Minutes of April 2, 2015 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 (represented by Alternate Butt), Chan (Represented by Alternate Gilmore), Gibbs, Hicks, Kim, McGrath, Nelson, Sartipi, Sears, Spering (represented by Alternate Vasquez), Techel, Vierra (represented by Alternate Doherty), Wagenknecht, Ziegler and Zwissler. Assembly representative Michael Sweet was also present.
Chair Wasserman announced that a quorum was present.
Not present were Commissioners: Santa Clara County (Cortese), Department of Finance (Finn), Contra Costa County (Gioia), Sonoma County (Gorin), State Lands Commission (Lucchesi), San Mateo County (Pine), Governor (Randolph), Governor’s Appointee (Vacant), and Association of Bay Area Governments (Vacant).
3. Public Comment Period. Chair Wasserman called for public comment on subjects that were not on the agenda.
John Coleman spoke before the Commission: I wanted to remind folks that we have our annual Decision Makers Conference coming up next week on April 9th. Hopefully, you will be able to attend. We have different rates depending on your category including government rate. We also have sponsorships available if you are able to accept them.
We are going to be covering three areas: The competitive value of northern California maritime industrial economy, the Port of Oakland, PG&E and Western States Petroleum Association. We are also going to have a panel on Challenges and Risks to the Bay Area Maritime Industrial Economy from ESA. Our third panel will be Solutions to Assure Sustainable Grown to the Bay Area Industrial Economy.
We will have Congressman Garamendi speaking at lunch. He is introducing legislation on ship building in the Bay Area particularly related to the exportation of fuels leaving the United States. He wants all fuels exported out of the United States to be shipped on U.S.-built ships. And we have Congressman Huffman speaking on the federal government’s role in protecting the environment while investing in infrastructure and improving economic opportunity.
We hope that you will be able to attend. It is on our website. My phone number is (510)590-0238 and we will make sure that we can accommodate you.
Chair Wasserman moved to Approval of the Minutes.
4. Approval of Minutes of the March 19, 2015 Meeting. Chair Wasserman asked for a motion and a second to adopt the Minutes of March 19, 2015.
Commissioner McGrath had a correction to make: There is a typo on the bottom of page 50. “Inactive” should be two words. It reverses the meaning if it is not with two words.
Commissioner Nelson added: I just wanted to make sure given the importance of the briefing at the last hearing that it was on the record that I was not at that hearing and I have read the Minutes.
Vice Chair Halsted echoed: And I say the same thing. I read them carefully.
Chair Wasserman stated: I didn’t because I am going to recuse myself even from approving the Minutes.
MOTION: Commissioner Nelson moved, seconded by Vice Chair Halsted, to approve the March 19, 2015 Minutes. The Minutes were approved with Chair Wasserman and Commissioners Doherty, Gilmore, Kim and Techel abstaining.
5. Report of the Chair. Chair Wasserman reported on the following:
I want to start by welcoming Supervisor Jane Kim who has joined our Commission (Commissioner Kim was recognized). Your city is a very important part of our work.
a. New Business. Does anyone have any new business they would like us to address on a future agenda; this is a good time to bring it up but not your only opportunity. The Chair received no comments on this.
b. Report out from the Rising Sea Level Working Group meeting. We had a meeting just before the Commission meeting. We continue to make progress. We got a briefing on the report that will be released by the Bay Area Economic Institute on April 20th in this room on Surviving the Storm. It is an assessment of potential economic damage to the Bay Area from a 100-year storm. It focusses primarily on damage from waters coming down through the various rivers and streams and storm outlets. It also includes rising sea level and has a number of very important recommendations in it. We look forward to that actual release. We welcome it as part of a series of reports that we think will come out throughout this year helping to build up awareness of the threats from water to the Bay Area and how we may deal with them.
Those activities will include elements of our 50th Anniversary which we have talked about. It will be on September 16th which is the day after or the day before the bill creating us was actually signed. The events that we are planning will include a half-day seminar. We expect that to be at the Exploratorium, Looking on the Future of the Bay. It will be coordinated with the State of the Estuary conference happening on the following two days. We expect a number of pieces of good information and strong publicity for our efforts and our campaign to adapt to rising sea level to come out of that.
There will also be a celebration that evening at the Exploratorium which will be larger, more free flowing and more fun. We will keep all of you informed on that update. Friends of BCDC has been incorporated as a non-profit and we have submitted our application for a 501(c)(3) status which I’m sure we will get fairly quickly. Its purpose is to be a fundraiser for these events, the summit and the party and then to be an ongoing entity, a largely passive recipient of foundation grants which would not otherwise be available to a government organization to support the activities of this entity.
We have retained outside counsel to make sure that we are being very attentive to make sure we do not have or create conflicts of interest.
My last general item is information on the activities of the Joint Policy Committee which is a state-created entity consisting of representatives from this organization, ABAG, MTC and the Bay Area Quality Management District. JPC has been around for roughly 10 years. Its purpose is to coordinate regional policies amongst those agencies. It does have an executive director and has been making significant progress. Part of that progress is creation of a new name for the organization. JPC or Joint Policy not meaning much to anybody. The new name is the Bay Area Regional Collaborative (BARC). This is not inappropriate because this is an organization that can do very important things but since it has no money and no power it has no bite. We are going to reduce its size ever so slightly to make it more efficient. It has made significant progress in getting the four executive directors to work in a much more collaborative and coordinated manner. We expect that will increase when all of the agencies move into the regional headquarters on Main Street which is projected for December for the other three and we are working to get there as fast as we can.
We did get a report about the activities of the Bay Restoration Authority regarding ways to create funds to assist in expansion of Bay wetlands and marshlands. They had explored putting a measure of the November 2014 ballot for a parcel tax. They decided not to do that because of concerns that they could not generate enough money to fund the campaign. They have not given up. They are exploring a regional general obligation bond that might go on the November 2016 ballot. We will keep you apprised of that. One benefit of that approach is that it could raise a lot more money than the parcel tax they had been thinking about before, without any greater significant impact to most property owners. Also potentially on that ballot is a constitutional amendment which would give flood control agencies taxing powers more akin to the other utilities rather than a general tax so that it would require a majority of property owners rather than a two-thirds vote.
We will also keep you apprised on that. That fits it with a final report we had at the Committee meeting which was on the Baylands ecosystem habitat goals science update. The Baylands ecosystem habitat goals were created in 1999 looking at how to protect and preserve the tidal marshes and wetlands along the Bay. It is clearly a time for an update on that. They have been working very closely with the flood control agencies and expect to come out with a new report with some recommendations and assessments probably in late spring or early summer of this year.
c. Next BCDC Meeting. Our next meeting will be held April 16th, at the MetroCenter in Oakland. So, look at your calendars, note that it is at the MetroCenter not here.
(1) At that meeting we expect to hold a vote on the pending applications for sand mining in the Bay.
(2) We will have a briefing on proposed legislation of interest to the Commission.
(3) Ex-Parte Communications. If any of you wish to report any ex-parte communications you may do so now. You don’t have to and as you know we do need to have those in writing. If you haven’t done this you can get forms today but if you wish to put it on the record, you may. The Chair received no comments from the Commissioners.
(4) Executive Director’s Report. Chair Wasserman announced: Larry Goldzband is on vacation so Steve Goldbeck will present the Executive Director’s Report.
6. Report of the Executive Director. Chief Deputy Director Goldbeck reported: It is with a bit of sadness that I report that Rosa Schnieder will be leaving our staff to become a staff scientist for the Golden Gate National Recreational Area where she will be stationed on Mount Tamalpais in Marin County. A hardship post to be sure. We are happy for her and wish her well, and of course, on any given day she will be able to look down on the Bay that she helped to protect.
Last week the Contra Costa ART Project which is funded by the State Climate Resilience Account, set up by the state Legislature, had its kickoff meeting last week. I was going to ask Commissioner Gioia to give us his perspective on it. He couldn’t make it today.
Commissioner Zwissler commented: It was great. What was particularly interesting was both who was there and who was not there. There were maybe 40 or 50 attendees. A number of the major cities were not there represented. That is something that we need to work on. It was an excellent start and everybody there learned a lot.
Mr. Goldbeck continued: I am happy to report that most of you have submitted your Form 700 disclosure document by yesterday’s deadline. I am sure the remaining forms are winging their way towards us in the parcel post. If not, please provide your disclosure at your earliest convenience, so that you can come in compliance with the law.
That completes my report.
Chair Wasserman asked: Does anybody have any questions? He received no comments from Commissioners.
7. Consideration of Administrative Matters. Chair Wasserman stated that there were no listings on administrative matters. He proceeded to Item 8.
8. Commission Consideration of a Contract for Coastal Engineering Services. Chair Wasserman announced: Item 8 is consideration of a contract for coastal engineering services. Wendy Goodfriend will provide the staff report and recommendation.
Senior Planner Wendy Goodfriend presented the following: The staff would like to recommend that the Commission authorize the Executive Director to execute a contract for up to $50,000.00 for engineering services to support the Contra Costa Adaptation Project that was just mentioned.
The staff also recommends that the Commission authorize the Executive Director to amend the contract as long as the amendment does not involve substantial changes in either the scope or the amount. This contract will help us get to locally-validated refined inundation mapping for the Contra Costa shoreline and refined focus area assessments.
The mapping will be used in the Contra Costa ART Project and will also support regional efforts that we are undertaking or assisting with the Hazard Mitigation Plan updates that are happening around the region and the Sustainable Communities Strategy update for 2017.
And with that if there are any questions, I’m happy to answer.
