Ross Mirkarimi Pushes for Paperless San Francisco

Stack of paper.jpg
Your days are numbered, pal...
This morning, while lamenting the demise of his progressive Muni charter amendment, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi couldn't help but tell SF Weekly about the mind-blowing amounts of paper associated with the mind-blowingly long and complicated Hunters Point Naval Shipyard project.

This was understandable -- the massive amounts of paper sacrificed for little-read Environmental Impact Reports probably requires its own Environmental Impact Report. Well, now it can have one -- Mirkarimi is asking the City Attorney's office to help craft legislation that'd lead to documents longer than 10 pages being sent electronically. Nice idea -- but here's the funny part: SF Weekly wrote about this issue all the way back in January of 2009, after complaints about ridiculously long Environmental Impact Reports -- by Mirkarimi's office.

Back then, Mirkarimi staffer Rick Galbreath was -- literally -- overwhelmed by an EIR for the massive Hetch Hetchy Water Safety Improvement Project (He required our help to move the damn thing across the office). That report was composed of two full boxes stuffed with binders; each binder held 500 pages or more. More than 50 city officials received this encyclopedia-length report; perhaps 1 million pages are expended yearly on EIRs that, almost literally, no one reads.

That'll be CD Boy now, please...
And yet, really and truly green supes hoping to not have sheaves of paper thrust upon them can already get onto the "CD only" list. While it's not the overarching measure Mirkarimi hopes to enact, supes can talk to the planning department official overseeing a specific EIR that they'd rather not receive in paper.

Interestingly, Bill Wycko, the city's senior environmental review officer, said that any supe interested in opting out of paper EIRs should have called him. But none did. In fact, several supes lost EIRs and had to have hulkling second copies sent their way.

If Mirkarimi and the City Attorney succeed, however, even a phone call may not be necessary in the future. It remains to be seen how much paper will be expended to craft a law limiting the use of paper when crafting laws.

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