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Public Policy Newsletter

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April 28, 2017

Local Affairs

First Ever Earth Day Reception Showcases Member Sustainability Advances 
On April 20th, Biocom members gathered to celebrate Earth Day while learning more about San Diego's sustainable business solutions through local San Diego partners and Biocom Purchasing Group suppliers. Biocom’s Public Policy team proudly works with our member companies to achieve their sustainability goals by connecting them with government and consultant resources, sharing best practices at events and through our Biocom Facilities Committee, and showcasing member companies that are implementing sustainable practices.

A panel presentation was moderated by Biocom’s Director of Regional Policy and Government Affairs, Melanie Cohn. She opened with an overview of state legislation AB 32, which in 2006 created landmark rules to cut California GHG to 1990 levels by 2020. A main vehicle for achieving this is the enacting of local Climate Action Plans; Melanie shared San Diego’s plan, which includes ambitious goals such as providing 100% of city energy from renewable sources and 50% of workers commuting via alternative transportation.

Jason Moorhead, Vice President of Asset Services at Alexandria Real Estate Equities, gave information on Alexandria’s first LEED Platinum certified property at Campus Pointe, efforts related to transportation demand management, and a wide variety of offered amenities that encourage tenants to choose sustainable options. Doug Holdhusen, Regional Sales Manager for Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Laboratory Equipment Division, shared innovative waste management practices from Thermo Fisher’s zero waste to landfill factories. Products available to their clients include refrigerators, freezers, and cabinets that support GHG initiatives. Finally, Jay Faught with SANDAG detailed how the agency is working with life science employers to adopt commuter policies and encourage alternative transportation uses. Many Biocom member companies are taking advantage of the programs offered by SANDAG to incentivize cycling, carpooling, and taking transit to work.

After the panel, attendees moved to the Farmer & the Seahorse lawn to mingle and visit member displays for available products and resources that can make it easier to operate an environmentally responsible business. Thanks again to our panelists and attendees for joining us at the event and supporting sustainable initiatives.

Save the Date for our First Bay Area Facilities/EH&S Committee Meeting
Biocom’s expanding presence will include new 2017 Facilities and Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) activities in Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Save the Date for our first Facilities/EH&S Committee meeting in the Bay Area on May 23rd!

The Facilities/EH&S Committee will provide facility managers and Environmental Health & Safety professionals the opportunity to share best practices, network with peers, and participate in continuing education opportunities. If someone in your company deals with issues such as permitting, inspections, fire department, hazardous waste, and/or real estate, that person would be the ideal contact for this new committee. Often, this would be someone in operations who doesn’t necessarily have facilities or EH&S in his or her title. For more information contact Melanie Cohn, Director of Regional Policy & Government Affairs, at or 858-832-4158.

Biocom Supports Port of SF Mission Bay Ferry Landing
In an effort to keep San Francisco’s Mission Bay area (home to hundreds of life science companies) consistently vibrant and accessible, Biocom has signed onto a letter to San Francisco Transportation Authority Executive Director Tilly Chang in support of the port’s Mission Bay ferry landing.

The Mission Bay Ferry Landing will provide regional ferry service to and from the Mission Bay neighborhood. The proposed terminal can alleviate current regional transportation overcrowding, and provide transportation resiliency in the event of an earthquake, BART or Bay Bridge failure, or other unplanned events. The project will complete and complement the integrated transportation system, connecting to local MTA transit, the Bay Trail and the city’s newest bi-directional protected cycle-track. The landing has the potential to reduce congestion and improve safety for workers and visitors by keeping extra cars off the streets. 

Biocom, along with member companies in Mission Bay, is communicating with local government to encourage the SFTA to grant this project the necessary funds to construct this new facility. As of this time, signatories to the letter include:

Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.
Assembly Biosciences, Inc.
Bayer HealthCare
Celgene, Inc.
EcoR1 Capital, LLC
FibroGen, Inc.
Illumina, Inc.
Nektar Therapeutics
OncoSynergy, Inc.
Pfizer CTI-SF
Siluria Technologies, Inc.
Silver Creek Pharmaceuticals

Biocom Holds Successful Roundtable with San Diego City Councilmembers
On March 29th, Biocom hosted Councilmembers Barbara Bry and Chris Ward for a roundtable discussion on issues important to the life science industry in San Diego. Matt Yagyagan also participated in the roundtable representing Councilmember Georgette Gomez. These three councilmembers were elected in November, and Biocom organized the event to forge connections between these newly elected officials and our members.

A variety of issues were covered during the open format discussion, including threats to NIH funding (San Diego received over $838 million in NIH funding in 2016), flooding in Sorrento Valley, the city’s Pure Water program and continuing access to non-potable reused water via purple pipe, preservation of Prime Industrial Land, and processing building permits through the city’s Development Services Department. Councilmembers Bry and Ward expressed their support for the industry and pledged to work with Biocom members on city issues important to them. 

Biocom will continue to advocate for city infrastructure improvements as the proposed budget threatens to cutback resources due to pension obligations. We look forward to working more with Councilmembers Bry, Ward, and Gomez, and thank them for taking the time to meet with our members.
Upcoming Public Policy Events
First Bay Area Facilities/EH&S Committee Meeting
May 23, 2017
12:00 PM