dredging will be undertaken, “in a manner consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the enforceable policies of the management program”, i.e., the Commission’s laws and policies.
The Bay Plan’s Fish, Other Aquatic Organisms and Wildlife Policy Number 4(b) states that the Commission must not authorize, must, “not authorize projects that would result in the taking of any species listed as endangered or threatened pursuant to the state or federal Endangered Species Acts unless the project applicant has obtained the appropriate authorization”.
The Department of Fish and Game provided the Commission staff with a set of conditions which have been incorporated into the staff recommendation to meet the intent of the Commission’s law and policy regarding take of listed species.
Therefore, the Corps has agreed to implement measures to avoid, minimize or mitigate taking of delta and longfin smelt as described in Special Condition II-H.
The staff would like to make three corrections to the recommendations and the exact wording is included in the correction sheet in today’s packet.
On page one, the volume for the San Francisco Main Ship Channel should be followed by the words, “per year”, because this is an annual project.
On page three, the recommendation states that the dredged material from San Rafael Creek Across - the - Flats and San Rafael Canal may be placed at the San Pablo Bay disposal site as well as at the Alcatraz Disposal Site or an approved upland location.
On page 16, the text has been revised to be consistent with Table 2 in the recommendation.
And again, please see the correction sheet for the exact wording.
With these revisions and the other issues that we’ve discussed today, the staff recommends that the Commission find the US Army Corps of Engineers 2010 to 2012 Maintenance Dredging Program as conditioned consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the Commission’s amended Coastal Zone Management Program for San Francisco Bay.
Chair Randolph: Thanks Jessica. Any further discussion on the staff recommendation? Commissioner Nelson.
Commissioner Nelson: A question for staff. Commissioner McGrath’s questions were about the feasibility of continuing the progress, significant progress we’ve been making in upland disposal.
And I just wanted to make sure I understood the decision making process as outlined in the application on the application summary. On page eight and nine it talks about the findings the Executive Director needs to make.
And I just want to make sure I understand how those work. There is, as Commissioner McGrath’s question suggested, there’s funding in the pipeline to facilitate upland disposal. What if something goes wrong there?
If projects aren’t proposed, the funding doesn’t show up. I just wanted to make sure we understand what findings the Executive Director has to make and whether our in-Bay disposal allocations are targets or are they permit conditions?
Brenda Goeden: At the moment the volumes are targets. If we were to, over a three year period, miss the targets, we would then go into allocations.
And in order to go into allocations we would have to come back to the Commission, and the Commission would have to vote positively to implement allocations.
Commissioner Nelson: You mean allocations for individual projects?
Brenda Goeden: Yes, for individual projects everybody gets assigned a volume.
Commissioner Nelson: Okay.
Brenda Goeden: And that would be a process that we would go through. As far as the individual year meeting of the LTMS goals, what the Corps has been doing in years where they’ve had difficulty due to lack of funding or lack of sites being available is that they’ve moved around their volumes to meet the goal to the best of their ability.
We’ve been able to take material to Bair Island, for example, and material that wouldn’t fit at Bair Island actually went to Hamilton one year.
So in that case, they move material around depending on how the funding works. But in some cases when funding is not available, there have been instances where they have disposed in-Bay and then tried to make up the volume in years further down the line.
But it really varies depending on the federal funds available. And then the process of going through that is, actually, there are four different agencies involved in making the decision on what’s appropriate.
The LTMS partners are BCDC, the Corps of Engineers, the Water Board and the EPA.
And the Corps proposes different scenarios and through the LTMS Management Committee we work through scenarios and decide what’s appropriate based on funding availability and the best use of the dollars that are available.
Jessica Hamburger: If I may I’d just like to read the change that wasn’t included in the correction sheet but that was mentioned by the Corps earlier.
It’s on page 13. It’s under the second paragraph of the Monitoring, Mitigation and Funding Measures, number 17.
