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Meeting Information

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

6:00 P.M.

1800 Oakdale Avenue

San Francisco, CA  94124




1.        Call to Order
Commissioner Bobbrie Brown called the Wednesday, August 22, 2007, meeting to order at 6:05 p.m. in the Alex L. Pitcher, Jr. Community Room, 1800 Oakdale Avenue.
Commissioner Brown read the Sunshine Ordinance aloud.

1.1.      Roll Call: Commissioners Present: Brown, Fuentes, Churchwell, Jones, Kennedy, Parker, and Sampson
Staff Present: Toye Moses, Executive Director;  Joseph Singh, Mgmt. Assistant, Mariejie Arguelles, Clerk Typist .


1.2.      Consent Calendar

1.3.      RESOLUTION (SECFC-2007-88) Be it resolved that the minutes of the Southeast Community Facility Commission meeting of Thursday, August 9,  2007, were approved as submitted.


There was no public comment at this time.


3.1.      Dir. Moses reported there were no communications.


4.        PRESENTATION: 

Mr. Jon Loiacono, Lead Project Principal Engineer for Sewer System Master Plan (Siting of Southeast Digesters) reports:  This is the fourth San Francisco Sewage System Master Plan (“Master Plan”).  Previous Master Plans were done in 1899 & 1935, focusing on City population’s public health; and in 1974, in response to the Clean Water Act of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.


This current Master Plan is due to population growth and aging infrastructure.  In addition to meeting existing government regulatory requirements (“drivers”), current driver also requires implementation of Planned Growth in the Master Plan.  The Master Plan also includes anticipated regulations, e.g. filtration of ammonia, which is not currently a hard-pressing driver for the West Coast (East Coast regulation drivers are stricter due to eutrophication, a condition caused by too much phosphate chemicals causing overpopulation of plant growth in bodies of water, thereby depleting oxygen needed by fish and aquatic animals).


The first Phase of the Master Plan is the handling of bayside solids.  Digesters are designed to simulate human biological digestive process.  The planning of the shape of  new digesters has been an ongoing discussion since 1994, and much feedback from general public has been received by the SFPUC.  Current digesters are called “the conventional” and there are three major shapes being considered. Some priority considerations include:  visual mitigation (aesthetics), odor control,  and site location.


There are three sites SFPUC is looking at: 1) Pier 94; 2) current existing site in Bayview (Southeast Plant, aka SEP); 3) Caltrans surplus property near SEP including lots owned by ABC Auto, bounded by Evans Street, Bayshore freeway, Islis Creek, and Rankin Street.


The SEP was constructed in 1952, and was recommended in the 1935 Master Plan, but building was postponed until after WWII.  Richmond/Sunset (“Northpoint”) Plant building started in 1938 before interruption by the war.  Both plants were completed in the 1950’s.  However, all the digesters are located in the SEP.  Northpoint Plant treats the liquid sewage, but pumps its sludge to SEP.


The Master Plan primary phase discussions include building/mitigation concepts, and one of the first things considered is Environmental Impact Reports (EIR), which takes about two years; and looking at all capital projects, i.e. sewer replacement: fixing, replacement, rebuilding old digesters, then building new ones.  “This is the major single treatment plant capital project.”  Next phasing of Master Plan includes another “short planning period in design.”  Examples of conceptual designs being considered are greenhouse concepts incorporating alternative energy sources (i.e.. similar to existing treatment plant in Seattle), and other architectural designs which will effectively hide digesters within office buildings structures and complexes built to house City government agencies.


Commissioner Brown asks if the ammonia in the sewage is enough to cause problems in the Bay.  Mr. Loiacono answered there is not enough ammonia to be detected by smell, and the San Francisco sewage treatment system is not specifically removing this chemical from the wastewater.  Mr. Loiacono further explained the problem of the presence of ammonia in the wastewater is eutrophication, which is not considered a real issue in the Bay where treated wastewater is flushed out into the ocean.  However, eutrophication is an issue in the Southbay, and therefore ammonia has to be removed from their wastewater.  At this point, it is more of scientific debate.  Mr. Loiacono states the whole point of treatment is to not degrade quality of receiving water.


Commissioner Brown asks, “Is there any thought to take some of the load from the Southeast to the Northpoint Plant?”  Mr. Loiacono responds that the relocation issue has been discussed, and considered as one of the alternatives, and would involve a lot of money.  There are two sides to the issue in what is being treated: 1) liquids; 2) solids.  The expansion done in 1978-1982 did not include work nor upgrades to existing digesters, which are now over 50 years old, the planned/projected maximum age for these digesters.  Mr. Loiacono says, “It’s important to remove those digesters and replace them.”  With regard to treating liquid sewage, those facilities have a projected life of approximately 30 years, and the new ones were built in the 1980-1990’s. 