Vice Chair Halsted asked: Is there a time period with it?
Ms. Goodfriend replied: We will write it for one year but our intent is to get the mapping completed as soon as possible so we are hoping within four to six months.
Chair Wasserman asked for a motion to approve the contract.
MOTION: Commissioner Nelson moved approval of the staff recommendation, seconded by Commissioner Butt. The motion passed by a hand vote with no abstentions or opposition.
9. Briefing on the History of BCDC. Chair Wasserman stated: The next item is part of our celebration of the 50th year of our creation in which we give thanks at each of these meetings to those three wonderfully farsighted and courageous women who created this agency. We will have presentations by two former executive directors, Michael Wilmar and Will Travis and they will be joined by Becky Smyth of the NOAA Office for Coastal Management. They will focus particularly on the coastal management aspects of BCDC. Mr. Travis is going to start.
Mr. Will Travis addressed the Commission: I will start and then Mike Wilmar will fill in the middle and then I will conclude. We have consulted with Bodovitz, the first executive director of BCDC. Amongst the three of us we have a collective memory that encompasses about half of the 50 years of BCDC.
Many observers believe that the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik into space in 1957 was the spark that ignited the flame that led to the passage of the federal Coastal Zone Management Act 15 years later.
Sputnik left the United States struggling to understand why American science, including oceanography and marine science, lagged behind the Soviets. The federal government set out to remedy this problem.
Five years later the environmental movement began to stir when Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring, was published in 1962.
Later in the 1960s, television made the general public aware of the threats to inshore waters and wetlands through the extraordinary undersea photography of Jacques Cousteau, accompanied by his poetic explanations of the human connections to the sea.
In 1969 a national environmental movement was launched when a massive oil spill in the Santa Barbara Channel fouled the beaches of sunny Southern California
The first Earth Day was held in 1970.
The federal government’s renewed interest in science, combined with the public’s concern about the nation’s coastal and ocean resources, led to the passage of two important federal laws dealing with the coast in 1966.
The first established the National Sea Grant College program.
The second was the Marine Resources and Engineering Development Act, which established a presidential
Commission composed of 15 members from federal and state agencies, industry and academia.
This Commission came to be known as the Stratton Commission, for its chairman, Dr. Julius Stratton, a former president of MIT.
The Commission took two years to prepare its four-volume report called Our Nation and the Sea, which contained over 120 specific recommendations.
When the report was published in 1969, President Johnson refused to accept it even though he had appointed all the members of the Commission. Johnson was miffed because one of the report’s recommendations called for the consolidation of several federal agencies into a new, independent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Among the agencies the Commission recommended be transferred to NOAA was the Coast Guard, the crown jewel of the Department of Transportation which Johnson had fought for years to establish.
Eventually, NOAA was created during the Nixon administration, but as a division of the Department of Commerce, not as an independent agency.
The Coast Guard stayed in the Department of Transportation.
Another of the Stratton Commission recommendations called for the enactment of federal legislation that would create state coastal zone management programs “to preserve, protect, develop, and where possible, restore or enhance, the resources of the nation's coastal zone.”
This recommendation resulted in Senators Warren Magnuson of Washington and Fritz Hollings of South Carolina introducing a bill that was enacted as the federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972.
To overcome political concerns that federally-required state coastal plans might be the first step toward national land use planning, Congress assigned the responsibility for administering the CZMA to NOAA, in the Department of Commerce, rather than to an agency within the Department of the Interior.
And the state coastal planning was not mandated.
Instead, state participation in the program was made voluntary.
Two incentives were offered to entice states to participate in the National Coastal Program.
The first was the typical federal carrot in the form of financial assistance to prepare and implement the state coastal plans
The other was something called “federal consistency,” a novel and still rare provision in federal law, which changes the usual power between the federal government and states when dealing with land use control.
As you know, there’s typically a top-down hierarchy in land use planning and authority.
While the primary responsibility for land use planning and control rests with local governments, state agencies don’t have to comply with local plans and federal agencies don’t have to comply with either state or local plans.
The feds’ exemption from state and local requirements is usually called “federal supremacy.”
But under “federal consistency” the system is turned upside down. And if a state develops a coastal plan that meets the federal standards in the CZMA and NOAA approves the state plan, federal agencies are generally required to comply with the state’s plan.
There are exceptions for national security and other ways for federal agencies to wiggle out of full consistency, but even so, this was and it still is a pretty radical idea.
Who came up with this crazy idea?
According to some sources, when the Stratton Commission was formulating its recommendations in 1967 and 1968, the drafters took a look at what was going on in coastal planning around the nation.
One of the most impressive pioneering efforts was in San Francisco Bay where the nation’s first state coastal management agency, which had been created in 1965, was completing its plan.
That agency was, of course, BCDC.
The Commander of the San Francisco District of the Army Corps of Engineers served on BCDC and participated in formulating the Bay Plan so everyone involved expected that the Corps and, they hoped, other federal agencies would abide by the plan.
The first test of this assumption came at the then bustling Naval Air Station Alameda.
The Alameda facility contained a big rectangular section of water that was called the “seaplane lagoon” because the water area was used for the takeoff, landing and storage of Navy seaplanes.
By the 1960s, seaplanes were pretty much obsolete so the Navy decided to fill the lagoon so the area could be used for land-based Navy operations.
Some members of the public didn’t think too highly of this idea. They also questioned why the Navy should be allowed to fill a portion of the Base without a clear need for the filled land, especially since state law prohibited private businesses, state agencies and local governments from doing this sort of thing.
The Navy could have simply waved the flag of “federal supremacy” and told the public to butt out.
But an enlightened Navy command officer, probably one who planned to retire and continue to live in Alameda and didn’t want to piss off his neighbors offered a diplomatic solution.
He agreed a public hearing could be held on the Navy’s plan and after the public hearing the Navy would voluntarily enter into a legally, non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with BCDC to describe the consistency of the Navy’s plan with the McAteer-Petris Act and the emerging San Francisco Bay Plan.
As you can see, the seaplane lagoon is still there, so obviously filling it wasn’t consistent with BCDC’s law and policies.
Once the Navy, which had a big presence in the Bay Area, agreed to MOUs with BCDC, it was hard for other federal agencies to not do the same.
Thus, it seems that the idea for federal consistency was born in San Francisco Bay, which makes the Bay the Holy Land of coastal management.
Or as my wife likes to describe it in a more geographically correct way, “San Francisco Bay contains the holy water of coastal management.”
Mr. Michael Wilmar addressed the Commission: Although the CZMA was passed in 1972, funding to implement it wasn’t initially provided. So it was 1975 before those of us working in coastal management in California knew much about the federal law.
By then, however, Washington, Oregon and California were developing their own coastal plans without any encouragement or assistance from the federal government.
NOAA realized that getting states to voluntarily carry out a federal law would require effective marketing. And they hired the perfect salesman to head up the new Office of Coastal Zone Management, or OCZM as it came to be called: Robert Knecht.
Bob had worked for NOAA at its facility in Boulder, Colorado. He had been also been the mayor of Boulder where he had conceived the idea for the greenbelt that surrounds that city to this day.
Bob pitched coastal management to state bureaucrats and politicians from Maine to American Samoa. Bob was really, really good; so good and so smooth, in fact, that some of the state coastal zone managers started referring to him admiringly as “Velvet Mouth.”
But Bob knew he couldn’t sell the program to reluctant states if he didn’t quickly approve the West Coast programs that were already in place.
So with lots of input from us, he came up with some very flexible regulations that could accommodate a wide variety of approaches, management techniques and organizational structures.
Washington’s program was the first one approved in 1976. Oregon’s and BCDC’s programs were approved in 1977. The California Coastal Commission gained approval for its program in 1978.
I was in charge of getting BCDC’s program approved and Travis had that responsibility at the Coastal Commission.
During the approval process, we ran into a small bump in the road. The CZMA requires each state to designate one agency as its primary point of contact for the administration of the CZMA. In California that agency was and is the Coastal Commission.
The staff at OCZM contended initially that this requirement meant that each state should have an “integrated” coastal zone management program under the direction of a single authority. But, as you know, the Coastal Commission and BCDC are sister state agencies, twin sisters. Fraternal twins maybe, but still twins. Each is independent of the other. Neither has authority over the other. The laws of the Coastal Act are written very specifically to exclude the jurisdiction of BCDC.
Therefore, they’re more like two similar agencies in adjoining states than one agency that’s subservient to the other.
Moreover, there was no support, zero support, for extending the Coastal Commission’s jurisdiction and authority into the Bay Area where BCDC was well-established and functioning smoothly.
It took quite a while for the staff at OCZM to get comfortable with this arrangement. In fact, when we felt that OCZM was getting a little too wound up over the issue of integration, we actually used that faux “Joint Secretariat for Federal Affairs, Integrated California Coastal Zone Management Program” letterhead on a few occasions. The OCZM staff, to its great credit, got it, and relaxed a bit. I think they realized that if they could get the rest of the states to go as far as the Coastal Commission and BCDC, the CZMA would be an unqualified success.
So ultimately both programs were approved, with BCDC being a “segment” of the overall California Coastal Zone Management Program.
Nevertheless, as a condition of approving the Coastal Commission’s segment of the California program, OCZM required an independent analysis of whether the BCDC and Coastal Commission segments should be consolidated. OCZM paid for this analysis. A consultant studied the matter for six months and determined that there was no compelling reason, whatsoever and lots of downsides, if the two segments were combined. The Coastal Commission and BCDC adopted agreements to officially acknowledge that each knew the other existed and that we would work together. At that point, everyone heaved a huge sigh of relief and we moved on. But little did we know how handy this analysis would be when Governor Pete Wilson proposed exactly the same idea again in 1995. For the same reasons it went nowhere then either, which is one of the reasons you are all sitting here today.