The second paragraph there it says, the Corps shall implement Items 1 through 16 and Item Number 17 to the extent that the final measures are within authorizations and funding provided by Congress.
And then in that next sentence we would like to recommend revising it to read, “the Corps will support, [rather than request], any additional authorization and/or” and then to add the word, “request funding, needed to implement these measures.”
Chair Randolph: Thanks. Further questions or comments? Commissioner McGrath do you have a motion?
Commissioner McGrath: I have a motion with some clarification. I’d like to move the staff recommendation as modified with the further guidance that the findings need some adjustments. And I’ll be a little more specific.
First, I’d like to incorporate the Corp’s spreadsheet today because I think that’s important information.
Second, I would like to include language in the Commission’s findings that funds are currently available to provide additional costs for disposal at reuse sites, because that’s what the factual record now shows, and begin work on providing additional capacity.
There was some discussion as to whether or not that would be the Antennae Field or Bair Island. Both, I think, are available and further funding has been proposed.
So that covers the current and proposed funding and what’s to be done with it.
Third, to note that the Conservancy and the Corps are working on revisions to their agreement.
I think the staff recommendation as it is before you has specific outcomes if capacity is exhausted. The material would go to the ocean and that appears to be agreed upon.
So I think those findings allow the Commission to make the feasibility finding and mandate this under the Coastal Program.
MOTION: Commissioner McGrath moved, seconded by Commissioner Nelson to approved the staff recommendation.
VOTE: The motion carried unanimously with a roll call vote of 15-0-0 with Commissioners Bates, Carrillo, Gibbs, Gioia, Goldzband, Gordon, Jordan Hallinan, Lai-Bitker, Lundstrom, McGrath, Nelson, Kato, Caldwell, Chappell, and Chair Randolph voting “YES”, no “NO” votes and no abstentions.
If I can note for the Commission we’ve got three items to go but I think they all will be very quick.
So if you could stay for those three that we need to vote on that would be terrific.
10. Public Hearing and Vote on Strategic Plan. Chair Randolph: Item #10 is a public hearing and a vote to adopt the updated strategic plan that we developed by consensus at our Strategic Planning Workshop in Oakland on April 29th presented by Caitlin Sweeney.
Caitlin Sweeney: On April 29th 2010 the Commission held its 14th Strategic Planning Workshop. At the workshop members of the Commission and senior staff agreed to update the current strategic plan which was adopted by the Commission in October,2008. The updated strategic plan contains 23 objectives that are to be accomplished within one year. The accomplished objectives will help the Commission meet its three year goals to:
(1) Improve and implement BCDC’s program for protection, use and restoration of bay resources.
(2) To improve coordination and interaction with other agencies to improve the bay.
(3) To improve public access to the Bay and Suisun Marsh.
(4) To play an integral role in developing and implementing a regional, proactive strategy for dealing with global climate change.
The staff recommends that the Commission hold a public hearing on the updated strategic plan. At the close of the public hearing, the staff recommends that the Commission:
(1) Approve the updated strategic plan with any revisions deemed necessary;
(2) Direct the Executive Director to assign a staff member who will have the lead responsibility for carrying out each objective in the plan; and
(3) Direct the staff to report to the Commission monthly on the progress in achieving the plan’s objectives.
There were two requests to speak during the public hearing.
Ellen Johnck, Executive Director of Bay Planning Coalition stated that the Coalition has always supported BCDC’s work on strategic planning from the Bay Planning Coalition of course. She wanted to draw the Commissioners’ attention to a comment and a that BPC thinks will be helpful to page 4 of the staff recommendation dated May 6th – under the three-year goal for the Commission to play an integral role in developing and implementing a regional, proactive strategy for dealing with global climate change. BPC supports that.
She wanted to comment on number 1 and underneath that down to “September 30th 2010, staff working with key stakeholder groups recommend to the Commission for action revised climate change findings and policies for the Bay Plan.”
