SFO deemed ‘impressive’ for environmental efforts

Though the new International Terminal caused electricity use to rise at San Francisco International Airport in 2001, SFO has reduced its water consumption, improved its recycling program and converted light fixtures to save 3.5 million kilowatt-hours annually, according to a recent report.

The San Francisco Airport Commission on Tuesday reviewed a report by the California Air Resources Board detailing big-ticket environmental issues such as environmentally safe buildings, natural resource management, noise abatement, water conservation and air quality, and how well the airport -s minimizing its footprint with regard to each.

The report is the first of what officials hope will become a regular update — wherein one comes out every two years — on the airport’s environmental impact, said Ivar Satero, airport deputy director of design and construction.

Carbon monoxide emissions dropped from 10.7 tons in 2003 to 6.7 tons in 2005, according to figures from the board. The amount of water consumed airportwide has also dropped, from 533 million gallons in 2004 to 479 million gallons in 2005.

Among the future goals for SFO is using a fleet of entirely clean-air vehicles, not just clean fuel, by 2012. The airport hopes to devote more capital funding to expand its solar energy program — having recently installed new solar paneling in Terminal 3 — an effort on which officials are expecting to work closely with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

“There is still more work to be done,” Satero said.

SFO and BART are already working in conjunction to promote energy efficiency, but both are trying to further encourage the use of public transportation for traveling to and from the airport.

“It’s a very impressive report for the first try,” commission President Larry Mazzola said.

tramroop@examiner.com

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