Minutes of November 1, 2012 Commission Meeting
1.Call to Order. The meeting was called to order by Chair Wasserman at the Ferry Building, Port of San Francisco Board Room, Second Floor, San Francisco, California at 1:05 p.m.
2.Roll Call. Present were: Chair Wasserman, Vice Chair Halsted, Commissioners Addiego, Bates, Chan (represented by Alternate Gilmore), Chiu, Gibbs, Gioia, Jordan Hallinan, Hicks, Moy, Nelson, Pemberton, Pine, Randolph, Sartipi (represented by Alternate McElhinney), Sears, Techel and Ziegler.
Chair Wasserman announced that a quorum was present.
Not present were: Association of Bay Area Governments (Apodaca), Sonoma County (Brown), Santa Clara County (Cortese), Department of Finance (Finn), Regional Water Quality Control Board (McGrath), Solano County (Spering), Secretary for Resources (Vierra), and Napa County (Wagenknecht)
3.Public Comment Period. Chair Wasserman called for public comment on subjects that were not on the agenda. Comments would be restricted to three minutes per speaker.
He asked the first speaker to step forward and address the Commission.
Ms. Brenda Hattery addressed the Commission: Last month I sent, a four page letter expressing concern about what is happening in the Bay area.
Some of the stuff I sent you is still very salient and I want to address you in person. My husband and I are cruisers. We travel along the coast and enjoy cities along the way.
We’re impacted by a lot of policies at the local level that impact the local recreational boating public. I am very concerned by the removal of marinas from the Bay area for economic reasons and land use policies favoring higher, more profitable development projects such as residential.
This land use issue is a nationwide issue.
In Congress there is a bill called, The Keep America’s Waterfront Working Act of 2011 that may eventually make its way through and that encourages recreational, boater-related activities on the waterfront.
The issue that I bring to you is about access to the Bay for recreational boaters. There is a need for this Commission to consider the quantity and quality of public access to the Bay by boaters like me.
Doctor David Hattery spoke: My wife and I hail from Washington, D.C. We have been very happy to visit the Bay area. This is a world-class area to have a boat in.
During our time here we’re seeing this disturbing trend of losing public slips for boaters. I believe that there is a real lack of evidence that private development is an advantageous thing. What needs to be considered is, what is the value to the region of recreational boaters, what is the value to the communities around the Bay to having and supporting a vibrant recreational boating community?
One other area in the country has looked at the benefit of each registered boat to the local economy and quantified the impact to the economy of encouraging boaters from other areas to come and visit and they found it a very substantial benefit to the local economy.
Ms. Ariel Stephens commented: I am John Coleman’s new assistant at the Bay Planning Coalition. I’m new to the Bay area and I’m from New England.
I wanted to let everybody know about our upcoming workshop that is going to be on Monday, November 26th that will be focused on the Long Term Management strategy for dredging in the Bay and also on environmental mitigation.
Vice Chair Halsted stated: I feel this is an opportune time to comment on the shortage of slips and I feel we should track the availability and demand of recreational boating facilities.
This should be put into our strategic planning because I think there is a shortage and we need to build that into our thinking for the future of the Bay. Recreational boating is an important aspect of life on the Bay. I would love to see us act on the public input that came to us today.
Chair Wasserman commented: We will review this with staff and see how we can appropriately bring it up.
Chair Wasserman moved on to Item four, Approval of Minutes.
4.Approval of Minutes of the October 4, 2012 Meeting. Chair Wasserman entertained a motion and a second to adopt the minutes of October 4, 2012.
Commissioner Chiu recused himself from this item because he wasn’t in attendance at the October 4th meeting.
MOTION: Commissioner Gioia moved, seconded by Vice Chair Halsted, to approve the October 4, 2012 Minutes. The motion carried by voice vote with Commissioner Chiu abstaining.
5.Report of the Chair. Chair Wasserman reported on the following:
a.ECRB Retirements. Christopher Arnold and Joseph Nicoletti of our Engineering Criteria Review Board are both retiring after long and illustrious service, 22 and 33 years, respectively. There are draft resolutions of appreciation in your packet and our staff has prepared plaques to honor them. Now the Chair of the ECRB, Roger Borcherdt would like to make a few remarks. I will note that Mr. Nicoletti is here and unfortunately Mr. Arnold is not because I’m told he broke his hip and is in the hospital.
Mr. Borcherdt addressed the Commission: It is an honor and a pleasure to have this opportunity to address the Commission on the honorable retirement distinction of two very distinguished Board members.
My comments today are on behalf of the Engineering Criteria Review Board. Mr. Borcherdt read from a letter presented by the Board that highlighted the important contributions of Mr. Arnold and Mr. Nicoletti. These contributions have played a major role in providing important criteria to ensure adequate safeguards for the safety of San Francisco Bay fills and the numerous associated projects for more than 32 years.
Your contributions on important projects leave a legacy that shall always be admired.
Your valuable contributions and commentary at our Board meetings will be sorely missed by all of your colleagues.
We wish you the very best on your future endeavors.
Commissioner Dan McElhinney commented: Joe Nicoletti, with over 25 years of public service and over 40 in the private sector as a seismic engineer and executive, our hats are off to you.
You’re well known globally as a pioneer in the field of earthquake engineering where you established new methods and tools for earthquake testing in large structures.
On behalf of the State and the California Department of Transportation I have a plaque of appreciation to present.
The plaque listed numerous projects and achievements by Mr. Nicoletti and their importance to the Bay area. Bay area structures are better able to withstand earthquakes due to Mr. Nicoletti’s efforts and expertise. The plaque was signed by Commissioner Bijan Sartipi, Director for District 4.
Mr. Nicoletti spoke: It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve on the Engineering Criteria Review Board because I think it serves a very useful function in ensuring the safety of construction on the Bay.
Chair Wasserman moved on to DRB Appointments.
b.DRB Appointments. The Design Review Board, that advises us on the design aspects of development projects within the Commission’s jurisdiction, has a vacant position and only one alternate member. The DRB has recommended four outstanding experts to fill these vacancies. Ms. Jacinta McCann as a member and Mr. Tom Leader, Mr. Stefan Pellegrini and Mr. Gary Strang as alternates. You have in your packets a staff report that provides the qualifications. Unless you object, I intend to appoint them to the DRB. Chair Wasserman noted that there were no objections.
c.Commission Strategic Planning Committee. At our last meeting, I requested volunteers to help work on the strategic plan. In addition to me, Vice Chair Anne Halsted and Commissioners John Gioia, Jim McGrath, Kathrin Sears, Amy Vierra and Sam Ziegler have all agreed to serve. I thank them in advance for their good work on the committee. This is going to be important work and we have actually started with some individual interviews. Our Executive Director will provide a more detailed timeline on our planning efforts as part of his report.
d.Next BCDC Meeting. Our next regularly scheduled meeting will be held on November 15th. At that meeting, which will be held at the MetroCenter in Oakland, we will plan to take up the following matters:
(1)Lieutenant Colonel John K. Baker, The SF District Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will provide a briefing on the Corps mission, its work in the Bay and collaborations with BCDC.