BPC has been working with staff on that and is on target to have a report on their task force recommendations, which consists of members of the Bay Area Council, the Home Builders Association of Northern California and the Bay Area Flood Managers and Bay Planning Coalition.
BPC will have their recommendations to the Commmission by the end of the month.
BPC recommends an additional objective to the objective to have by October 31st some suggested language, draft language for state legislation because they think there is a missing step in this process. The additional objective would be to have staff come up with a review and analysis of why legislation is needed.
The task force would like BCDC to lead a climate change strategy. But we think it will be helpful for you to see whether you really need legislation and we would like a further discussion and consideration about that and why.
Regarding the next objective, we’d like to work with staff to develop some language on that. BPC has some language and talked to Joe LaClair about this. But in the interest of time we thought it’d be better to just talk about this for a minute here today.
BPC would like to add an objective to ask staff to provide some analysis of whether you need legislation or not.
If you think you do, then go ahead and prepare by the date, recommendations for language for legislation.
We do think that Sections A, B and C of that recommendation prejudges the outcome of what the legislation should contain, and we’d really like to keep the process open and available for innovations, ideas about how a strategy should be developed.
BPC cautions against having Sections A, B, and C and just having the objective with a period, proposing instead that BCDC will develop language for legislation to lead a sea level rise adaptation strategy.
BPC mentioned Paul or Scott from BPC’s other task force members commented.
My name is Scott Zengel with the Bay Area Council. He commended a very strong, strategic planning process. “As a business organization, we find that direction, focus, vision and goals through a strategic planning process is essential to a good committee, a good business goal and kind of a good future direction.”
Mr. Zengel seconded what Ellen stated. In alignment with being part of the stakeholder groups with the Bay Plan amendments process there will ultimately be objectives and discussion on whatever side and whatever sort of analysis is presented, and then as staff comes together with findings and a final presentation for you as Commissioners to vote on with the Bay Plan amendments.
The next step from a business standpoint would be to do what Ellen talked about, number 1, a gap analysis or a needs assessment of what legislative authority is missing.
What’s currently there. What’s missing. What needs to be potentially brought in a statewide legislative manner. And if that’s the case then that would be something that we could potentially support when we go to Sacramento.
Mr. Zengel also proposed to work with the Commission and with staff, as Ellen had suggested, to take the outcomes of the Bay Plan amendment process that we’re currently going through as a stakeholder and feed that into the potential state legislation language. Starting with an October 31st kind of check up, needs assessment, gap analysis, what do we need?
Secondly, working with staff to figure out what those details are. Is it an A, B, C? Is it a blanket statement that we do need state legislation and/or change?
And we’d be happy to work with staff. We’d be happy to help propose language et cetera.
Paul Campos: I’m the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the Building Industry Association of the Bay Area, formerly the Home Builders Association. We changed our name to avoid creditors.
As you know, our industry is reflecting our industry position, but actually I just want to echo what Ellen and Scott are asking for and just amplify a little bit on why we think it’s appropriate to request that the Commission direct staff to work with us on tweaking the language should legislation be necessary that would guide its drafting.
We’ve been in some very good and productive discussions with staff over the Bay Plan amendments.
There are some pretty contentious issues in there. But again our dialogue has been very good so far. Things have been great and we don’t want to make all these discussions moot that are coming up over the next couple of months.
The language as currently proposed sort of leaps ahead and so our recommendation again would be what Bay Planning and Bay Area Council have recommended.
MOTION: Commissioner Bates moved, seconded by Commissioner McGrath to close the public hearing. The motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner McGrath: Given the late hour I would suggest that perhaps the best thing to do is move this absent the policy for consideration and trail that to the next meeting and ask the staff for a revised recommendation on it.
I’m not willing to go as far necessarily as Bay Planning has suggested to take out those provisions but I do note that jumping all of a sudden to areas that must be protected from inundation is perhaps more specific than we need to be in a strategic plan.
