Board of Supervisors Resolution 992082

[Sutro Tower Health and Safety Task Force]

ESTABLISHING A SUTRO TOWER HEALTH AND SAFETY TASK FORCE TO MAKE POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE MAYOR AND BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AND SETTING FORTH THE MEMBERSHIP AND DUTIES OF THE TASK FORCE.

WHEREAS, on October 17, 1989 at approximately 5:04 PM the Loma Prieta earthquake struck the San Francisco Bay Area and lasted 15 seconds, killing 67 people, crushing 42 lives trapped beneath the Cypress freeway, injuring 3,000 people, leaving 8,000 people temporarily homeless, destroying 1,000 houses, severely damaging 27,000 houses, and closing 140 roads; and

WHEREAS, Estimated property damage in Northern California exceeded $6 billion and damaged to Northern California extended for 3,000 square miles, reaching from Hollister to Sonoma County; and

WHEREAS, Because the Loma Prieta earthquake was centered in the Santa Cruz Mountains, 60 miles from San Francisco, the damage was not as extensive if the earthquake had been centered in San Francisco; and.

WHEREAS, Most leading seismologist predict that within the next 30 years there will be a 70 to 80 percent probability of an occurrence a 7.0 earthquake centered in San Francisco and potentially resulting in a death toll of over 5,000 people and property damage exceeding $100 billion; and

WHEREAS, The 977 feet Sutro Tower is the only such structure in the nation located within a densely populated urban area; and.

WHEREAS, Sutro Tower is situated within the Twin Peaks and Midtown Terrace neighborhoods and is surrounded by over 250 homes and apartment complexes, an elementary School and a hospital; and

WHEREAS, There are 149 unlicensed antennas installed on the Tower with the latest addition of a 12 ton HDTV antenna currently under construction; and

WHEREAS, The probability that these antennas might be ejected during a major earthquake poses a grave risk to residents who live within the Tower’s fall zone; and

WHEREAS, Groves of highly combustible Eucalyptus trees circumscribe the area adjacent to Sutro Tower and may contribute to the spread of fire onto surrounding residential homes; and

WHEREAS, Three City owned water reservoirs are also situated under the fall zone, including Summit Reservoir, Sutro Reservoir and the Fire Department's Water Cistern off of Palo Alto Avenue; and

WHEREAS, The surrounding area includes Christmas Tree Point which is the site of San Francisco's Emergency Broadcast and Emergency Telecommunications receivers and transmitters; and

WHEREAS, Designated as an "essential facility" to be relied for emergency broadcast during a major disaster, the function of Sutro Tower may be compromised in the event of a major earthquake; and

WHEREAS, The dynamic analysis performed for the Sutro Tower telecommunications tower was submitted to the Department of Building Inspection on June 10, 1999, which demonstrates that the Sutro Tower must be retrofitted in at least 379 areas; and

WHEREAS, The retrofit is required to prevent the collapse of the tower onto the surrounding community; and

WHEREAS, The Structural Advisory Committee advised the Department of Building Inspection that a rigorous, on-going maintenance program be employed in order to detect corrosion and other maintenance needs of the Sutro Tower; and

WHEREAS, Ongoing controversy pertaining to the proposed scope, extent of, and the disclosure requirements contained within the proposed inspection report submitted by Sutro Tower Incorporated presently exists; and

WHEREAS, The Peer Review Committee consisting of three pre-eminent experts in their respective fields unanimously concluded that further review of the retrofit plans for the tower be Peer Reviewed to ensure the validity of the retrofit plans; and

WHEREAS, The dynamic analysis also demonstrated that a 5 % chance exists that an earthquake will strike that is more powerful than the retrofit was designed to accommodate; therefore, let it be

RESOLVED, That the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco hereby creates an advisory task force which shall be called the Sutro Tower Health and Safety Task Force; and let it be

