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1. Health Code Article 22A and Building Code Section 106A.3.2.4 work in concert to provide an important City process for identifying, investigating, analyzing and, when deemed necessary, remediating or mitigating hazardous substances in soils within specified areas of the City and County of San Francisco ("City").
2. These codes provide a specific, well-explained and equitable City process for investigating, analyzing and, when deemed necessary, remediating or mitigating hazardous substances in soils, under the oversight and supervision of the Department of Public Health ("Department"), the City agency with expertise in these matters.
3. The Department has overseen the Article 22A process for many years and it is the experience of the Department, given the nature of contamination that has been found on City sites, that these sites can be remediated or mitigated through methods such as removal, treatment, installation of vapor barriers, or covers, or by placing restrictions on uses or activities on the site to protect the environment or public health.
4. Health Code Article 22A, Public Works Code Article 20, and Building Code Section 106A.3.2.4 were previously limited in terms of their geographic coverage throughout the City, applying exclusively on the Eastern side of City, more specifically in areas near the Bay shoreline, and areas of known bay fill.
5. These Articles were also presently limited in terms of types of potential public health and safety hazards that they address.
6. There may be hazardous substances and conditions (e.g., groundwater contamination) that pose a potential threat to the public health and safety but were not previously within the scope of Article 22A.
7. Areas outside of the boundaries previously set in Health Code Article 22A, Public Works Code Article 20, and Building Code Section 106A.3.2.4 exist where, based upon historic zoning designation, land use, or site activity, there is a reasonable expectation of the potential for the soil and/or groundwater to contain hazardous substances that may pose public health or safety hazards during construction and with new uses authorized on the site.
8. In urban areas, emissions from paved roadways are a major source of atmospheric particulate matter. Paved road dust originates from pavement wear and decomposition, dustfall, litter, mud and dirt carryout, spills, biological debris, and erosion from adjacent areas. In an urban setting, vehicle exhaust and vehicle brake and tire wear are a source of zinc and copper in paved road dust. The authors of a 2006 study found that metal deposits increased in the immediate vicinity of a large freeway, and quickly reduced to urban background deposition rates between 10 meters (30 feet) and 150 meters (450 feet) downwind of the freeway, especially for copper, lead and zinc. Their results suggest: 1) the freeway is a significant source of copper, lead and zinc; and 2) these metals have substantial concentrations of larger particles emitted from the freeway due to the dispersion of road dust by vehicles traveling at high speeds. Lisa D. Sabin, et al., Dry Deposition and Resuspension of Particle-Associated Metals Near a Freeway in Los Angeles, Atmospheric Environment 40 (2006) 7528-7538.
9. The benefits of Health Code Article 22A to the City, the environment and the public health and safety can be expanded by broadening the geographic coverage and the types of potential contamination that fall within the scope of the law.
10. City departments that engage in regular maintenance and repair of City property and assets, long term capital projects, and emergency work are subject to these same public health and safety requirements with regard to soil and/or groundwater sampling and analysis. These departments will work with the Department of Public Health to develop protocols that use City resources efficiently and facilitate prompt response to emergencies, for any projects that may require soil and/or groundwater testing.
(Added by Ord. 155-13, File No. 130369, App. 7/25/2013, Eff. 8/24/2013)