I think with a discussion there that retains evaluating the need for legislation should be part of it, that retains some of this specificity but perhaps not so much; is something that I would like to see the staff make a recommendation to us.
If issues can be resolved that way, that’s great and if it can’t, bring it back to the Commission for consideration.
MOTION: Commissioner McGrath moved to adopt the staff recommendation absent that provision with that understanding, seconded by Commissioner Lai-Bitker.
Commissioner McGrath: Given the late hour I would suggest that perhaps the best thing to do is move this absent the policy for consideration and trail that to the next meeting and ask the staff for a revised recommendation on it.
I’m not willing to go as far necessarily as Bay Planning has suggested to take out those provisions but I do note that jumping all of a sudden to areas that must be protected from inundation is perhaps more specific than we need to be in a strategic plan.
I think with a discussion there that retains evaluating the need for legislation should be part of it, that retains some of this specificity but perhaps not so much; is something that I would like to see the staff make a recommendation to us.
If issues can be resolved that way, that’s great and if it can’t, bring it back to the Commission for consideration.
Commissioner McGrath moved to adopt the staff recommendation absent that provision with that understanding.
Commissioner Lai-Bitker: Second.
Commissioner discussion of the motion Commissioner Gibbs: A question for Trav. Is the October 31st date in there because we need to have legislation ready prior to a session etc., etc. and there’s a deadline on that from Resources?
Executive Director Travis: No, it’s in there because this was in your last Strategic Plan and had a deadline of probably a year and a half ago.
But, we have, as you know, extended the comment period because of new stakeholders that were interested.
So, this was simply pushing something that had been in the old Strategic Plan down the line.
I appreciate the Commissioner’s suggestion on taking a look at that paragraph and making sure that we do nothing in the Strategic Plan that prejudges what’s actually going to happen.
On the other hand, I would say that we should do that recognizing that Resources most likely has and Finance most likely have due dates for legislation.
So, when you take a look at that, that needs to be brought into effect.
Chair Randolph: I would note, and you can correct me on this Caitlin, but I think when we discussed this in the retreat there was consideration given to the timing required for legislation and I think the feeling was that just from a planning standpoint that date would allow staff sufficient time to produce language for the next session.
Commissioner Gibbs: I would say to the folks, the public who commented, that the 31st date probably doesn’t change in terms of legislation.
What would change probably is what happens before that.
Executive Director Travis: That’s fine. I think that Commissioner McGrath’s suggestion is a good one. We can sit down and work on language here, being inpatient I’d be prepared to come with language now. But it’s probably deserves a little bit more thought.
Commissioner Nelson: Just to be clear, Commissioner McGrath -- your motion is to adopt this so this wouldn’t interfere with the implementation of any of the earlier dates.
Commissioner McGrath: That’s correct. We would adopt all but this one specific provision of October 31st and see if this could be narrowed a little bit and resolve the question.
Executive Director Travis: The remainder of the, we would adopt everything in the Strategic Plan except that one for October 31st?
Commissioner McGrath: That’s correct.
Executive Director Travis: We’ll sit down and work with the stakeholders, and when we report back for the first monthly report we will come back to you with specific language.
Commissioner McGrath: A recommendation, and if it’s resolved it goes through very smoothly. And if it doesn’t, we deal with it at that time. And we fix it then.
Commissioner Lai-Bitker: I was going to concur with what you said about the discussion at the retreat.
I personally have a little different take in terms of how I feel about this item -- to actually go forward with adopting this knowing that the language needs to be worked out in terms of the A, B and C.
That’s a little bit premature, but I feel maybe we should just go ahead and adopt that knowing the timeframe as well as, working with the stakeholders throughout these next few months to evaluate the need for legislation and what kind of language needs to be instead of having to come back another time to just adopt that amendment.
Commissioner Bates: I don’t think there’s any doubt that there’s going to be a need for legislation. There’s a problem out there and we all recognize that.