(2)Commissioner Sean Randolph or his designee at the Bay Area Council Economic Institute will brief us on the Regional Economic Framework Study that has been prepared for the Joint Policy Committee. This study is a great complement to the briefing today on the work being performed now by the JPC regarding sea level rise.
(3)We will hold a briefing on abandoned vessels in San Francisco Bay. Our staff has worked diligently with Supervisor Kate Sears of Marin County and others.
e.Ex-Parte Communications. That completes my report. The only other item is the report of any ex-parte communications which may not have been reported to the Executive Director in writing.
I had a brief telephone conversation with an attorney in Oakland who is seeking to buy the Old Rusty Pelican site. I think he has met with staff about this matter. I have also had emails with several people about the Phoenix Commons Project on the Oakland side of the estuary and am planning to meet with them later this month.
6.Report of the Executive Director. Executive Director Goldzband reported: I hope that you all have recovered from yesterday’s Halloween day parade honoring the Giants and their fans. Unfortunately, my relatively prosaic report will not offer you anything quite as exhilarating as a Marco Scutaro base hit with runners in scoring position or as sugar-laden as the stuff my nine-year-old came back with last night.
First, regarding Administration and budget, I have some rather upsetting news. As you will remember, we have been working with the Department of General Services to move BCDC offices to the state building in March 2013, prior to our move less than two years later to the rehabilitated building at 390 Main Street in San Francisco in which we shall co-locate with MTC, ABAG, and the Air District. We were informed about 10 days ago that the Administrative Office of the Courts, into whose excess space we were moving, has decided not to give up its space. Given the lack of suitable space in the building, this makes it very problematic. We are working with DGS to assess the path forward given this distressing new development. I will keep you apprised.
I have nothing new to report on BCDC’s budget; all is status quo. However, we have two veteran staff members who have announced that they will retire at year’s end. Tim Eichenberg, our senior attorney, and Leslie Muse, our acquisition specialist, will be leaving us at year’s end. I have forwarded to each of you the job description for our new Chief Counsel. I encourage you to distribute it freely to your contact list. Both job announcements are posted on the BCDC web site and please refer any qualified candidates to them.
I am pleased to report to you that BCDC has retained the Center for Collaborative Planning at Sacramento State University to facilitate our strategic planning process. We have adopted a schedule that forecasts a Commission discussion of the final draft of the plan in February of next year. Given our tight schedule, our facilitator has started to work with BCDC staff and soon will engage members of the Commission’s strategic planning working group.
Now, I do ask for your attention. Each year, BCDC has invited all Commissioners and Alternates to attend an all-day strategic planning workshop which is publicly noticed. This year’s session will be different than those in years past given that our strategic planning process is markedly different. It is important, however, that we continue to invite all the Commissioners and alternates to such a program. As such, we shall schedule that workshop on January 3, 2013, which had been previously reserved for a BCDC Commission meeting which we shall not have. I recognize that this date may not be convenient for some, but we want to take advantage of the fact that it is likely that other public institutions might not schedule meetings that day. Please feel free to contact me during the next few days if this poses a problem for you.
We have two very important issues to discuss during the next month or so. First, we shall provide an update on BCDC’s ex parte regulations so that you all can feel more comfortable knowing how your conversations with interested parties can affect the policy process. Second, we also shall provide a briefing on the processes BCDC staff use to review and analyze major permit applications so that Commissioners understand the issues and timelines surrounding such requests, including the possible application for the use of Piers 30 and 32, for example.
With regard to policy issues, I want to let you know that I was in Sacramento on Thursday. I met with Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laird and a number of his staff. We are working closely in a coordinated fashion if not in a collaborative fashion to make sure that there is very little space between us from a policy perspective. Our meetings were terrifically productive and we committed ourselves to working with each other. I certainly shall keep you informed as we move forward.
Last week, we mailed you our annual cargo monitoring report. Hidden deep inside that report in the legends accompanying the graphs is a mention of the new method for projecting container cargo throughput. This methodology, which was developed in 2009, adjusted the cargo estimate downward to reflect the fundamental shift caused by the economic situation in the Bay. Just as important, the report mentions staff's belief that the cargo forecast on which the Seaport Plan is based is outdated. We shall figure out our options to update the forecast and, ultimately, the Seaport Plan, as we work through the strategic planning process.
You may also have noticed a familiar face in our audience today. Our friend and colleague, Will Travis, has been and – I hope – will continue to be a tremendous resource for BCDC in his retirement. I am sure that he will be interested in our briefing today on the latest climate change information that will inform BCDC policy. Travis has worked over the past several months as a consultant to the Joint Policy Committee and has helped us coordinate the development of the multi-agency workplan that we are embarking upon. We certainly hope that he will continue to work with us in the future despite the fact that he has decided not to renew his contract with the JPC at the end of the year.
I want to mention that we received a visit last month from representatives of the Korean Marine Environment Management Corporation, who found us through NOAA, which is helping the Korean government in its efforts to improve coastal management. Two senior scientists with a decade’s worth of experience in Antarctica visited with us and they allowed us to show them a number of our habitat restoration projects. They were terrifically impressed. Their visit offered us a chance to proudly display the results of our work at Sonoma Baylands, the Hamilton restoration site and the Aramburu Island project in Richardson Bay. One additional note – we’ve learned that the Bay Plan has been translated into both Korean and Vietnamese.
If you turn around and look out at the Bay you will see a ship that is right at the end of where Pier ½ used to be. The Port of San Francisco has almost completed the removal of Pier ½ to provide open-water viewing for the public. This was accelerated by the Port as part of an agreement with BCDC earlier this year.
I would be pleased to answer any questions that you may have, now or at any time.
7.Consideration of Administrative Matters. Executive Director Goldzband stated that on October 19th, we sent you listings of the administrative matters our staff is prepared to act upon. Bob Batha is available to respond to any questions you may have about the matters on the listing. I am happy to respond to any questions Commissioners may have.
8.Briefing on the Contra Costa Waterfront and Related Issues. Chair Wasserman announced that Item #8 was the first of an ongoing series of reports and presentations by predominately Commissioners on what is going on around their waterfronts. Our first presentation is a briefing by Commissioner Gioia on issues and activities of interest to the Commission along the Contra Costa County shoreline.
Commissioner Gioia presented the following: We have had hard work done by staff at Contra Costa County’s Department of Conservation and Development as well as the City of Richmond Planning Department.
