tv [untitled] March 29, 2014 6:30pm-7:01pm PDT
let me start off with a first question that i know you and i briefly discussed this. we know that the planning commission reviewed this matter and supported the decision of staff with the 7-0 voting, members appointed by this body. i want to ask you, is the information that you just raised about the potential lack of funding or analysis on the part of, of the federal department around some of these mitigation measures, what you discovered over the last few days, that is the crux of what you think of as new information since the planning commission's decision? >> that's correct. that information did not become available until march 19th, after both the planning commission and the rec and park commission votes occurred. >> thank you. i certainly want to ask the planning staff if you can address the set of concerns that were raised by the opponent. supervisor kim? >> actually, i was going to ask mr. porter was he upset at the end about the alternative [speaker not understood]?
if you could finish your sentence. >> i'd be happy to. the alternative proposed by the expert is to allow water levels in the lagoon system to rise a little bit in the spring and summertime. doing this will have no impacts whatsoever on how often or the extent of flooding at the golf course because the golf course does not flood during the spring and the summer. it only floods during the winter rains when they are occurring. we're not talking about changing any management of those water levels. but in the spring and the summertime, they need to increase the amount of water they leave in the system. and if they do that, this aquatic vegetation will die off. it can only survive in very shallow water level. simply by allowing that water level to rise, the vegetation will be killed, there will be no need to do this invasive construction process. the city will save probably a significant portion of the million dollar budget that they put forward for this project. and the environmental concerns that we raised about acid sulfides and cumulative effects would go away.
but never been willing to consider that alternative because they put together a mitigated negative declaration which was not required. the consideration of alternatives under law, instead of looking at this issue through a full blown environmental impact report. >> and just to clarify on that point, that betion' not the current practice of rec and park now. we don't let the water rise slightly in the spring and summer to have the outcome that you just spoke about. >> that's correct. under current conditions the rec and park has constraints on pumping during the winter season when the [speaker not understood] of superior courtes called the red legged frog is present. outside of that season there are no constraints on pumping. in fact, the record shows that we submitted to the board in march of 2011 through the june of the following month, the critical period we're talking about, they pumped out over 100 million gallons of water from the system during that time period. and right -- this month, march of 2014. we monitored the pumping operation of sharp park and on march 2nd, right after one of
the very few rains we had this year, they were pumping water out again despite the fact there have been extensive drought conditions and water levels of sharp park and water levels at sharp are as low as i've seen them in the several years i've been monitoring this issue. >> thank you. >> supervisor campos. >> just a quick question he if i may following up on that. to your knowledge, did the board ~ consider the alternative that you're talking about? >> to my knowledge, the board has never considered the alternative because the staff reports have refused to present it to either the commissions that have reviewed the issue to date. the staff report simply said under c-e-q-a there is no requirement when we prepare a mitigated negative declaration to consider alternative. therefore, we will not consider them. >> and have you, just for the record, through the chair, have you requested that staff consider the alternative? >> we have. thank you for that question. we have presented the information that is necessary with expert testimony about how to implement this particular alternative without causing any
increase in flooding at the sharp park golf course. it's in the record. from our perspective, transforming that into an alternative through an environmental impact report statement will be very easy. it will not be time consuming. it will not be expensive. the work has already been done. the project otherwise is relatively limited in scope. so, the opportunity for the staff to implement and discuss that alternative is readily available from the record before us. >> thank you. >> supervisor mar. >> yeah, i just wanted to ask, mr. potter, if you could elaborate just a little bit more on -- i know planning referred to the mitigation and significant environmental impacts. and you brought up the u.s. fish and wildlife review and whether they've considered that m bio2b mitigation. could you just explain why that's so significant as well? >> sure. so, the fish and wildlife service has implemented and reviewed one other mitigation measure called mitigation measure 2a.