So I don’t know why we have to look and study about a need. The question is, what are the actions that are necessary to meet the problem?
I’m happy to support this, but I think it’s really just doing make work because I don’t think where we have A, B and C is objectionable at all. I’d also like to point out to everybody October 31st is not only Halloween but it’s also when the Legislature is not in session.
They don’t go into session until January of 2011. So, if we come up with something that the people don’t like there’s a lot of time to discuss it between October and January.
Commissioner Lai-Bitker: I remember at the discussion about the timeframe with the legislative process -- by that time, we should have an idea what kind of language we need so that we can work with some legislative delegation or lobbyist to shape that.
That was why the timeframe was what it is.
Executive Director Travis: I suggest inserting some language that states that “in consultation with stakeholders, we will provide for the Commission’s consideration . . . “ and then just end it with a period after “Suisun Marsh.” So, what that would say is, we will work with stakeholders to develop draft legislation. We don’t prejudge anything that’s in it.
Commissioner Lai-Bitker: I agree with that.
Commissioner McGrath: And to accept that I withdraw my motion and we can move the staff recommendation as it is, as it’s been amended?
Commissioner Lai-Bitker: I’ll withdraw the second.
Chair Randolph: Does somebody want to move this with Travis’s amendment?
Commissioner Lai-Bitker: Yes, I’ll make the motion.
Commissioner Lundstrom: Second.
There was no further discussion on the motion. Chair Randolph asked for a show of hands. The motion was unanimously approved.
Chair Randolph: I should say that I participated in exchanges with Bay Planning, the Bay Area Council and the Building Industry Association working through some of the issues in the Bay Plan, and I think it’s been a constructive process, and by going through that iterative process, I think we were closer to consensus.
So having this is another step in that. It’s going to be useful to a reach a consensus result at the end of the day.
And, by the way, I think it was a great strategic planning session -- great participation, great moderation and, again, a really valuable exercise. So thanks to everybody who came to that.
11. Consideration of Pending Legislation. Consideration of whether to support a federal bill entitled the San Francisco Bay Improvement Act of 2010. Steve Goldbeck gave the staff presentation.
Thank you Chair Randolph and Commissioners.
You have before you a staff report and recommendation dated May 6th 2010 to support HR 5061, the San Francisco Bay Improvement Act of 2010, which was introduced by Congresswoman Jackie Spiers.
HR 5061 would authorize up to 100 million dollars per year for implementation of the San Francisco Estuary Partnership’s, Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for the Bay the CCMP.
This would provide funds for habitat protection and restoration, water quality improvement, trash removal, climate change adaptation and other good works to improve and protect San Francisco Bay, subject to yearly appropriations by Congress.
The program will be housed in Region 9 of the US EPA and an advisory committee would be established including the SF Estuary partnership’s executive committee and representatives of appropriate state and federal agencies to advise EPA on implementation of the program.
The bill is supported by the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority, the Bay Area Council, Restore America’s Estuaries, Save San Francisco Bay Association, the Bay Institute and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.
Because the bill would provide a significant benefit to the Bay and its natural resources and would be consistent with the Commission’s laws and policies, staff recommends that you support HR 5061.
Steve indicated he would be happy to answer any questions. Chair Randolph thanked Steve and apologized for moving things along.
Commissioner Gibbs: In the interest of time I’ll move the item.
Commissioner Lundstrom: I’ll second it.
There were no requests to speak from the public, and no discussions about the motion by the Commissioners.
Chair Randolph asked for a show of hands to approve the motion. The motion was approved unanimously.
12. Consideration of America’s Cup Resolution. Chair Randolph: This item is a consideration of a resolution expressing BCDC’s support for holding the next America’s Cup in San Francisco Bay.
Caitlin Sweeney: The America’s Cup Race, with its colorful heritage and tradition dating back to 1851, is considered sailing’s biggest prize.