I would be a bit remiss if I didn’t add how enjoyable and gratifying it was to have worked on this effort with Travis and the OCZM staff. Part of the reason for that, of course, is that Travis and I did it all pretty much on our own on the California side, and we were literally “present at the creation” of an important new federal program. Equally important, though, we worked with some outstanding people at OCZM and made many good friends. I would like to personally thank NOAA and what is now the Office of Coastal Resource Management for that opportunity and for all that they have done for both programs.
And now let me return the rostrum to my successor and colleague and the producer and director of this extravaganza, Will Travis.
Mr. Travis spoke: Even though we wanted to gain federal approval, we had some skepticism about whether the concept of federal consistency would actually work. The federal regulations for implementing the consistency provisions include the use of mediation by the Secretary of Commerce for resolving disputes between state coastal management agencies and federal departments.
Joe Bodovitz, who was the executive director of the Coastal Commission at the time, said this would be about as effective as him asking his mother-in-law to resolve an argument he was having with his wife. Even so, others thought it would work. And the oil industry feared that the Coastal Commission would try to use federal consistency to stop oil drilling on the federal outer continental shelf offshore California. So when NOAA approved the Coastal Commission’s program, the American Petroleum Institute sued NOAA.
Joe, thinking that federal consistency would never work anyhow, quickly agreed to suspend any use of it while the lawsuit was pending if API would agree that the Coastal Commission could gain access to the federal grants that came with federal approval. API agreed, the Coastal Commission got its money, and API eventually lost its lawsuit so the Coastal Commission got federal consistency authority as well. And there ain’t oil drilling off much of the California coast.
Over the past four decades OCRM has changed its name a few times so a formula has been developed to keep track of the changes. And federal consistency has proven to be an extremely effective coastal management technique. Eventually, all 35 of the coastal states and territories have participated in the voluntary federal coastal management program, though Alaska, for reasons that escape any thoughtful individual, withdrew from the program in 2011.
California now has three segments in its federally-approved program, BCDC’s, the Coastal Commission’s and the Coastal Conservancy’s. And Tim Eichenberg, your former Chief Counsel and I, are working with the Delta Stewardship Council to help get a fourth segment approved so the entirety of the largest estuary on the west coast of the North and South American continents, the Bay-Delta Estuary, will be part of the national coastal management program.
With that, I will turn it over to Becky Smyth, our colleague from NOAA and she can tell you what it looks like from their side.
Ms. Smyth spoke: I think NOAA and BCDC have grown together and they have grown together stronger over the 40 years we have been in partnership, 1978, I believe, was the actual approval of your program. I take great joy in this. I am the West Coast Director of our new office. Our last reorganization was just approved in September.
I get to brag about the fact that we have the first federally approved coastal management program. We also have the first national estuarine research reserve which is a partner and also a part of CZMA to help with understanding the science needed for coastal management.
We are indeed leaders along the west coast. I think BCDC exemplifies that. From our side, that partnership has grown a lot over the last decade. I think the funding is the foremost and most important thing that we bring along with federal consistency. I like to think that this has opened a lot more doors.
The best example recently of that is the partnership we’ve grown over helping with BCDC and its leadership with sea level rise and adaptation from many years ago when one of your staff and I spent more hours than I like to recount at a U.S.G.S. contracting officer arguing that we needed consistent topographic data around the Bay and they had to collect it to the standards the rest of us all agreed to. I would not advise that as a leisurely pastime. We succeeded and this lead us to providing that data that was the baseline for the Adapting to Rising Tides Project.
The data was the first thing and we certainly worked further along throughout the process in trying to bring technical assistance and other resources from other federal agencies to help with that. Since then, that data that BCDC, USGS and NOAA argued so much for has resulted in so many other things, the NOAA Sea Level Rise Viewer, the Our Coast, Our Future model that also brings storms and waves into it; and more recently, even the climate central, surging seas outreach effort on bringing that information to communicators to help socialize it.
So, it really has had compounding and very successful effects. And at the same time we also provide additional funding that has really helped with assessing and strategizing about how to address the policy. We have another part of the program that allows extra funding and some of that funding has helped BCDC advance their policy which we can then bring to the national level as an example of what other coastal management agencies can and should be doing.
So, from our perspective we see BCDC as a leader and a way to help show how NOAA resources, both the science and the financial, can work on the ground to help coastal management around the agency.
Director Goldzband asked me to focus on partnership. Partnership means in Merriam-Webster is a, “legal relationship.” And I think that is probably where we started. But, “partners” more fundamentally are ones associated with each other, especially in action or either of two persons who dance together. As Steve can tell you that every year we have a national meeting of the coastal zone management agencies in D.C. and in the last five or six years they started a happy hour called, “Dance for Your Grants.” I think that exemplifies where we are going with this partnership between NOAA and the coastal management agencies. And I look forward to more years of dancing together. Thank you.
Chair Wasserman continued the hearing: Any questions for any of the presenters or comments? The Chair received no questions or comments. He moved on to Agenda Item 10.
10. Briefing on Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island Project, in the City and County of San Francisco. Chair Wasserman announced: Item 10 is a briefing on the Treasure Island and the Yerba Buena Island Project. Ming Yeung will introduce the topic.
Permit Analyst Ming Yeung presented the following: On November 20th of last year the Commission was provided its first briefing of the Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island Development Project.
At that meeting the Commissioners raised questions on the phasing of the project, the public access that would be provided with each phase of the project and on the project’s sea level rise strategies. The applicants are here today to address those questions as well as to present additional information on the project.
Since the last briefing the applicants have returned to the Design Review Board two additional times for a total of six times and to the Engineering Criteria Review Board or the ECRB for the first time. The DRB has conceptually approved the design of the project aside from some details on bike and pedestrian access near the proposed ferry terminal.
The DRB also requested that the project come back for further review of refined project details and phases after permit issuance.
The ECRB had some remaining questions which are being worked out with the applicants and which may or may not result in the need for another ECRB meeting.
This summer, the applicants will be seeking approval for a major permit for the entire project similar to other phased projects the Commission has reviewed including Mission Bay and Brooklyn Basin. An application for the project has not yet been submitted to the Commission staff for review; however, staff has been working with the applicants on the details of the project and the application for the project. For instance, the public access proposed, and that will be presented here today, is a result of discussions with staff and recommendations from the Design Review Board.
Today’s briefing is intended to provide the Commission, again, with an overview of the project, with details on the proposed Bay fill and public access and with more information on the geotechnical work and sea level rise analysis the applicants have considered.
The staff has identified that the project will raise issues regarding the project’s consistency with Bay Plan policies such as, Bay fill, public access, sea level rise, dredging and resource issues such as water quality and species concerns.
The Commission’s feedback regarding particular issues of concern, areas where the Commission would like additional or specific information when the project comes before the Commission and any other comments regarding the project would be appreciated by both the applicants and the staff at this early stage to help highlight any issues and concerns in advance of the anticipated public hearing and vote on the project.
The applicants expect to be before the Commission for a permit sometime in August. We have received a couple of comments from the public. These have been included in your packets today and one in particular is a comment from the Bay Trail who could not send a representative today.
And I would now like to introduce Bob Beck, the Director for the Treasure Island Development Authority who will present the project.
Mr. Beck addressed the Commission: As Ming described, I will be presenting public access portions of the program. We also have representatives from Moffat & Nichol who will speak about sea level rise adaptation and from ENGEO, our geotechnical engineers who will talk about the geotechnical program on the Island.
We have been to the DRB a total of six times now. Previously, in 2011 when the project entitlements were put in place and the environmental plan was adopted and three times more recently as we have been working with staff on preparation of the major phase application or the major permit application.
We continue to meet with staff on a regular basis to work out the details of the application and we expect to come back to the Commission sometime around August for consideration of the major permit.
The image that you have before you shows the 100 foot BCDC setback as well as the area that will be underneath the State Tidelands Trust when we go through a trust exchange with the California State Lands Commission.
We’ve entered into a trust exchange agreement with the State Lands Commission. Again, this was largely negotiated in 2011 but was executed this past fall. It calls for the placement of significant portions of Yerba Buena Island underneath the State Lands Trust and allows some of the trust to be lifted off the development footprint of Treasure Island which is a critical component to enabling the program to move forward.
Around the Island we have a significant open space, much more than the 100 foot band; about 350 feet on the west side of the Island, 250 feet on the east side of the Island and a large open space to the north of the Island.
We are working with the U.S Navy right now to initiate the first land transfer which will include the northern half of Yerba Buena Island and about 60 percent of the area of Treasure Island. We will then go through the trust exchange with the state later this spring and summer with the expectation of starting construction with demolition of site work in late fall followed by new infrastructure development early in 2016.
This slide shows the overall phasing program for the Island as it was adopted in 2011. We are calling the area labelled, “Y”, the Yerba Buena area and we are rolling that into major Phase 1 so that the green and yellow areas will be moving forward together as part of the first major phase.
The developer has prepared and submitted to the City a major phase application detailing much of the infrastructure improvements that will be part of that first major phase.
As we move further through the development of the Island this is the sub-phasing diagram. It highlights the first major phase in the dotted area to the southwest portion of Treasure Island and on to YBI and then moving both eastward and northward as we move through development and subsequent phases of construction.