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the membership of the Task Force shall consist of:
* one (1) member appointed by the City Attorney from the City Attorney's Code Enforcement Task Force,
* one (1) member to include the Director of the Mayor's Office of Emergency Services or his/her appointed representative,
* one (1) member to include the Zoning Administrator of the San Francisco
Planning Department,
* one (1) member to include the director of the Department of Building Inspection or his/her appointed representative
* one (1) member to include the director of the San Francisco Water Department or his/her appointed representative,
* one (1) member to include the Chief of the San Francisco Fire Department or his/her appointed representative,
* two (2) members to include delegates from UCSF's children's oncology research program
* two (2) members appointed by the Twin Peaks Improvement Association,
* two (2) members appointed by the Midtown Terrace Homeowners Association,
* two (2) members appointed by Sutro Tower Incorporated, who are authorized to represent that entity,
* three (3) members who are the three representatives from the Structural Advisory Committee which convened March 13 and March 19, 1998
* three (3) members who comprise the Peer Review Group from who have reviewed the Dynamic Analysis; and let it be

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Sutro Tower Health and Safety Task Force shall monitor and make policy recommendations to the Board of Supervisors and draft an initial progress report by February 5, 2000 to be followed by a comprehensive report within six months of the formal establishment of the Task Force; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Sutro Tower Health and Safety Task Force should address the following major areas of concerns in addition to any further issues that may arise in the future:

A. Emergency Response and Follow Through

1. Have the various hazards posed by Sutro Tower to the City and County of San Francisco been adequately identified?

2. What are the hazards posed by Sutro Tower to the City and County of San Francisco as well as its residents ?

3. Is there coordination between the various City departments and community organizations to create a working emergency response program pertaining to the various hazard scenarios posed by Sutro Tower?

4. Has the City created a disaster plan to address the needs of the area and San Francisco in the event of Sutro Tower's collapse or failure ?

5. Has the Water Department created contingency plans to accommodate for the potential loss of three reservoirs in the area?

5. Can the hazards by Sutro Tower be mitigated ? If so, how ?

6. Can the needs of the residents be met after tower failure and if so how ?

7. Are there ways that insurance protection can be made available in the event of dam/reservoir failure? If so how?

B. Fire Mitigation Efforts

1. Are fire prevention efforts adequate to the unnecessary loss of life and property to the area in the event of Tower collapse ?

2. How can the City assist and expedite the implementation of fire mitigation measures ?

3. Are there ways to facilitate better coordination or review of Sutro Tower permit applications between the Fire Department, the Department of Building Inspection, the Code Enforcement Task Force, the Planning Department, and the Department of Public Health ?

4. What impact and hazards are posed by the underground fuel storage tanks?

5. Can these hazards be mitigated, if so how ?

C. Telecommunications Plan

1. What role does Sutro Tower presently play in the field of telecommunications?

2. Is it technologically possible to reproduce the broadcasting of digital television signals from another location in the Bay Area ?

3. Is it technologically possible to broadcast FM radio signals from another location in the Bay Area?

D. Potential Long Term Health Risks From Exposure To Radiation

1. Has the City ever conducted a long term epidemiological study of the potential health effects of exposure to radio frequency radiation ?

2. What health risks, if any, are posed by such long term exposure to radio frequency radiation?

3. What studies, both internationally and nationally, have been conducted to address this issue ?

E. Seismic Safety and Structural Integrity

1. What are the results of the Dynamic Analysis that was submitted to the Department of Building Inspection?

2. Does the Dynamic Analysis evaluate the behavior of the structure beyond the incipient failure of the 379 members and connections to the tower?

3. Should the study be done to evaluate the effects of the incipient failures on the Sutro Tower structure?

4. Does the Dynamic Analysis take into account or factor in the condition of the metal of the tower structure in its results?

5. What is the condition of the metal on the tower and would the condition of the metal have an impact on the results of the dynamic analysis?

6. Have non-destructive testing methods been employed in ascertaining the condition of the metal on the tower?

7. Have the welds and bolts been tested at the base of the tower?

8. Have the welds and bolts been tested using non-destructive methods at places other than the base of the tower?

9. If not, why not?

10. If so, what are the results?

11. Have the results been properly reviewed by the Department of Building Inspection?

and let it be

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Task Force will issue a comprehensive report detailing progress in the focus areas, addressed above, six months after its formation, and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That after the lapse of two years year, the Board of Supervisors will determine whether to continue the Task Force for an additional period of time or whether to sunset the Task Force.

SUPERVISORS AMMIANO and TENG

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