that one has some relatively modest constraints on the rec and park department to simply survey the construction area before they start digging the area, for example, to make sure there are no individuals in the way of the excavation project before they move forward. the issue dealing with acid -- acid release into the environment is a much more complex issue. it requires extraordinary scientific expertise to understand the biochemistry of this issue, and to implement mitigation measures for it. if -- and we already know that the soil types that are out -- that create these conditions are present on the site. they are easily identifiable by their color, and by their smell. this is a sulfur based acid so, it gives that characteristic rotten egg smith when you scrape the area away. this is easily observable by anyone who goes out there. that issue has not been addressed at all in the document and it has very significant consequences, not on the listed species, but on
this rare ecosystem as a whole. this rare ecosystem as a whole is not within the purview of the fish and wildlife service. they look very narrowly on the impacts of speeches, frog and the gartherer snake. they did not look at the impact of release of acids on other forms of life in that system and how it could affect the rest of the vegetation and plants and biotic [speaker not understood]. it will create an area of acidic conditions that no form of life can persist in for any significant period of time. it creates a biological dead zone in that area. >> and mr. porter, you said that in your communications with the assistant field director from the u.s. fish and wildlife service, that they're not capable of doing the kind of mitigation that the rec and park department needs under what the planning department
has given them guidance to do? so that u.s. department cannot help us mitigate that? >> that's correct, for two reasons. first of all, i hadn't known p this new mitigation measure that was inserted into the negative declaration. and secondly, like many organizations, they have a very broad area of oversight, which includes, for example, doing permitting processes for the bay-delta water transfers as well as projects like sharp park. they are down an equivalent of [speaker not understood] a year or two ago. they have an internal policy that they don't have spare staff time to help local municipalities or state governments to comply with nonfederal requirements or obligations under the california quality act. they can't spare it because they have too much on their plate already dealing with the [speaker not understood] permitting processes that are in front of them. >> thank you. >> thank you, colleagues. any more questions to the appellant? with that, thank you, mr. porter. why don't we now hear public comment for frommembers of the
public that support the appellant. if you could please step up, you can line up on the right-hand side of the chamber facing us. and let's hear from our first speaker. [speaker not understood]. who is going to be first up? ~ whoever reaches the mic first. again, if folks can line up on the right-hand side. thank you very much. first speaker and every speaker will have two minutes. my name is leo [speaker not understood]. a 28-year resident and user of facilities at the beach and the golf course. i live at senior resident [speaker not understood]. what i want to talk about is an issue that's raised, in fact cge, the first thing -- the proposed project in combination with past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future projects often would be in the past. when the most recent improvement were made to the
pump all the emergency measures, the old concrete supports for the [speaker not understood] were abandoned. these blocked access to the beach are just a nuisance. -- a nuisance on the beach. they need to be removed, needs to be conditioned that they be removed from the beach. they extend all the way out to the water. the second thing is the new structure itself. 10,000 gallons a minute is a lot of water. what that water does is it modifies the beach and actually prevents the public from using the beach at certain points of time. it just cut it off. if a person was to stand in front of it, pump out [speaker not understood], it would knock you over. at certain times it's just impassable. there needs to be something done. on the issue of the water, 600,000 gallons an hour, we need to reuse the water.
when i walked in, i heard an eloquent speech about how much water. i know san francisco does a lot about water retention and water reuse. we need to re-use that water to the benefit of the habitat and the bay area there. other issues with the bond, the pond has not been ~ scheduled -- it should be built first. and then the habitat [inaudible]. >> thank you very much. thank you very much. next speaker. my name is stan [speaker not understood]. i live in pacifica. there are several issues i wish to address. the first issue, ironically san francisco has a powerful vote as to whether pacifica will be a beach town without a beach.
