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Environmental Due Diligence and Risk Management in San Francisco Soon to Become Even More Important

Posted in Agriculture Law

By Guest Blogger:

Pawel Woloszyn, President
Pacific Environmental Management, Inc.

A new ordinance that would expand the boundaries and types of projects where soil sampling would be required and add the requirement for groundwater sampling under certain circumstances appears set to be passed. An approved site mitigation plan would be required where applicable appearing most likely to include, but not be limited to, the potential for vapor intrusion. The proposed ordinance would modify the existing “Maher Ordinance” which has been in place since 1986 and be applicable to a much larger area of San Francisco real estate.

The Expanded Maher Map shows the area of real estate that the existing Maher Ordinance covers and the area of new real estate that would be affected. In general, San Francisco real estate potentially impacted by the proposed new ordinance includes, but is not necessarily limited to, property:

  • Bayward of the 1851 high-tide line;
  • in any area designated under Article 22A of the Health Code;
  • on any real estate presently or previously zoned or permitted for industrial use;
  • on any real estate within 150 feet of any elevated portions of the freeways;
  • on any real estate known or suspected to contain hazardous substances in soil or groundwater;
  • on any real estate known to contain or be within 100 feet of an underground storage tank.

With regard to real estate transactions, the seller or seller’s agent of property affected by the new legislation will be required to provide written disclosure to the buyer.

At its June 24 meeting, the Board of Supervisors Land Use and Economic Development Committee agreed to recommend to the full Board of Supervisors that the proposed legislation be passed. It requires two votes by the full Board to pass an ordinance in San Francisco. The voting is expected to occur at the July 9 and subsequent full Board meetings. If approved, the Mayor would then have 10 days to sign the legislation and it would become effective 30 days after. The Board of Supervisors Agenda Packet is consistent of the information package considered at the June 24 meeting.

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