Part of the open space development will move concurrently with the development of the public infrastructure and the vertical development of the Island. The developer is required to prepare the open spaces adjacent to YBI concurrently with the preparation for development on YBI. As you move northward along the western waterfront the portions of the city side park would be developed contemporaneously with the vertical development in each of those blocks as you move forward northward and along Clipper Cove as they move eastward. And then as we move into the second and third phases of construction the east side parks would be developed concurrently with the third phase of development, the area around Pier 1 and that southeastern corner would be concurrent with the development in the second phase of that area and then, again, north along the eastern waterfront. On the western waterfront each block would include the development of the city side park adjacent to it.
This diagram depicts the final dedicated public access areas around the Island that are intended as part of the project improvements.
Here we have a map of the bicycle network proposed for the Island depicting the on-Island bicycle network as well as the Bay Trail and mixed bike/ped around the perimeter of the Island.
As we move through the project there is currently a significant amount of the waterfront that is accessible to visitors to the Island. That will continue to change and evolve and expand as we move through the course of development.
We have a significant portion of the Island that is accessible, the only limitations on that are areas where the Navy currently has environmental projects ongoing that have restricted access to the shoreline.
As we move into the first sub-phase of development we will be working on Yerba Buena Island in the southwestern corner of the Island and we will be improving and installing the permanent public access along the western waterfront and Clipper Cove while maintaining the existing portions of the Island that are accessible along the east, west and northern shores.
The areas at the northwest corner and the southwest corner, the Navy expects to have completed that work in 2017 so we should be able to restore access to those portions of the perimeter as well.
As we move into the second phase of construction we will be moving around the southeastern corner of the Island incorporating Pier 1 and the east side park and developing some of the additional open space on the interior of the Island. It is not part of the dedicated shoreline access but still additional open space improvements.
Finally, with the full build out of the Island completing the shoreline access around the Island as well as a network of open trails throughout the open space on the north side of the Island the project will be furthered along.
We see here further detail on the city side park along the western shoreline. Here is a depiction of the 100-foot band, the proposed path for the Bay Trail and the 350 foot setback from the shoreline to the development footprint.
Here you see a plan for the proposed improvements along the waterfront there. We will be moving from more urban, highly landscaped portions at the southern end of the waterfront to more natural areas at the northwestern corner of the Island.
The part of the park referred to as the, “Great Bowl” is going to be a largely open space, flexible-use area.
At the very southwestern corner of the waterfront is where the ferry terminal is going to be. The waterfront plaza will contain the ferry shelter and surround the ferry shelter.
This plaza does occupy the 100-foot shoreline area and extends slightly beyond that. This is the transit focal point for transit movement on and off the Island. So not only does the ferry arrive here but Muni buses and AC transit buses departing the Island will also pick up passengers here.
Building 1 is the historical administration building on the Island.
This area is also a critical location for us as the Bay Trail does come down to the Island and connects to the Island and bicyclists and pedestrians will want to circulate from this location around the Island to the north and to the east.
Bicyclists will come down on the eastern side of the causeway to Palm Drive and Clipper Cove. They will have the option of moving right and continuing in a dedicated Class 1 facility along Clipper Cove Promenade or crossing the intersection to connect to the Bay Trail upon the west side of Palm Drive.
This area has been an area of extensive focus because of the large number of people that will be using it. This will be an area of continued refinement as we continue to work with BCDC as well as various city agencies on its design.
There will be a dedicated area of 25 feet in front of the ferry shelter for the movement of pedestrians and bicyclists through the area as well as the area behind the ferry shelter which is a 12 foot esplanade between the shelter and the waterfront.
The next major area is the Clipper Cove Promenade along the south side of the Island. In the foreground is the Class 1 bicycle facility and then pedestrian and seating areas and observation areas closer to the shoreline.
We are coordinating with Treasure Island Enterprises that will be developing the marina as a separate project under a separate permit. We will be working with them and BCDC staff to make sure that we address, as part of this project, landside improvements that will be required to support the marina.
As we move around to the eastern corner of the Island you have the eastern shoreline park and Pier 1. The open space extends far beyond the 100-foot shoreline band to provide a large realm for public access.
Finally, we have here the northern shoreline park, sometimes called, “The Wilds.” This is a very large open space some 84 acres that will also include potentially campground areas. The final locations for these will be determined as we move forward in the planning process.
The causeway is a critical link between Yerba Buena Island and the new Treasure Island. The Bay Trail will come down from Yerba Buena Island to Treasure Island as well as all of the traffic accessing the Island.
Public access to Clipper Cove Beach will come from both Treasure Island as well as from what is relocated quarters 10 above Clipper Cove Beach.
The ferry terminal is being proposed to bring transit riders to and from the Island and this Ferry Building and downtown. There is an existing fishing pier on Treasure Island that will be removed. This area is 11,945 square feet.
ENGEO will now talk about the geotechnical mitigation measures that will be planned for Treasure Island.
Mr. Uri Eliahu addressed the Commission: We have been working on the geotechnical aspects of the Island. I wanted to present a quick summary of this.
The history of the Island is such that there was an existing shoal before the sand fill was placed. The fill material was derived mostly from dredging in the Bay. It was placed on top of the sand shoal. That shoal, at times, was exposed during low tide periods.
The method by which the Island was built was a series of dikes that were placed successively on top of one another as sand was placed in a hydraulic form. It was pumped behind those dikes and drained out and eventually was capped off. There was a rock armor that was placed over dikes.
The rock dikes were steep. They were approximately a 1 to 1 slope. They were stacked on top of one another.
In 1987 the Corps of Engineers placed another layer of armor, larger rocks, on the outside of the facing that existed until then.
There are three existing historic buildings on the Island.
Over the years the U.S. Navy and others, including ourselves, have gathered quite a bit of sub-surface data to characterize the conditions beneath the surface of the Island and particularly as they have evolved over time. We have developed a simplified cross section of what exists out there.
We have an upper layer of natural sand shoal. Beneath this sand shoal we have a variably thick layer of compressible Bay mud that ranges from approximately 20 or 25 feet all the way to about 125 feet in thickness. Beneath this we have a very stiff material that is still a material that was deposited there but it is sufficiently stiff to provide adequate bearing for foundations.
This upper layer which is approximately 45-50 feet thick is susceptible to liquefaction. That susceptibility occurs during seismic events and we have to address this in the design. The material beneath it is subject to additional compression if we add any more weight, if we add any more fill. We will be adding some fill to address sea level rise and flood protection hence we need to deal with the compressibility of the Bay mud as well.
There are two very different mechanisms. One of these is triggered by dynamic events, seismic events. The other would be triggered by static events such as additional fill.
The measurement of the settling of these layers began in 1937. Some settlement occurred before the measurements began but it was only recorded after the fill was complete and the Island surface was finished. The Island settled somewhere between three and a half and seven feet or so over the years. Where the Bay mud was thicker, at the north and particularly the northwest corner, the settlement has been greater. And where the Bay mud was thinner it settled less. The entire Island is lower than it was when it was constructed especially in that northwest corner.
As it turns out, it is still high enough, generally speaking, at the south end, the end closest to Yerba Buena Island, but we need to effectively re-level it. We need to add fill and make it level again. It is tilting towards the north. That is really the essence of the surface grading program, is to make it drainable again and level again. It would ultimately be at about the elevation that it is now at the south end.
This very abrupt change in elevation occurred on October 17, 1989. That has nothing to do with the compression of the Bay mud to date. That is the liquefaction and settlement that occurred in the sand above it. Because the monuments were surface monuments it was recorded as vertical movement nonetheless. It was vertical movement. It was a very different mechanism.
We need to address the compression of the Bay mud and the seismically-induced settlement of the sand above it.
So, how are we going to do that? For both the sand and the clay we need to densify them so they are not subject to future vertical displacement, vertical movements. The methods that we need to employ to densify them are very different.
The sand will only respond to dynamic loads such as vibration or impact. The Bay mud beneath it will only respond to static loads such as temporary fills that we are calling surcharge.
At the edges we have another concern. That concern is that when the upper material, the upper 45 feet liquefies, it is subject to lateral movement. It is subject to flow into the Bay. We need a more robust containment system right at the edge to address that concern. So, that is what the program is about.
In the first major phase we are going to be employing a dynamic densification method for the sand that is a vibratory method. The first step will be to densify the sand and we will lose some elevation in doing that.
The next step will be to surcharge. We will be placing a substantial temporary fill for a period of time to squeeze the water out of the clay beneath that sand and then once that load is removed, it would no longer be susceptible to those static settlement issues.
That is what is happening in the majority of the development area. At the edges we have to provide for lateral restraint. That will consist of mixing cement into the material. It is called a cement deep soil mix where either through an auger-type of device or some other type of continuous device, a cement is mixed into the sand in-place. It provides higher sheer strength and higher compressive strength and gives us that edge containment.
We will also use an approach called, “stone columns.” As the probe is withdrawn, the space that is left is filled with gravel, crushed rock or recycled concrete or something like that. The reason for the difference is because in the city side park we have a much higher setback.
For the causeway, again, we will have the edges be protected with cement deep soil mix (DSM) and overlying that will be an engineered fill.
That concludes the best part of this presentation.
Mr. Dilip Trivedi of Moffat & Nichol presented the following: I am a coastal engineer with the company. You have seen several slides that say that Treasure Island is a fill project. The embankment or the perimeter has been referred to as a seawall or a levee. The elevation of this perimeter is high enough that it is out of the normal tide and even the king tides that occur in the year. It is only when there is a large storm event occurring at high tide that there is some amount of overtopping and results in shoreline flooding.
