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Meeting Information

2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 Department of the Environment
State Legislative Plan

2008-2009 Legislative session

In accordance with the mission of the Department of the Environment, this Legislative Plan is intended to serve as a guide to the City's policy positions on legislative, regulatory and budget issues that impact the Department and the long-term wellbeing of San Francisco. To implement its Legislative Plan, the Department works in collaboration with the Mayor's office, the Board of Supervisors, other City departments, the City's State lobbyist, community partners in both the public and private sectors and in coalition with issue-based and industry-based advocacy groups.

The Department would support legislation that:

1) Green Building/Energy

a) Promotes the adoption of state-wide residential green building guidelines, imposes energy conservation and green building standards on residential property at time of sale, or encourages adaptive reuse of existing structures.

b) Provides increased financial incentives for green building and renewable energy projects in private sector development.

c) Bans hazardous substances such as PVCs and added formaldehyde from being used in new construction.

d) Promotes new development on remediated brownfield sites and preserves open space.

e) Encourages or incentivizes commercial buildings to have Performance Verification or Retro-Commissioning at specified time intervals (e.g. every 5 years).

f) Reduces toxics and indoor air contaminants in residential buildings, especially low-income housing through use of green building practices.

g) Funds research and development of renewable energy, or increases the current renewable energy portfolio standard for utilities.

h) Allows California Public Utilities Commission to assign administration of Public Goods Charge funds to municipalities and independent administrators, or allows Public Goods incentives to cover local energy efficiency ordinances and initiatives.

i) Requires leased refrigeration, clothes washing and other equipment to be Energy Star rated, including units placed in retail stores by beverage companies.

j) Requires energy efficiency training for all licensed contractors that work on buildings or equipment in buildings.

2) Clean Air/Climate Change

a) Encourages or incentivizes large employers to help reduce their employee's commute by offering commuter assistance programs.

b) Improves air quality by:

i. regulating stationary or automobile sources emissions;
ii. providing incentives for the purchase of low emission vehicles and alternative fuels;
iii. ensuring funding for air quality mitigation projects;
iv. strengthening existing air quality regulations and providing stiffer enforcement penalties

c) Provides financial and technical assistance to low-income residents and communities of color to prevent and reduce disproportionate impacts of climate change.

d) Supports additional distributed generation on the grid.

e) Requires State Dept. of Education to revise framework in science curriculum to include specified topics in environmental education including climate change.

3) Environmental Justice

a) Increases the ability of low-income communities to access locally grown, fresh, and organic produce.

4) Zero waste

a) Sets higher landfill diversion goals for local or state agencies, improves measurement and reporting system, or puts more responsibility on producers.

b) Mandates strong waste reduction or recycling goals for products (such as supermarket bags and water bottles) or puts fees on them.

c) Bans polystyrene or PVC and requires disposable items (such as foodware or packaging) to be compostable or recyclable.

d) Requires products to be made more recyclable (such as container lids) or compostable, or with more recycled content.

e) Improves labeling of products that are compostable, recyclable or neither, and provides for State enforcement.

f) Creates a strong producer responsibility framework or product category specific requirements for manufacturers to reformulate their products to make them less toxic and easier to recycle or compost, as well as take actual or financial responsibility for handling disposal of their products.

g) Expands the California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act to further encourage redemption or include wine and liquor bottles, milk jugs, aseptics and cartons, or other plastic containers.

h) Strengthens adequate and convenient space requirements for recycling and composting or restricts trash chutes that work against landfill diversion.

i) Mandates recycling or composting for businesses, residences, schools and institutions.

j) Disallows yard trimmings in landfills or reduces diversion credit for using them as alternative daily cover.

k) Encourages siting composting and anaerobic digestion facilities, discourages siting landfills and requires maximum recovery of landfill gas.

5) Toxics

a) Requires manufacturers to take back certain products (such as batteries, paint, pharmaceuticals, or electronics) at the end of their useful life.

b) Strengthens California's regulation of chemicals in consumer products.

c) Expands the number of chemicals tracked in the State's Bio-monitoring program (authorized in SB 1379).

d) Strengthens chemical labeling requirements on consumer products.

e) Empowers the Department of Toxic Substance Control to require manufacturers to submit health and environmental data on the chemicals they sell in California

f) Mandates that recycled content be used in motor oil sold in California.

6) Urban Forestry

a) Requires use of sustainably harvested or reclaimed wood for state government projects and contracts.

b) Increases funding for urban forestry programs.

c) Creates conservation easements for land near metropolitan areas.

d) Includes tree planting, maintenance, and protection as mitigation for new infrastructure initiatives (transportation, utilities, etc).

e) Creates an emergency tree plan designating chain of command, equipment and funds to deal with tree clean up and disposal resulting from natural disasters.

The Department would oppose legislation that:

7) Energy

a) Decreases the rebate provided to renewable energy or energy efficiency projects in CA

8) Zero Waste

a) Pre-empts local government waste reduction efforts.

b) Gives diversion or carbon credits to high-temperature "conversion technologies" or incineration, or landfill gas recovery.

9) Clean Air

a) Weakens clean air standards

b) Discourages use of alternative fuel or low emission vehicles

10) Toxics

a) Promotes the use of chemically based fire retardants in bedding and other consumer products