explanation, ocean wise is not considered in the park and rec report, however some of the [speaker not understood] may be aware that abag had commissioned a sediment study on the shorelines from the ocean beach down to pedro point. in the seminar held in pacifica, preliminary finding were shared. they had free major beaches, rock away and linda moore beaches as the ocean rices. the third is shell park. the northernmost of the beaches. if the berm is [speaker not understood], it will disappear a ocean rises leaving pacifa with no functional beaches. if the berm is allowed to be unarmly reabsorbed, the dunes can reach eastward as the ocean rises. the marsh lands behind will observe much of any major storm's power. a much smaller feature or 45-foot berm can protect at-risk homes.
you can save million of dollars you plan to spend on armoring and pumping. my second issue, san francisco rec and park has consistently attempted to hide the big picture, that is the environmental impact of this project. behind smaller [speaker not understood] such as this pumping issue, they are worded in such a way so the biological effects there are hidden. so, i just sake all of you to vote for an e-i-r, thank you. >> next speaker. good afternoon. my name is [speaker not understood] and i live in pacifica -- >> sir, can you speak into the microphone? my name is edwin gear. i live in pacifa and i'm also on the board of directors at sequoia audubon and we have great interest in saving the guarder snake and the red legged frog.
and i'm here today ~ to give voice to them and ask that you at least an environmental impact report before making any big decisions. it's so important that these animals are protected and will remain protected. and you have to address the part that the red legged frog was not included, the endangerment of it. but we would like you would wait and vote after an environmental report. thank you. >> thank you very much. next speaker. thank you for the opportunity to speak. i moved to san francisco about 20 years ago. i'm here today to ask the city of san francisco require that the sharp park golf course
pumphouse project perform a full e-i-r process, [speaker not understood] c-e-q-a, california environmental quality act. number one, the park would be harmed by [speaker not understood] mitigated negative declaration. number two, land management should be made in the context of coastal erosion and impending drought. the san mateo coast is perhaps the most imperative [speaker not understood] sea level rise and coastal erosion of any coast here in california. the full e-i-r will protect the endangered water who use this area and make the best choice for future california. number one, the proposed dredging is a toxic process bringing up anaerobic [speaker not understood]. for us to be immediately expose today this, and people will get some in the air. number two, the heavy pumping proposed by s.f. rec and park were during the frog habitat
before they can reproduce. it will name normal water levels at laguna [speaker not understood]. all these action are removal of habitat for these frogs which are the single food source for the endangered snake. i'm going to leave you -- is that -- oh, well, is that the only -- >> you still have a few more seconds. three seconds. i urge the board of supervisors, please require a full environmental impact report for the sharp house project. it is a good public process, protect the absolutely dependent wildlife and serve the public in the most ethical and economic way. i'll give you a copy of my letter. >> thank you. next speaker. good afternoon, supervisors. i'm margaret good all. i live in pacifica also. it does not take a crystal ball
to predict that the work that is currently proposed for the pumphouse at horse stable pond will inevitably require what may be presented as an emergency repair on the berm. emergency armoring like that, like the maintenance [speaker not understood], the rock patches that were put in about a year ago illegally, emergency arming is absolutely foreseeable in this case. and if it's not included in any proposal, it is illegal. i can't imagine they're going to a-list the trucks and heavy equipment in that will be necessary for upgrading the pumphouse. it will cause wear and tear on the berm and will degrade the berm through upgrading the pumphouse and degrading the purchasev. [speaker not understood] on top of the rising ocean, san francisco will call emergency and add more walk armor. you need not spend more money
to defend the current costly project of infrastructure improvement against the rising ocean. so, just how much money is san francisco willing to spend to dredge and drain, and dredge again, and drain again, and dredge again and drain again? that would destroy pacifica lagoon. and honor the berm which will ultimately destroy solana beach. if you continue to armor [speaker not understood]. accepting a mitigated negative deck. ~ negative declaration. [speaker not understood]. how it will affect pacifica, our beach, our lagoon and your budget [speaker not understood]. thank you very much. >> thanks. next speaker.