There are a couple of take-home messages that I would like to present here. One is that our approach is going to eliminate the function of the levee or a seawall and it will be incorrect in the future to call it a levee.
We will discuss the contribution of sea level rise when a design of an entire embankment is being considered. In the future a rise of two meters becomes a somewhat larger component of the design but it is still manageable within the entire design framework of all the other parameters that need to go into consideration.
Most of the shoreline in the western United States has been built up to accommodate waves, tides and some amount of storm surge.
Sea level rise for us on the west coast is manageable. So, how is sea level rise different from seismic and tsunami incidences? Seismic is a very low probability event. Sea level rise has a very high probability. We know that it is a 100 percent probability but it is a very slow process and the immediate risk is rather low.
This particular difference lends itself to addressing sea level rise in future adaptations. Our approach for Treasure Island has been a three-legged approach. This was set up at a time before the NRC studies. The intent at that time was to formulate an approach that was robust enough that would accommodate changing science, changing projections as we move forward.
The three components are to build high right now. We are using the word, “resiliency” and we are monitoring this. We are leaving lots of space for future accommodations such that it will not pose habitat concerns in the future, Bay fill concerns and other engineering constraints.
Since this is a public/private partnership we need to have a funding mechanism that is dedicated towards making those future adaptations. And by putting together all three there are a lot of options that emerge in a project such as this and this is what we have done.
The approach along the causeway and the City side has been to address sea level rise in two stages. We have addressed it to 36 inches. This was a risk-based decision that 36 inches at the time was far enough away that there was enough time for the project to accumulate funds to adapt in the future when adaptations are needed.
The approach is to build it right now with 16 inches of sea level rise over and above the 100 year tides and surges and then have one phase of adaptation at the time when sea level rise is just about to exceed 16 inches and we go up to three feet of sea level rise. With one adaptation we buy either 100 years of protection depending on the sea level rise numbers or somewhat less than 100 years.
It is elevation dependent and not time dependent. The numbers are going to continue changing. We are going to have a different sea level rise estimate by a different year in the future. We knew this was happening as we were looking at the literature. We designed it to be robust enough to outlive all these changing numbers.
Along the northern shoreline, the Wild Lands that Bob mentioned, there is a lot more opportunity to be creative. We have three options shown for this area. As we work through the design phases with the DRB and the resource agencies there is a mix of different things, marshes, embankments, vegetated perimeters that can be and will be designed.
All of the elevated pads will be elevated to three and a half feet above today’s 100 year tide. We will have wide setbacks, at the narrowest section along City side it is 300 feet, at the Clipper Cove it is a little narrower.
And the third thing is the funding mechanism which is being created by the developer as a project-dedicated source of funds from property taxes.
All of Treasure Island is set up and elevated such that the function of the perimeter is not to prevent any tides or waves to come in. It is out of the tidal zone. The only function of any perimeter improvements that we are making is for public safety and to allow open space very close to the perimeter. This is the only function of the improvements at the present time.
There are plenty of funding mechanisms available to create a more robust flood control, at that point referring it to as a seawall or a levee would be fair.
At the ferry terminal and at Clipper Cove we are not to do just the 16 inches which will require in the not-very-distant future one adaptation. The ferry terminal, the plaza, the shoreline is being elevated such that there will be no work needed, at least until such time that three feet of sea level rise has occurred, which could be from 2080 to 2100.
At Clipper Cove the promenade is at the same elevation as the rest of the Island. It is pretty high. There isn’t any wave action because of the presence of Yerba Buena Island it functions such as there already is about three feet of allowance above the 100-year tide.
At Clipper Cove the elevation is such that the only adaptation that we see after 36 inches of sea level rise is perhaps a small sea wall not very different than what you have at the Embarcadero.
Commissioner Gibbs had some observations: I have a couple of comments that are intended to be constructive. This project with its 8,000 housing units while here in the midst of a housing crisis and certainly all the activity that is planned in the middle of the Bay while we expect climate change and sea level rise is going to be one of the most important things we are called upon to vote on in several years.
The presentation that we just saw from a visual perspective was almost incomprehensible, at least for those sitting out here. Several times the presenters referred to, they said, as you can see from the slide; but the fact is we can’t see the slides from here. I don’t think the public can see the slides from here. How are we expected to evaluate something that we can’t see? I would request before the next time that at the very least we get planning-size documents so we can actually see what is going on and that the presenters work with the technical staff to consider the audio visual equipment and conform the presentation so that everybody who has to depend on the presentation can actually see what is going on. This is going to be a state-of-the-art project, a very important project; so we should have state-of-the-art visuals or we should go, old school, and just put up a big projection screen but at least everybody needs to see it.
Finally, and these are intended to be constructive, substantively, I’m not sure I heard the answers to the two big questions from a seismic perspective. It is going to be on material that is subject to liquefaction and it wasn’t clear given what seismic events we expect over the 50 year planning horizon that we have laid out, how exactly what they are going to do makes it safe and makes it sensible to locate 25,000 new people there? And then from sea level rise, there were a lot of horizons and everything but why, given what we expect for sea level rise, both, kind of the normal course of events and any extraordinary events; have all the proper measures been taken?
And a very clear, understandable one or two-paragraph statement, I hope we can also get that. Those would be my comments and I make them in the interest of trying to be helpful. Thank you very much.
Commissioner Gilmore commented: I could not agree with Commissioner Gibbs more. I have one suggestion that I have seen work elsewhere in terms of the presentation. This suggestion would help the Commissioners. It probably wouldn’t help people that are in this room. Prior to the presentation it would be very helpful if the presentation, the slides, could possibly be emailed to BCDC staff and then emailed to each of the Commissioners because as I look around most of us have IPads or, at the very least, have laptops. So, we could bring those with us and follow along so at least we would have a screen. It doesn’t help the other members of the audience who are forced to rely on the screens here. It really is impossible to see and follow along.
Chair Wasserman added: If it is on the Commission website it would be accessible to the public before they come here or even here.
Commissioner McGrath spoke: Story boards are an alternative way that would allow you to go up and look at them. I have a technical background and have done deep soil mixing, so I understand some of these things better but to be able to see it is really important.
I do have two questions about the two water access points on the north side of the Island. I am involved with both kayaking access and wind surfers. Is it correct that those have not changed since the 2011 plan was adopted and they still remain even though we didn’t focus in any detail?
Mr. Beck replied: That’s correct.
Commissioner McGrath continued: So they are still there and the details have not yet been worked out.
Mr. Beck answered: Correct. One of those access exists today but the other is a proposed additional access point.
Commissioner McGrath gave an assurance: I want to reassure some of my colleagues that they still exist. The second thing I want to praise you for considering camping. The people who sponsored the water trail are very interested in overnight camping. There are very few places now for this. I applaud and encourage continued work moving towards camping. It is an excellent place. Thank you.
Commissioner Butt inquired about the economics of the project: I was really interested in the economics of this project. It looks like that between the private and public investment, it is probably over a billion dollars, maybe several billion. Do you have any sense of what scale we are talking about?
Mr. Beck stated: The infrastructure investments including the geotechnical program, new utilities on the Island, which is projected to be a billion and a half dollars.
Commissioner Butt continued: And then the private investment to justify that would probably be in the order of several billion dollars, right?
Mr. Beck replied: Yes.
Commissioner Butt added: Given that and given the seismic risk, I heard you describe how you are going to mitigate but I didn’t really hear anything about a seismic risk analysis particularly compared to alternate places to build 8,000 units of housing. I just wonder if on a regional basis this really makes sense at all. When Richmond passed our new General Plan in 2012 we up zoned large parts of the city to accommodate an additional population of up to 30,000 people which is far above what ABAG predicts for it. If there is a need for 8,000 new housing units to come to the Bay Area, you could put them in Richmond for a fraction of the cost of what you could put them for on Treasure Island at a fraction of the risk. I am looking at this presentation and I got to thinking, maybe the best thing to do is let it go back to nature.
Commissioner Nelson commented: Two questions. These are both in regards to safety, sea level rise and safety of fills. Regarding the latter, I wanted to make sure that we have better information, more comprehensive information from the applicant as well as from staff about how those different techniques to secure seismic, to improve seismic stability interact and what their results will be. It is important to note that parts of this site would be on the 120 feet of young Bay mud. There may be other places in the Bay Area where there is that much young mud underlying development but there are not a lot of those places; and certainly, no place that I can think of where the Commission has approved new development or this kind of large-scale redevelopment. So, the first question with regard to safety of fills is just making that we have a briefing and information from the applicant and staff about how these different techniques work together. One specific example, one specific question for example, is whether the vibro-compaction that is designed to shake the water out of that sand, whether that has a lifespan. Is that a long-term solution? Is that something that would have to potentially done again? Does the efficacy of that particular strategy work over the long term?
Second is with regard to sea level rise. The Commission has adopted initial policies here. I think we are a long way from a simple approach to that issue. We have been working on a couple of issues in some of our working groups with regard to how developments should plan for sea level rise.
One of those is addressing the acceptability of inundation. If a jurisdiction is planning a shoreline park, if it is flooded one year out of 20, the one day in 10 or 20 years; that might be acceptable. In a case like this where we are talking about residences and employment centers, this is the sort of development where there is an extremely low acceptance, extremely low threshold for the acceptability of inundation.
The second criterion is the lifespan of the project. If a park is constructed it might have a lifespan of the improvements in that park of 10 or 20 years. If it needs to be reconstructed that could certainly happen. Again, in this case the lifespan of this project is going to be an extremely long one.