We’ve divided this up into two presentations. The first part will be the Contra Costa shoreline mostly excluding Richmond because the Planning Director for the city of Richmond is going to present that portion with regard to the city.
We appreciate the interplay between regional and local planning that happens with BCDC. It is important to get a sense of what is going on in the region locally.
Through the use of Google Map you can actually go back and look at the shoreline back into the 1930s. About 68 miles of the Contra Costa shoreline is within BCDC’s jurisdiction; this includes four cities (Pinole, Hercules, Richmond and Martinez) and a large unincorporated area.
Contra Costa is the second most industrialized county in the state. A lot of that industry was initially built up along the waterfront, water-dependent industries. There are four refineries along the waterfront. So petro-chemical industries have been dominant along the shoreline. However, there has not been any expansion of those facilities since World War II. The shoreline has been slowly evolving from its industrial past to more conservation and recreation-oriented uses.
Some emerging issues along the shoreline would include the Bay Shipping Channel which is included in the San Francisco to Stockton Ship Channel Deepening Project. This is being done to facilitate the movement of goods and products along this corridor. This has been authorized by Congress and was recently appropriated funding for feasibility and impact studies.
In addition, there are legacy sites along the shoreline where the county’s industrial path lingers in the form of environmental contamination, landscape alterations and the memory of all of that.
All the work by this Commission on climate change and sea level rise is going to be very important for issues along the Contra Costa shoreline.
Commissioner Gioia showed those present a Goggle Earth tour and shared numerous facts and developments with the group. This tour included a look back in time.
The North Richmond shoreline is going to be impacted significantly by sea level rise. This is clearly an issue that the county and the city of Richmond are working on.
Hercules was once a site of a refinery as well as the Hercules Powder Company, a dynamite producer. The Selby Slag site is the location of a former silver and lead smelting and refining plant that operated from the late 1800s to 1971. The C&H Sugar plant was actually the world’s largest sugar cane refinery and opened in 1906. A lot of the sugar there now comes from the Philippines as opposed to Hawaii.
This Commission permitted the new bridge at the Carquinez Strait.
There existed a Port Costa Brick Works which was established in 1905.
Mr. Patrick Roche added: Between Port Costa and Crockett back in the 1880s, this path was entirely lined with grain wharfs and this was a major shipping point for grain from the west coast. All of that is no longer there but is part of the remnant that you see out on the Carquinez Strait.
Commissioner Gioia continued: And now, all of that has been replaced by the Carquinez Regional Shoreline which is also operated by the East Bay Regional Park District.
The Ozol Terminal is an inactive defense fuel supply depot adjacent to Carquinez Strait and it was built in 1959. A lot of these industrial facilities have pipelines that go to far-reaching places.
At the Shell Marine Terminal is the Shell Refinery that was built in 1915. There is a very successful slough remediation project that is going on in this area.
The area near the Concord Naval Weapons Station is under the ownership of the U.S. Army and functions as a shipping facility for the Army called the Military Ocean Terminal, Concord.
Mr. Richard Mitchell commented on the Richmond shoreline as follows: I am the Director of Planning and Building for the city of Richmond. Hector Rojas who is Senior Planner for the city has accompanied me today.
BCDC has been very supportive over the years of the efforts to reinvent the Richmond shoreline and we think that there are some very exciting things that are going to happen.
Point Richmond actually begins to separate San Francisco Bay from San Pablo Bay.
Originally the Point Richmond area and where Point San Pablo and Point Molate are, that was originally an island and was separated from the city by a lagoon. That was filled in over time.
The slides show a number of trails that have been planned and developed in the Richmond area.
The Richmond Rod and Gun Club is a classic grandfathered use. We would love the Commission’s thinking on how we could begin to ease this into some other place. Once upon a time this was considered to be Richmond’s back yard but now it is our front yard and so we have to move these particular uses back into more appropriate areas.
There is a log recycler, an environmentally friendly use, in this area that reclaims logs that are cut down in various cities and brought to this site. This is clearly in the wrong place so we would like to find a new place for this activity as well. It is imposing into a biologically sensitive area.
Chevron has been moving most of its processing equipment away from street edges and deeper into their facilities. They also operate their own wetland as part of reclamation of their water system.
There is a small private yacht club in this area that is struggling to stay open. We are debating whether we should support continued use and expansion of this facility or do we need to think about something else?
Terminal 4 is city property and it used to be in port priority use and it came out of that some years ago. Now our challenge is to figure out how to clean it up.
We see this area as coming back as publicly accessible open space with some maritime or recreational uses out near the terminal. The issue is, of course, how are we going to get the money to do this?
The former Winehaven site was seen by some as coming back as a casino. This has gone the way of many of these proposals and has not happened. This location was once the largest cooperative winery in northern California before prohibition. The Navy took it over during the War and the core building is still there. The question that we have is, what do we do with something like this? The vision is to see it as an adaptive reuse, to restore the building and the surrounding buildings. But again, it’s a very difficult site to come up with a development scheme for because it’s out at the end of a very narrow road.
We’ve identified three areas at the southern end of our shoreline that we would like the Commission to be aware of. One is the Old Terminal 1 site that is a ten acre site that at one time was the Petromark Chemical Company. It’s been remediated. During the height of the boom this was going to be 200 plus units of condominiums. They were not built and we still have this area in our general plan for high-density residential.
Richmond’s municipally operated port area has a number of uses. There are some sites here that the National Park Service has identified as important to the National Parks. We actually have a national park in the city of Richmond. It’s the Rosie the Riveter National Home Front Visitor’s Center Park.
In the very long term we would like to see the parking lot area here become cityscape. This is very, very far down the road. Right now it’s part of our operating port and the entry into the Santa Fe Channel.
We would like to get to a good adaptive reuse for the General Warehouse and we are envisioning high-density development for the terminal sites and we’re looking for support from the Commission as we bring these projects forward.
The Santa Fe Channel was named for the Santa Fe Railroad. This was originally marshland but was grated out to create a park back in the 1930s. There are three sites here worthy of note. One is the ex-United Heckathorn site where they mixed DDT for many years. This is a site that is still managed by the Environmental Protection Agency. They are still struggling with some leaching in that area. We will be looking for the Commission’s support as we try to urge the EPA to move forward with a permanent dig-and-haul solution for this site.
Sims metal in this area is where a lot of metal recycling is done. It’s loaded on ships and sent abroad. Levin Terminal is a large bulk materials handler. We think that the new standard for these kinds of facilities is going to be that they are enclosed. Eagle Rock Aggregates built a huge enclosed facility five or six years ago. We think this has to be the standard for a lot of these heavy-materials handling facilities because they’re going to always struggle with runoff problems.
