Maher Ordinance

The Maher Ordinance (Article 22A of the San Francisco Health Code) was adopted in 1986 to address concerns about exposure to hazardous substances encountered during redevelopment activities. The ordinance applied originally to the eastern side of the City near the historic Bay shoreline and areas of known Bay fill. It specified that all projects disturbing at least 50 cubic yards of soil be evaluated for the potential presence of soil or groundwater contamination prior to issuance of a grading or building permit.

In August 2013, the Maher Ordinance was amended to include sites with the following additional criteria:

  • Zoned or used for industrial occupancy, currently or historically;
  • Current or former presence of hazardous substances or underground storage tanks (USTs);
  • Located within 100 feet of a current or former USTs; and
  • Located within 150 feet of elevated freeways.

We can assist you with Maher Ordinance compliance through the following steps:

  • Prepare a Maher Application Form with a Site History Review;
  • Submit a Subsurface Investigation Work Plan for DPH approval;
  • Implement the Work Plan and submit a Subsurface Investigation Report;
  • Prepare and submit a Site Mitigation Plan for DPH approval; and
  • Prepare and submit the Final Project Report for DPH certification.

If required, mitigation actions will vary depending on the nature of the site contamination and the proposed development. Cost-effective measures for building on impacted sites, such as the use of vapor barriers, and the amendments to the Maher Ordinance provide a consistent process for the City to review and approve these mitigation measures.

Purchasers should be prepared to conduct thorough due diligence for the following sites: current or former gas stations, auto repair shops, manufacturing sites, former dry cleaner sites, or any site with a known or suspected history where hazardous substances were present, including sites with heating oil USTs.

Construction Dust Control Requirements

Article 22B of the San Francisco Health Code requires that applicants for projects of over a half-acre in size prepare and submit a map depicting the project location and all surrounding sensitive receptors (i.e. residences, schools, childcare centers, hospitals or other health-care facilities, or group living quarters) within 1,000 feet of the project. If the project occurs within 1,000 feet of a sensitive receptor, the project applicant must submit a site-specific dust control plan.

We can assist you with Article 22B compliance by preparing the project map and submitting it to the Director of Health for approval. We are also able to support you with preparing and submitting a site-specific dust control plan, which may include:

  • Design, implement, and evaluate best management practices for effective dust control;
  • Placement, monitoring, and recordkeeping of particulate dust monitoring stations;
  • Retaining an independent third party to conduct inspections for visible dust; and
  • Establishing a hotline for surrounding community members to call and report visible dust problems so that the Applicant can promptly fix those problem; posting signs around the site with the hotline number and making sure that the number is given to adjacent residents, schools and businesses.

Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans