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America's Cup Environmental Report Certified; Appeal Expected


The San Francisco Planning Commission on Thursday voted to certify an environmental impact report pertaining to the America’s Cup. The report outlines how trash, traffic and other impacts from the events will be managed; the report must be certified before construction around the waterfront can begin.

Regatta organizers expect that neighborhood and environmental groups will appeal the vote, which would prompt the city’s Board of Supervisors to hold a hearing and potentially amend and certify the report in January.

Mark Buell, chairman of the America’s Cup Organizing Committee, a nonprofit charged with raising funds to help meet the costs of hosting the event, said that an appeal would not cause the competition to be delayed. Some races are scheduled for next year, but the main events will be held in the late summer of 2013.

“It’s a months delay, but it’s not a deal killer,” Buell said. “It’s just an inconvenience.”

Under conditions imposed by San Francisco lawmakers, race organizers must show they have raised $12 million to help meet the event's costs within seven days after the environmental impact report is certified. Eventually, they must raise $32 million.

Buell said an appeal would give his group more time to come up with that money.

“I have a lot of asks out. I’m saying publicly and I fully intend that I will meet the [$12 million fundraising] obligation," he said.

Update: An appeal was filed Friday by attorneys representing the groups San Francisco Tomorrow, Golden Gate Audubon Society, Waterfront Watch and Telegraph Hill dwellers. Read it here. More appeals are expected.

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