In February of this year in Spain, BMW Oracle Racing Team won the 33rd America’s Cup for the San Francisco Golden Gate Yacht Club becoming the first American challenger since 1995.
Under the rules of the race the ownership of the Cup and the responsibility of staging the event go to the winning team. A number of regions around the world are now preparing proposals to host the next America’s Cup Race including San Francisco Bay.
In recognition of the benefits that would be generated by the America’s Cup Race including tremendous economic benefits, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the Board of the Port of San Francisco have expressed their support for holding the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco Bay.
The staff recommends that the Commission adopt a resolution expressing BCDC’s support for holding the next America’s Cup in San Francisco Bay.
Chair Randolph: I would mention that my institute has been asked by the City of San Francisco to do an economic analysis of the impacts of this and the early discussions with stakeholders are showing potentially large economic benefits, but I think from BCDC’s perspective, it heightens awareness of the Bay, and includes lots of public access to the Bay. Imagine boats in the Bay, millions of people around the world watching San Francisco Bay. So from a public access point, potentially lots of benefit.
We didn’t schedule a public hearing. But would anybody from the public like to speak? I see somebody. Please introduce yourself.
Kyri McClellan: This is Kyri McClellan from Mayor Newsom’s Office.
So I know Commissioner Chiu had to leave but he also wanted to express his support, and, as you mentioned, the Board of Supervisors’ support did pass in San Francisco with surprisingly unanimous support. We don’t get many unanimous votes these days.
The Rec Park Commission and Mr. Ellison gets to decide where the 34th America’s Cup Race will be held.
He is being courted from cities around the world. He would very much like to see it on the Bay. He has a grand vision for showcasing our spectacular bay by putting the races between the two bridges, a class of boats with technology where the spectators would get a sense of being on the boats themselves watching from Crissy Field, the Headlands, the Bridge, skyscrapers in San Francisco, and the opportunity to make an investment in one of our piers that is currently under utilized or dilapidated. It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to leverage this event to do that.
And we really appreciate your early endorsement of bringing it here because of the maritime uses and additionally Mr. Ellison has not been shy at all about stating publicly and also with Mr. Newsom that his greatest concern is the approval process.
You know he’s obviously a smart, successful man and he knows that projects have to go through a process and this one absolutely will go through a process.
But that level of scrutiny can take time. And he’s committed to the international sailing community of trying to hold a race again in 2013 or 2014.
And so we will go through a public process. We will be back to you hopefully with a proposal with their support. And we will go through many other public meetings and get input but having some certainty on process and your willingness and partnership to work with us is a very important step.
So, I can tell you that your adoption of this resolution will be well received by Mr. Ellison and would be a big boon for our effort.
And I’d be happy to answer any questions if there might be any.
Commissioner Gibbs: Having worked with the city of San Diego when it last held the Cup (and it held it twice if I remember correctly), I would be astounded if Mayor Newsom’s Office has not yet reached out to the city of San Diego, gone down there, taken a look at how it developed its area.
And so I’m assuming you’ve already done that.
Kyri McClellan: Yes sir.
Commissioner Goldzband: Great. As a San Diegan before I lived in the Bay Area I can assure it’s a heck of a lot easier to get things done down there than it is here.
But, I think that demonstrating to the various regulatory agencies how marvelous it has been for San Diego would certainly help you.
However, one thing I learned, and I don’t think the deed has changed since the late 80s and early 90s is that this is an open water race.
Kerri McClellan: I can address that if you’d like.
Commissioner Gibbs: So how do you plan to deal with that on the bay side?
Kyri McClellan: So, also as part of the deed of gift there’s a concept of mutual consent.
Mr. Ellison has selected as his challenger of record a club out of Rome that was very supportive to him during his past Challenges.
They’ve already agreed to some terms that would modify what’s currently provided by or described in the deed of gift.