What is at the former Kaiser Shipyard facility is the Ford Assembly Building which has been a successful reuse of a building. We think the future will include a ferry dock adjacent to this property.
The operator of this marina would like to come to the Commission and ask permission to put a wave attenuator across the mouth of the basin here. This will be coming to the Commission fairly soon.
Mr. Hector Rojas will tell you about the most exciting opportunity for our southern waterfront. This is the arrival of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. We believe that this is going to invigorate that southern waterfront and it comes with some issues that the Commission will be very interested in.
Mr. Hector Rojas commented: This is a very exciting time in Richmond for planners and residents. We just adopted our 2030 General Plan for the city this last April.
We were selected as a preferred site for a second campus of the Lawrence Livermore National Labs. This really is going to be a transformative change. We think this will be a catalyst for this specific area.
This area is one of our more premier residential neighborhoods that looks onto the shoreline and it does have a lot of amenities in terms of open space and trails.
The area that is currently owned by U.C. Berkeley is the area that is going to be the subject of this project, the Richmond Bay Campus. There will be a total of 81 structures in the first phase. It is anticipated that a total of 1.5 million gross square feet will be developed for the project and an initial population of 300 researchers and employees on this property. The research conducted here will primarily focus on the biosciences.
U.C. Berkeley anticipates starting operations as quickly as 2017. The timing is very opportune because this area has a lot of in-fill development opportunities. It is anticipated that in a 20 to 30 year period that this could grow up to 5.4 million square feet and a population of over 10,000 employees.
This is a project where we have almost a 100 percent buy-in from the community. This really helped us to be selected by U.C. Berkeley. This will be an open campus and members from the public can go in and walk about and experience the campus.
We ask that BCDC continue to support us.
If this site gets developed we anticipate that Hoffman Marsh will be transferred to public ownership. It is currently owned by Union Pacific.
In the city we have one of the largest dog parks in the nation. Over a half a million people and dogs frequent this space and it’s a unique spot for people and their dogs.
Commissioner Gioia spoke: PETA calls this park the best dog park in the country. So you can see that there is a lot going on in the 68 miles of waterfront in Contra Costa.
Much of the progress to date has been the result of a cooperative partnership between local government and BCDC.
Commissioner Techel asked: John, what percentage of your work on the Board of Supervisors deals with shoreline issues?
Commissioner Gioia responded: I represent much of this waterfront from Richmond out to Pinole. A lot of the county issues are in the unincorporated areas. Most of the Richmond issues are addressed by the city of Richmond. Our involvement from a county perspective has been more from a health perspective, environmental health and public health.
We spend a lot of time on regulation of the oil refineries. This is an issue that touches the waterfront.
Commissioner Techel further inquired: How engaged are the inland residents with these shoreline issues?
Commissioner Gioia answered: We always want them to be more engaged but clearly people who live near the shoreline are more interested in shoreline issues. It’s fair to say that people around the county care about the shoreline.
Commissioner Randolph commented: There are a lot of different jurisdictions here within the county and a lot of different kinds of land use. How does the business community, the private sector, interact with the county around these different land-use issues that affect them?
Commissioner Gioia replied: There are ongoing discussions with the refineries about all of these projects. The North Shore Committee with the county works with the Park District and some of the cities.
We can do a better job of making this a more holistic level and a lot of it needs to be project by project. We haven’t had a whole master land use plan for the waterfront. We’ve done our land use planning by community. The city of Richmond just completed its own general plan update citywide had a lot of involvement with the business community on these issues. I think there are various organizations like the Council of Industries in Richmond which has been a voice for a lot of the industrial waterfront issues. There is always this tension between supporting existing industry and also converting to new uses.
Mr. Richard Mitchell stated: I think, “tension,” is the right word for it. The business community just tends to want to be able to do business without a lot of interruption. They tend to be supportive of rational ideas; finding where, “rational” is, is always the tough part.
Commissioner Gioia continued: What you’re seeing is a trend away from the industrial uses.
Commissioner Pine asked: John, what types of discussions or planning processes have you had to date on the issue of sea level rise as it affects your shoreline?
Commissioner Gioia responded: We’re in an early stage. I think BCDC has taken the lead on this. Where we’ve had the greatest involvement is probably in the north Richmond area.
We are incorporating sea level rise issues into our land use planning. When redevelopment went away, the funding for the completion of that land use plan ended as well.
The Adapting to Rising Tides Project model will be the example that will be useful for our sub-regional land use planning.
Mr. Mitchell added: We included the BCDC map showing projected sea level rise in the general plan. There are some communities that are vulnerable now that are already there. The policy for future development is to try to build beyond the high sea level rise. There is community consensus that nobody wants to see construction of anything very close to high tide.
Commissioner Gioia stated: I think if there is a takeaway, it’s taking the work of the Adapting to Rising Tides Project and looking at how successful that is and doing something similar in the sub-region of Contra Costa.
Commissioner Nelson commented: I want to point out the connection between efforts to plan for likely impacts from sea level rise and some of the challenging issues that were identified as we looked over the shoreline. There are some existing uses out there that are not highly capitalized that are likely to be very vulnerable to sea level rise. Some of the uses that were pointed out as being real challenges in the existing landscape may be even more so as we start thinking about the impacts of sea level rise.
Commissioner Gioia concurred: I think that is a really good point. It does make sense to get the four cities and the county together on working on sea level rise adaptation plans for that region over time.
Commissioner Addiego commented: Supervisor, I just wanted to compliment you. This was a tremendous presentation and what a wonderful time to be involved in county government. I come from a small entity in San Mateo County and we are only involved in two or three major parcels left to transition from the heavy industrial to the reuse.
How much of the Bay Trail has your county completed?
Commissioner Gioia stated: I think the Richmond area has actually more completed miles of Bay Trail than anywhere else. As you go east of Richmond we’re working with the railroad to complete more of that. About 17 of the 32 miles of Bay Trail had been completed according to Mr. Mitchell.
Commissioner Gioia continued: It’s been a lot of this Commission’s work that has got us there in addition to the work of local advocacy groups.
Commissioner Ziegler commented: This has been an excellent presentation to help us anticipate what’s coming up as we move ahead. I would invite you to say a little bit more about the interplay between regional and local planning. Perhaps you could cover what’s working and also how we can do that better.
Commissioner Gioia responded: I think that’s really key. As we address developing an adaptation plan for sea level rise it’s going to be extremely important to have this communication between local governments, the city and the county and BCDC.
Now the issues are broader than just one city with the sea level rise issues so it’s about getting all of those jurisdictions in the room working together. That starts with getting BCDC out into local government. Most folks in local government don’t know about the work of BCDC.