It is certainly ahead of many other applicants we’ve seen; the preparation for sea level rise, the planning for adaptation, planning for up to three feet of sea level rise, but, given the likely lifespan of this project it is hard to see that lifespan being less than a century. Again, a question for the applicant, a question for staff, whether we should be planning for a subsequent adaptation phase after 36 inches. There is an enormous amount of uncertainty about what long-term sea level rise is going to be.
There is, fortunately, a lot of room around this site for adaptation. I do think it makes sense for us to be thinking about long-term adaptation that might extend beyond the next century to make sure we are thinking about the potential need for adapting to sea level rise that may exceed three feet. Thank you.
Commissioner Doherty was recognized: So I agree in terms of us not really being able to see the presentations. I am looking forward to seeing that comprehensive analysis of sea level rise and storms and both the cross-section views and the plan views showing how the proposed development and the public access and the footprints of potential future adaptation responses interact.
I would like to see that comprehensively for the entire development project for the shoreline areas, especially where there is development close to the shoreline like around the ferry building or Clipper Cove; what that relationship between the public access and different future scenarios of sea level rise and storms and also potential footprints for the sea level rise adaptation responses, how those are going to relate to each other. I look forward to seeing that analysis and comprehensively I know we saw a couple of cross-sections, but again, it was kind of challenging in terms of seeing that.
I think representing the state in terms of the Natural Resources Agency; we have a state sea level rise guidance document which is based on the National Research Council Report on sea level rise for the west coast. The state policy right now is for state entities to follow the state guidance document when one is designing and doing projects and to always include assessment of the highest of the range of sea level rise when assessing projects.
It doesn’t have to be the basis for design but to always include that upper range for the sea level rise as part of the public discussion of projects.
So, in this case at this time the current sea level rise guidance document has five and a half feet by 2100 as being the upper part of that range.
I request that this comprehensive analysis include the cross-sections and the plan views of how five and a half feet of sea level rise plus the 100-year storm relates to the public access areas and the footprint of the proposed development and how that might relate to future adaptation responses for the footprint of that in terms of any shoreline changes. I just want to make sure that the development that you are doing now is not going to preclude that public access in the future especially thinking of the higher amounts of sea level rise and thinking that this is going to be a long-term development project. I think you are on the 100-year time horizon for this project. Can you actually describe what the time horizon is for the project?
Mr. Beck replied: We are expecting to close the first land transfer with the Navy this month which will include the northern half of Yerba Buena Island and about 60 percent of the area of Treasure Island. The full transfer of the Island will not be completed until 2022. We will be beginning. The schedule is to, with appropriate permits and approvals, to begin development of the new infrastructure in early 2016 and to have the full build out of the Island by roughly 2030.
Commissioner Doherty clarified his question: I was talking about the time horizon in terms of the life of the project.
Mr. Beck answered: For 100 years plus, yes. Absolutely.
Commissioner Doherty continued: Right. So we are thinking really long-term. Just trying to think about protecting public access over the long term given that there is a lot of uncertainty of how much sea level rise we will see at that point.
I had another question. For the north portion of the Island, the Option C that was described in terms of the tidal wetlands; so, one thought that comes to mind is I don’t really know what is going on in terms of the contaminated land and the remediation. I just want to make sure that there is discussions going on in terms of with sea level rise if there would be new exposure pathways with flooding coming into potentially contaminated lands; just making sure that those discussions with the agencies are happening. Are we going to be able to keep this on the table as an option?
Mr. Beck replied: Absolutely. We are working very closely with the Navy, DTSC on their environmental plans for the potential range of future uses including potential adaptive strategies.
Commissioner Doherty addressed the staff on process: Could staff describe in terms of what the process is going to be for how the Commission will review subsequent phases of the project. So, there is this preliminary permit that is being sought and then what will be the subsequent approval process?
Ms. Yeung answered: We haven’t really talked that through yet.
Regulatory Program Director McCrea responded: The Commission in the past has issued at least two permits that were built out over 20 plus years; one is Mission Bay which is still under construction and the other is Brooklyn Basin Project that is now under construction. Those two permits were set up as phased developments. There was a phasing plan in the permit itself with associated public access associated with each phase.
Each permit was handled slightly different. The Commission in both cases deferred to the staff as much as possible to keep the process moving through. However, if there were substantive changes to the project, the permit recognized that it would have to come back to the Commission. Moreover, the Commission relies on its Design Review Board and its Engineering Criteria Review Board to review changes to the plans that are somewhere between a staff call and a Commission call. In other words, the Advisory Board would step in and review structures that were not anticipated or small changes to public access areas.
Both of the two projects that I mentioned have not had significant changes to them. With this project the adaptation that you just discussed is something that we will want to build in to the permit somehow. We haven’t quite figured out how we are going to do that. We need to have some sort of switch, some sort of trigger. That is being discussed; that when the water gets to a certain level, that would be the time for an adaptation to be considered. We could build it in such that adaptation strategies come back to the Commission at the appropriate time. So when the water gets to 14 inches or 13 inches above what it is today or something like that, we could have it built in that the review needs to come back and be re-evaluated by the Commission.
Does the applicant have any suggestions about that?
Mr. Beck commented: We would definitely expect to come back to the Commission and provide updates when it is time to implement those adaptive strategies as well as providing informational updates as we move through the program to demonstrate consistency with the major permit. If we wanted to address today some of the questions that have been raised today, particularly about the geotechnical plan and the financial plan for the program, we could do that or we could hold that for a future presentation.
Chair Wasserman stated: Hold it, please.
Commissioner Hicks commented: Thank you for your presentation, it was very interesting. I’m wondering if in a future briefing you could cover a few more topics. One, I’m really curious about is, what vehicle access improvements are going to be needed on Yerba Buena Island and the Bay Bridge if we are going to be having 8,000 homes and 500 hotel rooms. There has to be some road improvements. It would be interesting to know what those would be.
My second question is, where is the wastewater treatment for the Island occurring? Is that on or off of the Island? What would the backup plan be in case of a seismic event that renders that facility inoperable? I am concerned about the large amount of people who are going to be living on the Island and having adequate infrastructure for their safety and health.
And also, what would the tsunami evacuation plan be for the Island once it is fully built out? How are we going to get all those people off the Island safely? Thank you very much.
Commissioner Zwissler commented: What I think I heard was, that the seismic work is going to stabilize or mitigate any sinking, or is it just going to stabilize or mitigate anything that shakes a building?
If it doesn’t mitigate the sinking and then you are just building up around the edge, you are going to end up with a bowl. I’d also be curious to hear on the tsunami thing. What happens if a bunch of water comes? How does it get out?
The comment was, that it was high enough. I think that is part of the question on sinking versus the relative level because I could not tell from the drawings, what is going on inland? More holistically, how does that all work together?
And then a question for another time, who is the ferry operator?
Mr. Beck replied: On the geotechnical program, it is supposed to address both sinking and shaking. We can go into greater detail on that at another time. On the ferry operation, we are negotiating an MOU with WETA. The expectation is that WETA would be the operator. During the early years as the population is growing we may contract for this service but that is still under evaluation. The long-term plan is that WETA is the operator.
Commissioner McGrath commented: When it comes back it may be more useful to break these subjects up a little bit. I can understand the Commission’s concern about seismic behavior, perhaps, a focus on just that with experts that indicate the manner in which similar improvements have performed in other locations. You need to bring somebody from the ECRB or perhaps other places where similar improvements so the Commission can see what similar events have done to similar designs.
Chair Wasserman added: I think it would be helpful in the next presentation to be clear about what our jurisdictional issues are as they apply to all of this. There is fill so there is that jurisdiction. There is the public access issue which is a very complicated one on this particular set of islands. We are not certifying the EIR or giving the fundamental permitting for the project. That is Commissioner Kim’s board responsibility.
Mr. Goldbeck stated: I want to apologize on behalf of the staff for the facilities which are not the best for the visuals. I will note that 375 Beale is going to have state-of-the-art audio/visual. Hopefully, when we are there it won’t be an issue. We do put and will put all of the Power Point presentations up on our website so you can get to them. And I realize that is too late for this briefing and we take the suggestion to try to get the presentations up in advance of the meeting so you folks can download them with the proviso that we don’t always get the Power Points that people bring in advance of the meeting. We will try to do that and maybe also have handouts that people can look at as well.
I also wanted to address Commissioner Nelson’s question of staff about addressing the long-term sea level rise in the project. Your policies do require that major projects like this build to mid-century and then plan for end-of-century. So their permit application will have to both look at the actual things they are building out but also more information on planning for the end-of-century sea level rise as well.
Chair Wasserman stated: We look forward to the next presentation with better graphics provided in advance. Thank you very much. No further action is necessary on this item. That brings us to Item 11.
11. Briefing on Proposal to Dismantle Pier 3 of the Former East Span of the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge Utilizing a Synchronized Implosion. Chair Wasserman announced: Item 11 is a briefing on the demolition of portions of the former east span of the Bay Bridge and a specific proposal to use a “synchronized implosion” to remove one of the large concrete piers. Michelle Levenson will introduce the topic.
Permit Analyst Levenson presented the following: On November 1, 2001, the Commission authorized the replacement of the east span of the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge under BCDC Permit Number 2001.008. In addition to authorizing the replacement of the span with a self-anchored, single-tower suspension bridge and skyway, the BCDC permit required the removal of the decommissioned span to minus 1.5 feet below the mud line. Since opening the new span to vehicular traffic on September 2, 2013, Caltrans has begun demolishing the decommissioned span. In an effort to determine the most efficient, cost-effective and environmentally-sensitive method to remove the large foundation piers that supported the span, Caltrans has evaluated several dismantling methods.