So, having a race with in an area where there are headlands is not an issue so long as you have agreement.
By choosing someone that they can work with and bringing a tone of consent and collaboration to the whole process which he’s trying to do not only on the class of boats but the management of the races and a handful of other things, here really isn’t anything in the deed of gift that can’t be surmounted.
Commissioner Nelson: A question for staff. The last “whereas” in the draft resolution talks about facilities in the bay that would require potentially permits from the Commission.
Is the staff aware of major facilities especially those involving fill that we would anticipate coming before us as part of the World Cup?
I can speak to that. We’re currently looking, as you’ve probably read in the press, at four sites as part of our due diligence process.
We’re looking at Treasure Island, Pier 30/32, Pier 50 and Pier 80.
In all honesty, Pier 30/32 is the preferred site. Currently two-thirds of it is condemned because of its current condition and the other part is a parking lot.
So clearly, under-utilized, not an ideal public use.
We are envisioning being able to use that site and working off of the previous EIR that was done on the passenger cruise ship terminal, and maybe looking at modifying, doing an initial study and modifying from there because the use that we’re looking at would be considerably less in terms of impacts than the cruise ship terminal that was being proposed, because it would also be likely a smaller footprint.
Those are the sites that are under consideration and we’re trying to work as quickly as possible using that information that’s already been obtained by previous approval process.
Commissioner McGrath: As a sailor I’m excited to see this potentially on the Bay even though I sail only on board. But the developmental benefits in the sailing industry that occur are also of immense value.
I’ve also bicycled and kayaked in the areas of some of the events on the shoreline such as Fleet Week. It’s pretty clear that in order to fund these things, you’re going to create VIP seating and there will be some level of restriction to access for the VIPs, but there will also be draw.
I don’t think there’s any question that something can be worked out that whatever restrictions occur in the short term are more than balanced by long-term benefits.
As long as you approach it in that way and the staff approaches it in that way, I don’t think you’ll have any trouble.
We understand feasibility and limitations that you’re going to have to make it work but that’s the basis for my consideration that the short term interruptions to public access will be outweighed by the long-term benefits.
Commissioner Bates: Assuming that race comes here, we’re going to be having some regulatory responsibilities.
I’m wondering if this compromises our position down the road.
Executive Director Travis: We do not believe it does at all. It simply expresses that the Commission welcomes an event that really would advance the mission objectives of BCDC which is the public and broader public appreciation of the Bay and access to it.
Chair Randolph: There is that last “whereas” in the resolution too that addresses the fact that BCDC will need to go through its processes.
I think the spirit of it hopefully would convey for Mr. Ellison’s purposes that very much something along the lines of Commissioner McGrath’s message.
Commissioner Lundstrom: Just following up on a statement of “lessons learned” that Commissioner Goldzband referred to down in San Diego.
If this starts to look like a reality, the Maritime Industry and the Coast Guard would like to take a look at what’s being proposed, if it’s where the shipping lanes are, because right now the ships have maritime right of way.
It’s called, Rule 9. The ships are bigger and can’t move -- it takes five miles to stop a ship.
At some point, I think the Harbor Safety Committee which I chair, would be interested in just a discussion as to what might be looked into.
Kyri McClellan: Sure. And I’d just like to mention Peter Dailey who is the Maritime Director for the Port of San Francisco has had conversations with the bar pilots as well as the Coast Guard already engaging them.
I’m not an expert in that area but I know those conversations are being taken. Thank you.
Commissioner Jordan Hallinan: I move the resolution.
Commissioner Goldzband: Seconded.
Chair Randolph askeds for a show of hands. The motion was unanimously approved
13. New Business. There was no new business.
14. Old Business. There was no old business.
15. Adjournment. Upon motion by Commissioner Lai-Bitker, seconded by Commissioner Carrillo, the meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m.
Approved, as corrected, at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission Meeting of June 17, 2010
R. SEAN RANDOLPH, Chair