Commissioner Brown asked about a remark made by former Mayor, Willie Brown, when he was in office, that he would replace and move the (SE)Plant further south of the City.  Mr. Loicono states relocation of the (SE)Plant was discussed, but at that time, no site was specifically considered.


Commissioner Parker asks if digesters only deal with gaseous products from sewage. 

Mr. Loiacono answered no, and explained that sewage matter is considered liquid, but has solid material, and has to go through the liquid treatment processes, the solids separate and are collected in the various places where they settle, then placed in the tanks called “digesters” where they are heated and mixed, producing natural gas.  The natural gas is then collected and reused for heating and electricity.


The question was raised and briefly discussed regarding commercial use of sludge material and Samuel Murray, SFPUC Communications, interjected that the SEP is giving away free compost on Saturday, September 15, 2007.  (See 9.0 Announcements)


Mr. Loiacono further answered, with regard to SFPUC possibly purchasing Caltrans surplus property mentioned previously, but environmental reviews must first be made, “a pretty easy process.”


In response to questions regarding complaints and health concerns about sewage being dumped into the Bay, Mr. Loiacono answered that it is “secondary affluent,” (treated affluent/wastewater), that is released into the Bay, not raw sewage.  There was concern when an underneath pipe for secondary affluent broke, and the system had to switch to using equipment designed to utilize natural law of gravity to empty into Islis Creek, which is an allowed backup method.


Dir. Moses, a “resident of the neighborhood for many years,” comments he has noticed much improvement in odor emanating from the treatment plant, and wants to know if the new Master Plan will make that “zero.”  Mr. Loiacono said “zero” odor can’t be promised, but of the $150 million budgeted, about $50-$70 million is earmarked to specifically address odor issues at the SEP, and numerous projects have been completed and in progress towards that effort, hence the improvement. 


Ms. Espanola Jackson comments that she saw and heard on television an SFPUC employee, in answering a direct question as to whether or not the new digesters will be in the Bayview Hunters Point (BVHP), gave a contradicting answer of “No” and continued to say the proposed siting of digesters are in “Piers 94/96” (which is part of the BVHP District).  Ms. Jackson wants SFPUC to be responsible and educate its spokespersons in providing accurate public information, so the issues are clear.



Dir. Moses reports that the SECFC budget has been approved, with the exception of one item: “unfortunately” his request for a 1446 classification to replace the existing 1424 classification, was denied by the Board of Supervisors, though initially approved via Mayor.


Joe Singh, Management Assistant, reports on the Headstart childcare center playground:

Meeting last week with SFPUC's Nancy Au-Yeung and Gary Fleming revealed project is pending receipt of documentation regarding Public Notice advertising from City Attorney, and Toye Moses is to discuss replacement sculpture in playground with Headstart staff.


MOTION: Moved by Jones, seconded by Parker to accept the Director’s Report. Motion passed unanimously to accept report as presented (7-0).




Proposed Resolution of the Southeast Community Facility Commission supporting the City and County of San Francisco recently adopted 12Y of the Administrative Code, the "Slavery Disclosure Ordinance" was read aloud by Mariejie Arguelles, SECFC Clerk Typist.



In response to Commissioner Fuentes' inquiry regarding clarification of specific and expressed purpose of Proposed Resolution, Commissioner Kennedy clarified the SECFC Proposed Resolution is to urge House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to put the "Slavery Disclosure Ordinance" on the Floor at the House of Congress to be voted into law.


Commissioner Kennedyproposed correction to the second "Whereas" clause and replace the wording from "these people" to read "the enslaved people."


MOTION: Moved by Parker, seconded by Churchwell to accept the Proposed Resolution with Commissioner Kennedy's corrections.

Motion passed unanimously to accept Resolution as corrected by Commissioner Kennedy (7-0).



There was no new business introduced at this time.



There was no public comment at this time.



Samuel Murray announced the SEP (Phelps Street @ Jerrold) is giving away free compost on Saturday, September 15, 2007, 9am-2pm.


Dir. Moses announced Presenters for September 13, 2007, meetings are 

Alton Byrd, Lennar consultant on the Future of Int’l African Market Place; and

Jim Buckley, President of Citizens Housing Corporation


Joe Singh announced upcoming Ad Hoc Committee Meetings: Monday, September 10th, Facility & Economics; (September 5th CAG meeting postponed).


Commissioner Kennedy announced the NATIONAL COUNCIL OF NEGRO WOMEN, Golden Gate Section, is holding their 11th Annual Community Awards Breakfast in the SECF Alex L. Pitcher, Jr. Community Room on September 15, 2007, at 9am.  Awards to be presented to Mr. Raymond S. Brown, Business Person of the Year; Community Service to Honorable Terri L. Jackson; Monique Woodfoot, Youth of the Year; and the first Joseph B. Kennedy Award will also be presented.  $35 is the cost of the ticket.



The meeting adjourned at 7:26 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,


SECFC Clerk Typist