One such method includes imploding the piers using a controlled synchronized blast. Today, Caltrans will brief the Commission on its proposal to use a controlled blast to demolish the largest marine pier, Pier E3, as part of a demonstration project.
The controlled blast of E3 would be used to evaluate the effectiveness and potential impacts of using such a technique to demolish the large marine piers. If Caltrans determines that the implosion of Pier E3 is preferable to other dismantling alternatives, Caltrans may propose employing this technique to demolish the remaining large, in-water piers.
Removing Pier E3 using a controlled implosion would require a material amendment to the BCDC permit issued for the Bay Bridge Replacement Project.
In an effort to minimize impacts to special-status fish, marine mammals and bird species, November of 2015 has been identified as the optimal month to perform the demonstration project.
This week Caltrans has submitted an application for the demonstration project. It is anticipated that the application will come before the Commission for its consideration this summer.
Here to tell you more about the project is Stefan Galvez with Caltrans.
Mr. Galvez addressed the Commission: My name is Stefan Galvez and I am the Environmental Manager with the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge Project. Also with me today is Dr. Brian Maroney who will also be talking about the specifics of the implosion. We also have our Chief Deputy Director, Dan McElhinney, here. We are available for any questions.
First, I’d like to thank the staff and the Commission for all the years that you have provided support to the Department on this important project for seismic safety for the region. We achieved our most important milestone by opening the new east span during Labor Day of 2013. We still have some portions of the project that need to be completed; including the onramp on the east bound portion of the bridge and the bike path onto YBI. We expect to complete these projects in about mid-2016.
We had some conflicts with the pre-existing pier, Pier E2. It occupied the same physical space. We couldn’t get that done. That pier is now being removed.
In the parking lot on the Oakland touch down, the original permit from the Commission required Caltrans to provide a parking lot for public access on the Oakland shore. We are working with the region and working also with your staff to actually come up with a plan for Gateway Park, thus construction of the parking lot has been put on hold until more specifics regarding Gateway Park are finalized.
We completed the EIS for the replacement span in 2001; shortly thereafter the permit from BCDC was issued. Both of those documents required the removal of the piers from the original project and that is why we are here today.
We have been looking at the methodology of how to better, efficiently and safely take out the piers. I am going to turn it over to Dr. Maroney.
Dr. Maroney addressed the Commission: I am the Chief Bridge Engineer for the Toll Bridge Seismic Safety Retrofit Program here in northern California. I work for Dan McElhinney and together we work for the Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee which is the Executive Director of the California Department of Transportation, the Executive Director of California Transportation Commission and Executive Director of the Bay Area Toll Authority.
In this slide you see something called YBITS, Yerba Buena Island Transition Structure 2. This is a very large structure that the community has challenged me to find a way to take down responsibly. That means environmental stewardship needs to be very, very high. Safety needs to be very, very high. And I need to find a way to minimize the temporary impacts which means schedule is important as well as cost.
I have to find the best solution for all of those things. I think I have something that I am very excited to share with all of you.
I sub-divided the removal of this very long structure, something like two and a half miles long; double-deck structure, very high structure and I broke it into three different sections.
The top right is associated with a very large cantilever structure. The engineering that we implemented on the new span of bridge is (the cantilever that is now down) the most sophisticated engineering on the entire job from Oakland to San Francisco. It is an 80-year old steel, pre-World War II.
It is also tired steel, even cracked in some places. We actually in very few places had to repair the old structure to make sure we could take it down. I really buy into being a good environmental steward.
I was challenged by some of the environmental resource agencies to find a way to take it down without pounding piles into the Bay. We used to put piles into the Bay regularly and if they were small there was no evaluation of their impact.
Today, we know better. We are smarter today. Today I am challenged to find ways to do work out in the Bay and not pound piles.
We took down the cantilever and we didn’t put down one pile between E2 and E3. That is really exciting. That section was sub-divided into one contract because it was high steel, two-to-four-hundred feet above the Bay, deep water, (50-feet to 60-feet in depth) and the most intense engineering required.
Because it was tied to Yerba Buena Island, contractors could use local small business and truck off the construction debris. So we didn’t have to operate on the Bay, which means less impact on the Bay. This contract in round numbers is about 100 million dollars.
We just opened up contracts for removal of all the high steel and we got a very good price on that. We hope to execute it and get started this month. It is not quite as high but it is still 100 to 150 feet above the Bay, on the Bay all the way down to Oakland. All of the steel on the old Bay Bridge is covered with lead paint. Lead paint 80 years ago was thought to be the type of material to protect steel from corroding. That lead paint is starting to break down. We are removing a hazardous site from the Bay. This contract is also in round numbers about 100 million dollars.
Now we will talk about the marine foundation. This is what I am here to talk about. That marine is not just major construction out on the Bay; it is major marine construction underwater. It is actually, submarine. This contract in round numbers is about 100 million dollars.
My values are human safety. I care about the environment. I care about the law. I’m also trying to do things quickly so my impact out in the Bay is reduced. I also care about price.
The overhead portion of Pier E3 is going to be down in just about a month and a half. I’m going to have access to that foundation. And I can start to remove the foundations from Yerba Buena Island eastward toward Oakland.
I’m here to ask you, can I use new technology to remove the Pier E3 foundation? Why do I want to use new technology? For more than 10 years I have been thinking about how to take down the marine piers from the Bay, remove fill from the Bay and work to restore the Bay closer to the way it was many, many years ago. I have been looking for ways to do it.
More than 10 years ago when we started this we had a certain knowledge base. We know more today. We know more about biology. We know more about the fish that live in the Bay. We know more about the pinnipeds and the sea lions. We know more about the water quality. We know more about the impact of pile driving. What we want to do is not just be aware of it; we want to actually act and do a better job, find better ways of doing the construction out on the Bay accounting for that new knowledge.
What we have to do is we have to be better. We can’t just be the old Caltrans. We have to use new technology that is available. In the past, we would drive hundreds if not thousands of piles in the Bay. And we now know even if they are small piles, there is an impact. I am offering another technology that I am very confident has a smaller impact to the Bay.
When Pier E3 was built it was the deepest bridge foundation in the world. That cantilever was the largest cantilever structure in the world. My intention is to start taking it apart this June. I am going to use mechanical means up above the water but down below I want to share with you what I am going to do.
We put together a video on this process. This is showing what Pier E3 looks like. It goes down some 250 feet below the water line. We will remove the timber fenders on E3 this June. We will bring in an excavator and put in the proper environmental protections so there is no pollution that goes into the Bay. We will use a large hydraulic hammer on the end of an excavator. Because this very “tall building” is essentially hollow, the construction debris will be dropped in the hollow voids of the pier. I intend to move an excavator around the top of the pier always protecting the water so we don’t have any pollution going into the water.
We will then take the broken concrete and drop it deep down into the structure, way below the pier. The water is about 50 or 60 feet deep at this location. The Pier is some 250 feet deep. Rather than disposing of the construction debris off-site and thus burning diesel oil and dragging ships in and out, out to the Farrallon Islands or Montezuma or some other place requiring an environmental study and potentially having an impact, the idea is to drop it deep, deep below the mud line of the Bay where we already have open areas, right down the pier.
So there is no potential oil slick or dropping of material somewhere else. We move that material right down the open cells of the pier. We will bring in barges, use proper protections and use the same excavator and drop it down on the tender barge and drop it down way, way deep below the water, deep into the cells of the pier. The same thing around the outside. Again, the submittals will have to go through many regulatory organizations, including BCDC.
These are mechanical means to remove the concrete skirt. My intention is to start this in June. That is what I’m asking for your permission and blessing to do, as long as I follow all the proper procedures for the Stormwater Pollution Protection Program (SWPPP) to make sure that we never let material go into the Bay.
Once the skirt is removed I can attack the pedestal. I will use the same equipment. Because there are open cells in the middle I can drop that material straight down.
Normally, Caltrans hires low-bid contractors, that means a contractor that is responsive, that means they have a bond and a license. In this case, we have not gone with the low bidder. We’ve actually gone with the most qualified. We had competitive interviews, and we brought on Kiewit & Manson who has a long history of respecting water quality in the Bay.
Once the top pedestal is gone, this will probably be around August or September if you allow me to, CalTrans proposes to use offshore technology consisting of very highly-controlled drilling processes that go down some 75 feet. Next, a marine blast attenuation system and blast curtain or a blast mat will be installed. Then air will be pumped through the water surrounding the foundation, creating a wall of air around the structure to protect and knock down the energy that will be generated as a result of the proposed blast.
Most of the debris generated from the implosion is expected to go down into the hollow pier. However, we do expect a little debris will accumulate around the outside of the pier. Kiewit & Manson will remove any implosion debris not contained within the pier using clamshells. Sub-surface bathymetry surveys will then be used to verify where things are and a tender barge with a clamshell will be used to clean up any debris.
Once the pier is gone and the scour erodes away, silt will accumulate over the top of the imploded pier.
Our heart and soul is in this. We knew we had to communicate this and this is complicated so we thought a video was the way to do this. We have been working on this concept for ten years.
We have done proper material studies and this concrete does not have hazardous material in it like the steel does.
