Maher Ordinance

The Maher Ordinance (Article 22A of the San Francisco Health Code) was adopted 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 specifies 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 help you comply with the Maher Ordinance 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 can 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, provide a relatively straightforward process for developers to achieve compliance with the Maher Ordinance.

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 the following:

  • Designing and implementing best management practices for effective dust control;
  • Placing, monitoring, and record-keeping 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.

Construction Site Runoff Control Ordinance

Effective January 1, 2014, the Construction Site Runoff Control Ordinance (Article 4.2 of the San Francisco Public Works Code) requires that any construction project within San Francisco where 5,000 or more square feet of ground surface will be disturbed must first obtain a Construction Site Runoff Control Permit prior to the commencement of any land-disturbing activities. The ordinance also requires that a site-specific Erosion and Sediment Control Plan be included with the permit application. The site-specific Erosion and Sediment Control Plan must include the following:

  • the location and perimeter of the project site;
  • the location of nearby storm drains and/or catch basins;
  • existing and proposed roadways and drainage patterns at the site;
  • a drawing or diagram of the proposed sediment and erosion control devices to be used.

We are also able assist you with the required daily inspection, maintenance, and reporting requirements. 

Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans

For projects that disturb one or more acres of soil, the California Construction General Permit (2009-0009-DWQ) requires the development and implementation of a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). Construction activity subject to this permit includes clearing, grading and disturbances to the ground (e.g., stockpiling or excavation).

David Teter, PE is a qualified SWPPP designer and practitioner (QSD/QSP) who can assist you by developing a SWPPP containing a site map which shows the construction site perimeter, existing and proposed buildings, lots, roadways, stormwater collection and discharge points, general topography (both before and after construction) and drainage patterns across the project. The SWPPP will list best management practices (BMPs) that will be used to protect stormwater runoff and the note placement of those BMPs. In addition, the SWPPP will contain a visual monitoring program; a chemical monitoring program for "non-visible" pollutants to be implemented if there is a failure of BMPs; and a sediment monitoring plan if the site discharges directly to a impaired or threatened water body on the 303(d) list for sediment.

We are also able to assist you with the required inspections, BMP maintenance, monitoring, and reporting requirements.