[speaker not understood] from pacifica, and i want to underline the fact of the importance of going through with an environmental impact report for coming up with alternative considerations. i'd like to bring out one example of a real important consideration is the san francisco garder snake has been spotted a number of times right next to the pump area. what really needs to take place is a full examination with our endangered species of the garder snake and also on top the red legged frog. a number of years ago, i remember the days when laguna solana the water was much deeper. a number of years, if we go back to the '60s and '70s, there wasn't all the cat tails
surrounding the water by the pump station and the laguna solana. and i would like to back up and play this idea of making the water deeper in the spring and summer and then have runoff at a different time of the year. that really makes sense. but the underlying factor, let's have an environmental impact report so we could study these different aspects. thank you very much. >> next speaker. hi. my name is kerry kreger, i'm the founder and director of save the frogs, [speaker not understood]. i have a ph.d. in environmental science and have spent the last ten years working full time on amphibian conservation issues. i'm here to urge you to vote for a full environmental impact report for the sharp park pumphouse project, specifically
the pumphouse impacts the california endangered red legged frogs that live there. frogs worldwide have been rapidly disappearing. over 2000 endangered species on the planet are going extinct at a thousand times faster than is natural. we can't expect 2000 ontoerction ease to go if people don't do anything about it. so, california red legged frog has a long history of persecution. they were nearly eaten to extinction by the california gold minors over 120 years ago. the habitat was destroyed. they are susceptible to diseases like [speaker not understood] when californians import several million native bull frogs in the year for use as foot right here in san francisco, nonnat i have fish that gets stocked in ponds and eat them, and when we drain the wetlands, they die. i've been to sharp park. i've seen the pump in action
shooting water out to see from an he can logically [speaker not understood]. i've personally seen a dead cray fish on the outflow. cray fish are better swimmers than are frogs. if the cray fish are being pucked out, tad poles are being pumped out, too. [speaker not understood]. a couple years ago san francisco reported having stranded over 100 egg masses of a federally protected species. that's illegal and unethical so, please get a full environmental impact report [inaudible]. >> thank you. next speaker. hello, my name is [speaker not understood]. i am a resident of san francisco and i'm an employee at rob equity. i'm here today to respectfully ask the board of supervisors to order a full environmental impact report for the sharp park pumphouse project. this is the only way to guarantee that the rpd will consider an alternative for the
sharp park pumphouse project. in january of this year, the rpd presented to the public their goals for the next two fiscal years. edth powerpoint presentation included slides with the rpd's mission statement which includes to preserve the environment, their guiding principle which is to create a fiscally responsible department and the operating priority of advancing environmental sustainability. the current sharp park pumphouse project contradicts the mission statement, the guiding principles and the operating priorities of the rpd. [speaker not understood]. removing [speaker not understood] and vegetation from the land with heavy equipment did not preserve the environment, it destroys it. the -- sorry. the process of dredging the water with toxins and the life cycles of wildlife living in the wetland are not adopted for the high rate of water removal that will result from the project. in order to advance environmentally sustainable
programs, the rpd must be open to considering alternatives to proposed plans, rejecting the opportunity to consider alternatives presents the exchange of ideas and innovation which is the [speaker not understood] rpd wants to advance the sustain ability within the department. the guidance offered by a full e-i-r with an environmentally superior alternative will facilitate the process of bringing the pumphouse project into alignment with the principles and priorities highlighted by the rpd and also analyzing alternatives that will accomplish the goal of reducing unwanted vegetation in a legal [speaker not understood] in an environmentally harmful manner. please ensure that the rpd hold their duty [inaudible]. >> thank you. next speaker. good afternoon. my name is frances [speaker not understood] and i'm here today
to ask you to vote for a full environmental impact report for the sharp park pumphouse project. san francisco has proven to be an environmental leader with the plastic bag ban and plastic water bottle ban. [speaker not understood]. the proposed project involves invasive activity of the threatened red legged frog habitat. [speaker not understood] in order to analyze the alternative. the alternatives are not being acknowledged, there is no way of knowing [speaker not understood]. a mitigated negative declaration states there will be no significant environmental impact. i disagree with this [speaker not understood] removal of re station of horse stable pond within the project description would result in significant environmental alteration of the threatened species habitat. [speaker not understood] the california red legged frog season would impact