There is this natural tension that every local jurisdiction wants to do its own thing, local control. These will be the major issues that we’ll address. The way to get the tension reduced is getting more knowledge about BCDC out before the local decision makers.
Chair Wasserman spoke: I want to thank you and all of the presenters. This was very informative and enlivening.
We now come to Item 9 which is a briefing on the Joint Policy Committee. An update on the regional sea level rise work plan being developed by BCDC and ABAG staff and the recent sea level projections prepared by the National Research Council. Joe LaClair will make the staff presentation.
9.Briefing on the Joint Policy Committee. Chief Planner LaClair presented the following: I’m joined by my esteemed colleague Jeremy Lowe from Phil Williams and Associates. He has donated his time to come and talk to you today about sea level rise projections.
First, I’ll summarize what it is we’re going to talk about. We’ll start out by covering the work plan for the Joint Policy Committee’s adaptation strategy.We’ll follow that up with how the staff is implementing the climate policies that you adopted a year ago and how we’re planning to prepare assistance and guidance in the future for permit applicants.
In your climate policy Amendment you adopted a year ago, Policy 6 called for the creation of a regional adaptation strategy to address sea level rise and asked that the Joint Policy Committee take leadership on preparation of that strategy. This fall, the JPC agreed to take leadership on the strategy and adopted a three-point work plan that was developed by the Association of Area Governments (ABAG) staff and BCDC staff.
In general, the work plan covers the completion of ongoing work that the agencies have underway addressing adaptation in the region, then advancing or applying the Adapting to Rising Tides Project methodology in other locales in the region to improve our understanding of adaptation planning, and then finally, to develop a regional sea level rise strategy. This is about a nine to ten year work plan.
Task one is to complete the adaptation work that we currently have going in the agencies. The key piece of that is completing the EIR for the sustainable communities strategy (SCS) that will address the vulnerabilities of the transportation investments and land-use proposals in the SCS and come up with some conceptual adaptation strategies as well as completing the ART Project, Phase 1 work in Alameda County. We will continue to disseminate case studies that help local governments to understand how they can pursue adaptation planning and we’ll wrap up the project on developing adaptation strategies for protecting wetlands.
We expect to have that wrapped up by the end of the year.
Task two entails working with local governments to apply the lessons learned from the Adapting to Rising Tides Project to improve our understanding of adaptation planning in the region and the way to develop effective strategies.
We have initiated a partnership with Marin County and with Santa Clara County to start this work in both of those counties in the spring.
The outcome of this task will be to integrate into the second SCS, which will be adopted in 2017, the lessons learned from both from the work we have done in Alameda County and the work that we will do in other locales, and to the extent that there are more resources, we will work in other communities.
Task three is the formulation of the regional adaptation strategy, and we see that following on the adoption of the second SCS and that adaptation strategy would be built on the three pillars of sustainability that are informing all of our planning efforts in the region, social equity, environmental protection and a vibrant economy.
We’re also going to be taking a look at our current governance tools and whether or not they serve us in terms of advancing the strategies that we identify in the planning process and whether other institutional arrangement are needed to advance those strategies.
This will be integrated into the SCS that would be adopted in 2021, the region’s third SCS. Jeremy Lowe will tell us a little bit about the recently published sea level rise projections and what we can expect in the way of extreme events.
Obviously, this work is very important in light of what’s happened in Hurricane Sandy recently and the devastation along the east coast.
Mr. Jeremy Lowe addressed the Commission: What’s driving this work plan of the projections that we are getting now of climate change and sea level rise in particular; as you know, in 2010 the COCAT, the Coastal Ocean Resources Work Group, the climate action team, produced interim guidance which gave us some quite interesting numbers for up to 55 inches by 2100. This could have significant impacts around the Bay.
More recently, in 2012, a couple of months ago from the Natural Research Council we had west coast projections at the request of the state.
The NRC projections are divided between the north and the south of the Pacific Coast because of the different changes we have in tectonics between the different geological structures we have. They basically back up those large-scale projections.There will be specific guidance coming out at the beginning of next year on how to use the NRC reports.
We have a really good understanding of how the Bay works due to over 100 years of tidal records. There hasn’t been that much change in the form of the sea level rise here, so we’re used to having a Bay at the level that we can see outside.
Looking forward, the projections that came out in 2010 have been adopted by a resolution by the Ocean Protection Council and by BCDC. When we talk about sea level rise we always talk in ranges because of a multitude of factors that are hard to forecast.
Sea level rise is expected to increase and the rates at which it’s going to happen are pretty much the same. The projection is very smooth although we can have very significant events, which can have very fundamental changes to our lives.
Examining how often these extreme events occur is going to be very important. And these events are going to hit us first. They are a warning to start the planning.
The Corps of Engineers have calculated the return periods between these extreme events. There is still research being done on how the intensity of these storms might change in the future and that is still uncertain.
With sea level rise, the risk to structures changes because the recurrence interval changes as water elevations increase. So by 2020, what used to be a 1 in 50-year event is more like a 1 in 10-year event. By 2045, we’re actually down to once a year. In 2060, one comes every two months and by 2077 it becomes every month that we’re having an issue with inundation.
Storms and sea level rise are issues on the outside of the levees. There are other issues involved.
Rainfall is projected to increase. We might have drainage problems. Our drainage systems are designed to cover certain volumes.
Also, the land is moving. We’re having coastal erosion and we have bigger waves. We expect to see our marshes moving around. Land subsidence is also an issue that will occur especially behind diked Bay lands.
The planning for a static Bay is no longer going to be happening. We’re managing a dynamic landscape and a dynamic future climate. Another part of dynamism is our own growth and how that will affect our own well-being into the future.
Sea level rise coupled with increased rainfall and the concomitant flooding is going to occur more and more. This is why the type of adaptation planning that we have been discussing is so important because these extreme events will come to us very soon, much sooner than the projections of increasing mean sea level rise.
Chief Planner LaClair commented: I’d like to talk a little bit about how staff has used sea level rise projections in the past and how we’re using these changing projections in the permit process to implement the climate policies.
BCDC staff used projections of 16 inches and 55 inches based on data that was developed by the USGS for its analysis of the regional assessment in Living With a Rising Bay, the staff report supporting your climate policy amendment. We also used those data and projections for the ART Project along the Alameda County shoreline.
The staff took the analysis in the ART Project a step further by not only looking at those two mid-century and end-of-century scenarios but also looking at those under different conditions.
The conditions included, mean high tide, which is what Jeremy was just talking about, the average high tide which is mean, high or high water, the storm event which is the 100 year return tide level and then that level, 100 year return tide level with wind waves. So that broadened the analysis a bit.
