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  • Writer's pictureMSNASF

What's News - September, 2023

Questions you might get answered here:

  1. Has the toxic PCE been cleaned up from the soil and air around 2550 Irving? If not, what can we do to help?

  2. Any new proposed activities in the neighborhood?

  3. What is SB 35 and how has it potentially changed the balance of power between individual citizens and state agencies?

  4. What organizations are tackling the issue of local control at the state level?

To answer the first question, NO, there has been no clean- up of the toxins.  In fact, DTSC, the Department of Toxic Substances Control, was tasked with a specific type of investigation, to assess whether PCE emanates from 2550 Irving St.  They purposely performed a test five times as expensive as the one requested by MSNA, one that experts note is done only when one wants to prove there are NO toxic substances in the area.  The Board of Appeals, which had specifically asked that the neighborhood’s concerns be addressed, was angered and disappointed.  Below are quotes from two of the commissioners on the Board of Appeals, who heard the neighbors’ case:

Commissioner Lemberg:  “ There are several things that smell here, for me.  Most notably the Department of Toxic Substances Control did not complete the tests asked for by the appellants.”

Commissioner Trasvina: “If we really believe in affordable housing, if we really believe in the public health of the people of San Francisco, and future people in San Francisco, then we have to do this right…. I am ready to grant the appeal of the neighbors, based on overreliance and misplaced deference to DTSC.”

Our appeal was denied, because two of the commissioners felt it was not in their jurisdiction to put limitations on affordable housing, given the passage of SB35. (*See below from more information on this bill.)

You can help by contacting us at and volunteering to be on an Advisory Group for DTSC.  We need  signatures to request an advisory committee that will have the leverage to pressure DTSC to remove what we believe are the spreading toxins from the area around 2550 Irving St.

New activities in the neighborhood include our application for a $5000 grant being offered by the city to beautify the neighborhood.  We are hopeful we will receive this grant and will contact you for your ideas on what is the most valuable way to spend it, if we are awarded the grant.

*SB35 is a legislative bill introduced by Representative Scott Weiner and passed at the state level.  It, in order to speed up the process of building affordable housing, takes away a great deal of the local control neighborhoods used to have over change in the community.  These building projects are shepherded through the permit process quickly.  There is no necessary notification of neighbors.  There is no ability to file an appeal for discretionary review.  Environmental concerns are also dealt with in a less detailed way.  This is called a “ministerial” approach.  Many of us feel that local control must not be completely stripped from the citizens of this state.  If you would like to learn more about this issue, I strongly recommend you look on line for Livable California.  This association is very active in informing everyone about new proposed legislation, lobbying in Sacramento, and attempting to return some local control to communities.

We would be very happy if any of you would like to join the Board.  This would involve meeting twice a month, via Zoom.  We could really use your input and energy.

Finally, please help support us financially.  Every dollar helps. 

You can drop off or mail checks to MSNA, 1221 27th Ave., S.F. 94122 or

Zelle to MSNA, using phone 415-425-2939.

Thanks for taking the time to read this letter.  We appreciate your engagement in your neighborhood. 

Flo Kimmerling

President MSNA


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