I really buy into the NEPA process. We followed NEPA, the National Environmental Policy Act, for the SFOBB replacement span project, which includes demolition of the decommissioned span. If you really follow NEPA, you are essentially following CEQA. As part of that, we had to study a reasonable range of alternatives including the “Do Nothing” alternative, which means just leave the piers in the Bay. That is not our commitment to the community of the Bay Area. Our commitment was, we are going remove the fill from the decommissioned span from the Bay. The reasonable range of alternatives that we considered included the classic mechanical means like what we used to remove the foundations of the Ravenswood Pier down at Dumbarton. Some of you gave me permission to retrofit the Dumbarton Bridge just a few years ago. We did that work on time and under budget. We also removed the condemned Ravenswood Pier. We actually had to build a cofferdam around every single pier and then use cable saws to remove it. We actually considered that here. We also considered the classical means of cofferdam construction around the outside of the piers and then put a ram hoe, a giant jackhammer on the end of a great big caterpillar excavator and just pound on the pier for months and months and months. We considered that.
In 25 years of bridge engineering that is not the least environmentally impacting alternative. It is also not the fastest. It is also not the cheapest.
In the Bay Area we count piles. On a bridge, piles usually are the elements that hold up the bridge. They are under compression. They are fingers that reach down deep through the water and through poor material like young Bay mud to competent material and then hold up the bridge in compression. The piles that you need for a cofferdam carry no compressive load. Those piles associated with a cofferdam need to be wide. There will be more harm to fish as a result of driving piles in this kind of environment if I have to go with a cofferdam. We considered this.
If a cofferdam is used to demolition the marine piers, it would be one of the world’s largest cofferdams. I don’t think that is the right environmental way to go. I also considered cable saws like those used on the Dumbarton project. It takes a long time to cut through concrete using this technology.
If you want me to touch the Bay as lightly as I possibly can as you tell me to remove these piers, you don’t want me out there very slowly with cable saws or impacting with an impact hammer.
We looked at how long it is going to take using each of these different reasonable ranges of alternatives. It is important to say that we know more about how we need to operate in the Bay. And 10 years ago I used to be able to put piles down all year long as long as I followed certain rules. Today, I have actually shut down some of my jobs because we came into a fish-run season. I will do that again, I will shut down because I am going to follow the rules that fish and game and other experts in that area tell me to follow.
If I followed the old rules, the top schedule gives you a sense in time, it tells you months. So I am going to be out there for many, many months if I am driving piles following the old rules. With the new biological opinions that came out in 2012, there are a new set of rules and I need to operate under those new rules because I need to respect our new knowledge in the Bay. It is going to take me a very long time to remove the marine piers if traditional mechanical methods are used, and that is not a good thing.
If you allow me to use this implosion technique which allows me to drop the construction debris internally, we will have a much better situation environmentally.
If CalTrans receives authorization to implode Pier E3, we will come back in September and tell you how we did on this. I am asking to demonstrate the implosion technique on E3 because I know if I was to ask to implode E2 to E22, that because this is new technology to be used in the Bay, there would be no in-Bay evidence of how this technique would work. Thus, let’s do one. I like to do proof tests. I am asking you for support. Let me do one. You judge me on how we do technologically. And then you judge me and Caltrans on how we performed.
I promise you, I am not quitting. I am going to be there.
I want to make sure I don’t have a heaved-up pile of concrete. I am asking to go down about an extra 20 to 25 feet below the mud line. I am not taking out the outside walls because that outside wall will send a shockwave outward. I am minimizing that. I am trying to minimize the time when we do it. The biological experts have said that November is the time to do it. If there is wildlife activity the button does not get pushed.
We will have data acquisition systems to make sure we monitor and collect data so you can judge me if I can apply this to E4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. Is this a good thing? This is a great opportunity for the Bay Area to become a leader in California, the nation and the world in this. I know we can do that.
With respect to the marine blast attenuation system; we actually developed it under the guidance of BCDC. You folks pushed us to develop this on the construction of the east span of the Bay Bridge. I’m taking that same technology and we are applying it here and we’re knocking down the energy. There are real physics behind it.
We’re talking about 550 smaller blasts so the peak shockwave is much smaller. It is less of a threat to fish. Most of that energy is used up in breaking up the concrete. There is still a shockwave that goes out. When it hits the marine blast attenuation wall air, there are three reasons that energy is being knocked down.
First of all, it compresses the air bubbles, that’s work. So, energy is knocked down when the energy generated by the implosion hits the massive wall of air and gets caught in between all of the air bubbles. That extra path knocks down the energy. It takes longer.
And last of all, there is a current going up. It diverts the energy away.
We are protecting the environment by having a much smaller series of blasts. The peak energy is much, much smaller, the spike is much smaller. We are doing it at the right time of year. We are doing when you can see it. I truly believe this is a great opportunity for the best of all opportunities: environmental, schedule and cost.
I really hope you support me on this.
Mr. Galvez spoke: We are going to come back to the Commission and submitted the amendment request for the actual drilling and the implosion. The mechanical dismantling that we are going to be doing is already in the permit.
The general strategy is to actually do the work when we have the fewest species present in the Bay. However, we have fish. And there is no practical way to exclude fish from the waters. We know that November is the time of the year when you have the fewest species present.
National Marine Fisheries Service has established a threshold to impacts to fisheries. We used all of the data regarding these thresholds adopted by the agencies and we came up with the expected impact that we are going to have on the species. There will be a take for the longfin smelt and there may also be a take on the pacific herring.
We are going to establish an exclusion zone for birds. We are going to have this at 500 feet out and we are going to rely on wildlife monitors.
We have a number of sea mammals in the vicinity. We have 14 years of monitoring for marine mammals and there is a hold out zone on the southwest side of Yerba Buena Island. It is shielded by land mass but the harbor seals do come out in the channel.
We will delay implosion on if there is a marine mammal that is observed going into our “injury onset area.”
With regards to water quality, there will be a plume generated because there is going to be disturbance of the sediment as well as the breakage of concrete. We expect the pH to increase slightly as well as the turbidity but that will be short lived. In less than two hours, water quality parameters are going to return to your background conditions.
If we are looking at November 15th for our implosion we would like to request a permit and hopefully get a hearing sometime in June.
Commissioner Butt had questions: Has this been peer reviewed by any credible experts in the field? I mean outside of Caltrans and local people.
Dr. Maroney replied: The contractor that we have selected we didn’t choose low bid. We made sure they had experience doing this kind of thing before, in the water, with concrete. They have been successful and they have also dealt with blast curtains.
We hired our own contract contractor that uses blasting. When you have a contractor that is 76 years old that has all his fingers and has been blowing up bridge piers for 50 years, that is a successful person.
We have layers not only of the contractor selected then we have hired our own quality assurance reviews on top of that. Yes.
This is a demonstration. I am asking to do a demonstration for you on one pier just like I did about 15 years ago on driving piles in the Bay with a marine pile driving attenuator near Pier E9. Let me do one and if I can show you that I am responsible and I’ve done a good job then I am probably going to come and ask, may I do it for the others.
Commissioner Butt added: Other than the contractor who is going to do it, have you had somebody like the Army Corps of Engineers or some international expert in underwater implosion technology look at it and give you an idea of whether your conclusions are appropriate?
Dr. Maroney replied: The Corps of Engineers is a place where we have to get a permit and we have been working with them for more than two years on this. The Coast Guard is also very familiar with explosives and they have also been working with us. And our two contractors, both the QA that works for me as well as the contractors’ QC, they also are very, very experienced.
If you wish to have a third or fourth review, just tell us. But, I have layers of people that have actually done this successfully on board.
Commissioner McGrath commented: This was a very impressive presentation. I have some suggestions to staff for preparing this for the Commission. To me the most persuasive part of the whole presentation was the comparison to the cofferdam construction. Deconstruction is extremely complicated. We have already issued a permit which assumes cofferdam construction for removal.
I think the comparison here is, will this, in fact, have less impact? There are a lot of piles associated with cofferdam. It is in a lot of water and there are really big forces. It would have a significant amount of impact.
Sound energy is pretty straight forward. It is pretty well understood what you will get with a certain kind of sound pressure. So I assume that the National Marine Fisheries Service is looking at this pretty closely. We want to have something that tells us, will this have less impact and it might be a little messier but it would have less impact, would it have more impact but shorter duration and would there need to be any further mitigation?
I think for acoustic engineering and pile driving there is a lot of data out there. Would it have less impact or would it have a little more impact or a lot more impact and need mitigation? That to me is the question.
I thought the alternatives were pretty comprehensive and I appreciate that.
Commissioner Nelson had questions: I have two questions and neither of them require an answer at this meeting. Doing implosions above water is done routinely. It is not at all clear to me how routinely it is doing this sort of an implosion below the water surface. It would be helpful if we knew how proven this technology is.
And the second is, with regards to the effectiveness of the blast attenuation bubble curtains as a technique to reduce the impact of a blast; I would be curious to know how effective that is at attenuating the energy that would otherwise be distributed by the blast. Thanks.
Chair Wasserman had a request: My request does not need to be answered now. Beyond the comparative issues which you have touched on, what are the downside risks?
Vice Chair Halsted asked: Is this going to our Engineering Review Board?
Mr. McCrae replied: We have not discussed that because the Engineering Criteria Board looks at fills and this is fill removal.
Commissioner Ziegler commented: Could you show me how far down it goes to the Bay bottom or to the Bay mud? How much will be left underneath? What will be left once you implode it?
Dr. Maroney replied: About 200 feet.
Chair Wasserman continued: As indicated, this is not an action item today. I would entertain a motion to adjourn.
12. Adjournment. Upon motion by Commissioner Wagenknecht, seconded by Commissioner Nelson, the Commission meeting was adjourned at 3:53 p.m.
LAWRENCE J. GOLDZBAND
Approved, with no corrections, at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission Meeting of April 16, 2015.
R. ZACHARY WASSERMAN, Chair