I want to talk about some of the recent projects that you have seen and will be seeing in terms of how we’re using these projections. The Port of Redwood City recently got a permit from BCDC to reconstruct a cargo wharf. The city conducted a risk analysis using a conservative mid-century projection of approximately 18 inches. This was based on the projected life of the structure and they also built into the project design the ability to adaptively manage it in the future to increase its resilience.
At the International Cruise Terminal in San Francisco because there was not significant work done to the substructure of that site, we didn’t feel it was appropriate to require a risk assessment as part of that permit application. The structure was not redesigned to address projected sea level rise, but the public access that was required is required to remain in place as long as the project does and be retrofitted to address sea level rise if that becomes necessary.
We are also working with a number of project applications. These include a broad range of project types, including wetland restoration, residential development, an intermodal transit station in Hercules and the Bay Trail Bridge in Corte Madera. Each of these projects are large enough to require a risk assessment and will have to address the potential issue of sea level rise.
We encourage applicants to use a conservative standard. The Bay Plan doesn’t require a particular criterion be used in analyzing the risks of the projects to sea level rise.
We’re also having pre-application meetings with other perspective applicants who will probably have to address this issue in analyzing their projects.
The staff intends to develop guidance to assist applicants to comply with the new climate policies, but we feel it’s important to build a better understanding on a case-by-case application of the policies and to then develop both changes to your application form and guidance for completing the revised form. We expect complete that effort within a year.
We’ll also continue to collaborate with the Office of Planning and Research, with the Resources Agency and other experts and state agencies to advance our understanding of adaptation planning and risk analysis so that we can better assist applicants and ensure that the guidance that we prepare is based on the best available information.
We note that the NOAA Sea Level Rise Viewer was recently published and there’s also an effort moving forward called, Our Coast – Our Future, being led by the Gulf of the Farallones Natural Marine Sanctuary and USGS and other partners, NOAA included. We think that these tools will make it easier for applicants to do risk analysis.
Chair Wasserman opened the session to questions or comments from the Commission.
Commissioner Randolph inquired: The SCS was developed as a policy framework focused on mitigation, reducing emissions, better land use and transportation planning. Here in an adaptation plan we’re talking about adaptation, which is different.
How much of the burden or how much infrastructure for this adaptation plan can the SCS provide?
The second question is, how the effort in JPC is going to be resourced. This is obviously a lot of work over many, many years. BCDC brought this issue to JPC and I think it’s been pretty clear from the outset that this agency has more expertise than anywhere else and will lead the charge.
Do you anticipate BCDC will be carrying most of the load in carrying out this planning process? How would this be distributed with other agencies? Do you see any new resources being available to move it forward?
Chief Planner LaClair replied: Regarding the SCS and its appropriate responsibility in addressing adaptation; clearly SB 375 does not require that a sustainable communities strategy address sea level rise other than in preparation of an EIR.
But recognizing the significant amount of transportation infrastructure that is located along the shoreline and could be threatened by sea level rise, it seems prudent to undertake a vulnerability assessment in the context of future investments in transportation, both looking at our existing infrastructure as well as looking at planned infrastructure that we may want to pursue in the future so that we can be sure that those investments will have a long and useful life for us.
We don’t see that initially the work would be done directly in the context of the SCS. We’re still trying to apply the ART Project model and develop our abilities to do this kind of adaptation planning.
In working with local governments it’s been clear that in certain instances the viability of economic activity and access to emergency facilities and all those sorts of things are really tied to the resilience of our transportation infrastructure.
As far as the resources to conduct the work plan that I just laid out, we tried to be very respectful of the limited amount of resources that are available now. And consequently, we came up with a nine to ten year work plan for creating a regional adaptation strategy.
We think that’s an achievable goal with available grant funding and other funding sources and partnering with local governments to build this strategy from the ground up recognizing that they have a real interest in it. They will probably be dedicating some resources to working with us on this effort.
We have not identified all the resources necessary for the planning and we will continue to do the best we can. We are writing grant applications as we speak to advance this work.
Executive Director Goldzband commented: I think that there are three things that I want to make sure I communicate with you all so that you know how we’re looking at things.
Number one, one of the reasons why I asked Commissioner Gioia to present this afternoon was because I had in the back of my mind that at least once he would mention sea level rise.
One of the things that Supervisor Gioia said which I take great pride in and which our staff should take great pride in is, the fact that we’re working well in Alameda County on the ART Project. We are trying to be collaborative and we’ll start to be collaborative with Marin County.
It is incredibly important that we have within our strategic plan the ability to work with the local folks as closely as possible in a non-mandated way.
This takes resources to do this. As soon as the work plan gets one more reiteration I will end up working with a number of people due to my previous experience in trying to figure out how we can go to non-governmental funders to try to get portions of the work plan funded.
The one thing we all have to remember is that non-governmental funders, i.e. foundations, don’t like to fund things that governments should fund. We need to be able to parse what we do in a way that makes it clear that government needs to fund certain things and other folks could fund other parts of it.
Finally, one of the things that we need to be very cognizant of is, as we go forward and look around us on the state and national level, to be honest, one of the things that I will be doing in talking with various folks in Washington D.C. whom I know, is trying to get a handle on how the federal government reacts to what happened this past week in New York. As the federal government does respond to that there may be opportunities for California to also look at the federal government and say, okay, here’s what we learned from New York, we’re actually 17 steps ahead of you in the Bay area.
San Diego, Los Angeles, Sacramento are all doing many of the same types of projects that we are or at least they are envisioning them. We need to make sure that Washington knows that we are coordinated as a state in that way and that if there are funds available as a result of a disaster; we need to be nimble enough to be able to take advantage of that.
Commissioner Nelson commented: There has been a lot of discussion in light of Hurricane Sandy about extreme storm events and the link to climate. Have you compared the slope showing the average high tide at the Golden Gate Bridge with the average slope of the extreme high tide events listed above it on your graph, those 100 Xs?
Mr. Lowe replied: No I haven’t. There is a lot of discussion about the impact on high tides that we have here. We’re expecting to see the tidal range perhaps change because the relationship between the tides and the morphology of the whole Bay may channel in more with the tides. There is a lot of discussion about the changes that have been observed in wave and storm activity on the open ocean. It’s another area of research that needs to be done. There is a lot of uncertainty because we’re entering into new areas where we have no prior experience. These general trends take a long time to come to fruition.
Commissioner Nelson added: When you look at this, it looks as though it’s possible that the slope of the extreme events may be rising more rapidly than the slope of the average. Mr. Lowe concurred: That may well be the case. We need to make sure that we have a firm scientific foundation for making these assessments that can then feed into policy decisions. The next IPCC work is going to be much more detailed.