reproduction, drying leg masses, further decrease of the population. not only will this activity be environmentally damaging, but it would require regular maintenance that would be costly. there is an alternative which is why water levels high enough to dry [speaker not understood]. this alternative addresses [speaker not understood] the current proposal lackseses. i am grateful for san francisco's environmental leadership and believe we he should live up to this reputation by requiring [speaker not understood]. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker. hello, thank you for your time. my name is ron aloe michaels and i'm a resident of south san francisco on the border of pacifica. i spend a good amount of time in san francisco and have lived in this area for over three years. i wanted to thank you for your time to listen to the proposal for alternative considerations. i would like to craft consideration of all reasonable alternatives before proceeding with the pumphouse project in
question. i come to you with slight impartiality. while you supported the wild equity institute, i have a more impartial stance as i am not against the maintenance of the golf course provided there is no significant negative impact to laguna solano. i spend a good amount of time hiking in the region and greatly appreciate the nature present. please help avoid habitat destruction for these species in question. i would like to request the opportunity for a bioqlogickically [speaker not understood] not only for the golf course but the entire beach community ~. i also perceive that a full environmental impact record offers an opportunity to avoid complications from potentially federal oversight concerns impacting the endangered california red legged frog and the san francisco gartherer snake. i greatly appreciate your time and have a nice day. >> next speaker. please step up.
hi, good afternoon. my name is michael sarky and i serve as the advisory committee chairman for save the frogs and also an aloe kohl gist. i've done a lot of work in maury point and wetlands. i urge the supervisors to support the appeal ~ and also to consider and make action to implement an e.ri or environmental impact report. the populations around the world as stated before are declining at an a larging rate and the california red legged frog is in serious decline as well. throughout the central valley, california has been extricated interest many of its surviving habitat. so, [speaker not understood] protecting the habitat is incredibly important. the sharp park pumphouse project is going to be draining the wetlands at an incredibly fast rate that will not improve the california red leg population. the tadpole and slow moving
frogs need water to meta more physics over the spring months. [speaker not understood]. so, i urge the board of supervisors to support this effort and please support the implementation of the environmental impact report. thank you for your time and please support the project. thanks. >> please step up as someone is finishing, the next person can rollup to the mike. hi, my name is [speaker not understood] and i serve as the program coordinator with save the frogs. i thought i heard a lot about how this affects the frogs, but i haven't heard anyone mention anything about the importance of wetland quite yet. i'm sure many of us will mention that. wetlands are very important for the nutrients they transform and they are very habitat across the world. san francisco is a safe haven for the wetlands and they serve as a nursery for these endangered frogs. so get rid of these last
remaining wetlands, it sets the precedent for future treatment of wetlands while they rapidly disappear across the world. while golf courses are rapidly increasing as population grows across the bay area, who needs protection? threatened and endangered red legged frog or golf courses? thank you. >> next speaker. good afternoon, my name is anthony [speaker not understood]. i study environmental science at san francisco state university. thank you for your time. i understand how it can be determined that consequences of this pumphouse project can have environmentally insignificant without doing a full e-i-r. a significant population of the
california red legged frog and these red legged frogs are protected under the law. so, any project that will harm these creatures shall at least be subject to considering alternatives especially [speaker not understood] alternative. [speaker not understood] was letting the waters rise above the vegetation they tolerate. so, i suggest -- i urge an environmental impact report be done otherwise these alternative will not be considered. thank you. good afternoon. my name is rose [speaker not understood]. i'm a resident of san francisco. when i came in, supervisor campos was speaking very eloquently in the way in which society takes care of our nonhuman creaturers reflects on our communities. and i think that is what is at issue right here. what we have right now is an