Commissioner Bates spoke: I think the extreme weather events are here to stay and they’re happening more rapidly. It’s much easier to explain to people that sea level rise is going to happen and these extreme events are blowing everything out of the water. We need to figure out some strategies to get ahead of this because on the east coast they’re looking at something like $50 billion in damages at this point. It may be double this before it’s all over, I don’t know. Some money spent on how we can prevent some of this stuff, particularly in our area, would be helpful. This type of damage in our area would stymie the local economy for some time to come.
Mr. Lowe stated: They learned in New York that certain minimum thresholds of flood defenses below which we can operate, we can accommodate some of these extreme events.
But when you get above that elevation then suddenly there are some significant impacts. This includes the flooding of the tunnels that they experienced. This flooding increased the amount of damage substantially.
This is one thing in the vulnerability analysis that is critical; that is, to identify those critical thresholds at which flooding will happen. These extreme events will affect our communities long before the longer-term sea level rise change.
Chair Wasserman commented: I want to thank both of you for a very good presentation. I watched a program called, On Thin Ice and I commend it to you.
This program graphically shows some of the things that are happening that we need to work on our greenhouse gas emission issues but it will not stop the progress of rising seas.
It is sad that we need to learn from tragedies. The reality is; it’s also necessary. It brings it home. It makes us recognize that things that we intellectually recognize jolt us and we have to react to them. This is a big part of Hurricane Sandy and what’s happened in New York.
In certain respects we are ahead of them. My guess is that they are going to leapfrog us. What we need to do is to learn from their leapfrogging.
The amount of the damages that they have suffered is something that we are going to have to put in the forefront.
This will not only affect what we need to spend on our planning efforts, it also will affect what we need to spend on our preventive efforts to protect our built environment.
Joe mentioned that the JPC has now formally agreed to take on the study of the implementation of our Bay Plan Amendment and the rising sea level. That only took nine months.
Fortunately, both BCDC staff, as well as some of the JPC consultants weren’t waiting for that. ART is a critical project and the expansion of it to Santa Clara and Marin is a very, very good sign and a very important sign.
I want to thank everyone that worked on the ART Project for pushing that because it really is getting us an advantage in timing that is absolutely critical.
The last piece I want to talk about is the funding aspect of this. We need to think creatively. Most of this planning money is not going to come from the government. We are going to have to increase the magnitude of reaching out to foundations for money.
We will now move to Item 10 which is a briefing on san transport in the Bay. Doctor Patrick Bernard of the USGS will brief us on this. Brenda Goeden from our staff will introduce the topic.
10.Briefing on Sand Transport in the Bay. Ms. Goeden addressed those present: I am going to share some slides with you introducing you to the issue of sand mining which will be before you within the next six months.
Most people don’t think about the bottom of the Bay much unless we’re talking about maintenance dredging. Today we will discuss aggregate mining, which is somewhat different.
It is an activity that is done primarily for the construction industry and it does have some qualities that we need to think about as a Commission.
Some of the things we need to consider are, what are the changes that we’re making to the bottom of the Bay? Do they matter? Is it a big deal that we’re taking potentially 2.5 million cubic yards of sand out of the Bay every year? Does it matter to the habitat? Are there other sources that we can look at? What lives there?
There are six questions that are big picture issues and I will touch on them briefly.
Sand mining in the Bay takes place in two general areas of San Francisco Bay because most of San Francisco Bay is muddy. It takes place in central San Francisco Bay between Alcatraz, Angel Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. This is the sand that is the coarsest sand in San Francisco Bay due to its connection to the outer coast and the near shorelines, which are eroding. It is the sand that is preferable for construction purposes for concrete.
On the screen you see all the areas that are leased for sand mining in the Central Bay. The other main area in San Francisco Bay where sand mining occurs is the Suisun Bay area. There are two general locations that are mined, Suisun Channel and Middle Ground Shoal.
The Commission has authorized sand mining in the Bay since its inception. There used to be many small companies mining in San Francisco Bay but over time in the mid to late 1990s the companies were purchased so now there are two main companies, Hanson Aggregates and Jerico Products.
Since the economy has been in recession we’ve seen very little mining. There is sand being brought in from British Columbia as well.
The Commission will be seeing sand mining permit requests fairly soon and that’s the reason for this briefing today.
Regarding the legal and regulatory process, the CEQA document was completed by the State Lands Commission, in large part with assistance from Environmental Sciences Associates and Coast Harbor Engineering. This was certified in mid-October. In addition, the State Lands issued the Central Bay leases for the highest volume of sand mining ever requested. They will likely issue new leases for Suisun Bay in December. The new requests shift the larger mining volume more towards Central Bay and less towards Suisun Bay.
So, some questions for the Commission to consider: Is the proposed mining necessary? This is a really big societal question. We get sand from several other sources, from mountains, areas along I5. The mining of sand in Central Bay is cheap and is pretty easy to do and requires less trucking.
Is there an upland alternative? This is something that the Commission asks when examing a development project, when its in the water.
Aren’t you removing fill from the Bay when you’re taking sand out of the Bay? “We are taking physical objects out of the Bay and we’re making it bigger” and removing fill is something that BCDC talks about doing a lot. Sand is something that is here naturally and doesn’t really re-occur. It’s a habitat and is not really fill. We did not put it there. So the answer to this question, is no, we are not removing fill.
What is the habitat value? Is there a habitat value? Sand in the Bay doesn’t have a lot of nutrients but it isn’t devoid of life. There are little critters that live in it.
Doesn’t the sand naturally replenish itself once it is removed? We have found that it doesn’t refill back in a short period of time such as 24 hours. It hasn’t been replenishing and it does tend to be a very limited resource in the Bay. This is partly due to our water control structures and the way we have developed the land around the Bay.
Does mining affect other areas? This question is still unanswered. There has been some modeling done but we can’t fully answer that question yet.
How does this relate to the bigger picture?
Dr. Patrick Barnard commented: Mud is a very important component of San Francisco Bay. It provides the sustainability of the Bay margin especially tidal wetlands.
I’m going to focus on beach sized sand because that is the sand that we are particularly interested in having on the open coast where we have chronically eroding beaches.
To understand how sand moves through the Bay system we have to look at the Bay floor. Bathymetry has allowed us to view the Bay floor in great detail.
The Bay floor is the key to this whole issue. The makeup of this area is an indicator of how sediment moves through the system.
On the screen we will go through a tour of the Bay floor. We have very powerful and regular currents in the Bay that contribute to regular and large bedforms.
Point Knox Shoals is one of the most heavily mined areas in San Francisco Bay.
Alcatraz Shoal is a semi-hazardous area for shipping because it’s not very deep.
The Golden Gate Channel is a very deep one, about 350 feet and completely bedrock lined. There is no material in there because the currents are so strong.
USGS and other groups have been doing research on sediment transport in the Bay since the early 1900s. When we talk about the San Francisco Bay Coastal System it is not just about the Bay. It also includes the Delta, which moves water and sediment into the Bay and also the outer coast as well.
In our current work we have tried to treat these diversified areas as a complete system with interface between the Bay and the open coast and also points north of the Bay.
Once you get to the Middle of Ocean Beach and south down all the way to Davenport there are the highest rates of erosion in the state. So the question is, what was going on here?
We started looking just at the southern part of Ocean Beach in our study and we’re trying to understand the reasons for that erosion.
The rate of this erosion has actually increased by 50 percent over the last several decades. On the west coast we have actually not had any measurable sea level rise within the last 30 years.
One of the first clues to the cause of this erosion is the bathymetric map we produced in 2005. We found a significant amount of erosion, which amounted to about 100 million cubic meters of sediment loss.
Some of the causes are, we’ve been encroaching on the Bay, we’ve reduced the tidal prism of the Bay, which is the amount of water that flushes in and out of the Bay over the last century. This means the currents are a little bit weaker and the ability to carry sediment out to the bar is reduced.
Second is sediment supply. There’s less sediment coming out of the Bay to supply the sand tidal delta, the currents have been reduced and the waves are becoming more dominant.
Because all of the local shoals have been eroded significantly they no longer provide the quality of protection against large waves that they once did.
Waves are able to come in unimpeded and attack the coast and cause significant damage.
The general pattern, with the exception of south Bay which is depositional, is that every major compartment of the Bay has been significantly eroded.
If you tally that up over the last 50 years it’s a huge amount of sediment, about a quarter of a billion cubic meters.
This could be due to a supply problem and that certainly is one aspect of this.
Due to Delta modification during the last 50 years we have seen a continued reduction in sediment supply from the Delta.
We have projections that show that this trend will continue on through 2100.
What about the sediment that we’ve actually removed from the Bay? During the last 100 years we have removed approximately 200 million cubic meters of sediment from the system. The three main sources of this are dredging, borrow pit mining and aggregate mining.
Some of the impacts that have occurred over the last century or so are, hydraulic mining introduced about 850 million cubic meters of sediment to Bay watersheds, Delta modifications in the last 50 years or so have reduced sediment supply by about 50 percent, 200 million cubic meters have been removed from other sources, we’ve leveed 95 percent of tidal marshes and we’ve also constructed reservoirs along some of the local tributaries, we’ve done shoreline armoring, we’ve experienced periods of extreme subsidence in south Bay and there is actually a fair amount of subsidence going on right now.
To look closer at the supply question, we designed a comprehensive sand provenance study. We wanted to positively identify where the sand is coming from that we see in the Bay now and the open-coast beaches to see if it was connected to the coast and if the Bay sand was a historic deposit.
Are there very clear pathways where we are removing the sand and therefore limiting the amount of sand that could then move down in the system and supply area beaches?
We started to do a lot of sampling of the Bay floor looking at grain size. This provides a clue about the direction of transport. What is the shape? Is it angular?
The sand fingerprinting part of this project is the geochemical analysis. What is the actual geochemistry of these sediments? Can we tie it to a source where we found it?
Bedform morphology indicates of the direction of transport. We measured about 45,000 bedforms using bathymetric technology in the Bay. We infer from all these measurements what the dominant direction of transport is.
The model has suggested, as the bedforms did, that the system has most of the sediment moving out to sea and not coming into the Bay.
We integrated the nine different techniques we utilized showing direction of transport into a map of sand transport for San Francisco Coastal System.
The most dominant pathway and source of sediment is from the Delta through Suisun through San Pablo into central Bay and into the open coast and to points south.
Wherever we’re removing sediment along this defined pathway is a potential limit on sand that can make it all the way out to the open coast.
On the sand mining lease sites about 10.8 million cubic meters of sediment was recorded as removed by aggregate mining. And based on the bathymetric change in those lease sites 85 percent of that material was not replenished.
The lease sites lost sediment at a rate at about five times higher than the rest of the study area.
Based on our study we can now selectively manage the Bay floor.
To conclude, we’ve seen a pervasive loss of sediment from the San Francisco Bay system over the last 50 years, almost exclusively driven by anthropogenic impacts.
The Sierras are still the primary source of sand in the system and so further limits on this supply and this source will likely further reduce supply to area beaches, which are going to be stressed additionally by sea level rise.
Public Comment: Mr. Bill Butler commented: I am with Jerico Products. Jerico is the small sand mining company in the Bay. We operate only in Suisun Bay.
I wanted to introduce myself to the Commission and we will be coming with applications very soon now that the CEQA process is finished with the State Lands Commission.
This resource is valuable. Having a local Bay-area source for our local Bay-area needs is economically and environmentally sound.
Mr. Mike Bishop commented: I am the Operations Manager for Hanson Aggregates. I oversee both the sand mining operations and also the import operations for the company of aggregates.
The sand mining is a very environmentally sound way of moving sand. This sand does not leave the Bay area.
We are being socially irresponsible by importing sand from other countries. This has huge environmental impacts.
Mr. Barry Keller spoke to the Commission: I have a PhD in Marine Geophysics. I am also a state-licensed professional geologist and certified hydro-geologist. I have been studying sand transport and resources in the San Francisco Bay area for the past 10 years on behalf of the sand miners.
During the last 10 years our understanding of the impacts of this mining has grown spectacularly. We know much more now than we did 10 years ago.
Aggregate resource mining in general compared to other kinds of mining like gold mining and copper mining, has a much lower level of geologic sophistication in understanding of the resource that they are mining.
Chair Wasserman inquired: State Lands leases the legal right to temporarily possess these areas. We issue a permit to remove sand because that’s our regulatory jurisdiction. Correct?
Ms. Goeden replied: Yes. That is correct. The Army Corps of Engineers also issues permits as does the Department of Fish and Game take of endangered fish species. The Water Board also issues a waste discharge requirements for the very fine-grained sediment the sand miners do not use that washes back into the Bay.
In addition, NOAA Fisheries and Fish and Wildlife Service also issue biological opinions.
Chair Wasserman asked: Was NEPA done as well for the Army Corps’ action? Ms. Goeden answered that one has not yet been done.
Ms. Goeden added: There are some findings in the CEQA document that we are concerned about due to the differences of opinion on a number issues. However, we will be using that document as our CEQA document.
Chair Wasserman continued: That concludes this item.
11.New Business. No new business was discussed.
12.Old Business. No old business was discussed.
13.Adjournment. Upon motion by Commissioner Nelson, seconded by Commissioner Hicks the meeting adjourned at 4:02 p.m.
LAWRENCE J. GOLDZBAND
Approved, with no corrections, at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission Meeting of November 15, 2012
R. ZACHARY WASSERMAN, Chair