October 2011

  • Sign and mail a postcard for Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) endorsing the cumulative impacts resolution by the Bay Area Environmental Health Collaborative (BAEHC)
  • E-mail the BAAQMD Board of Directors about the BAEHC’s cumulative impacts resolution

2011 Cumulative Impacts Resolution

To protect overburdened communities, the BAAQMD needs to adopt a definition of cumulative impacts, as well as criteria and a methodology to make an enforceable rule.

The Alliance is a member of the BAEHC, a broad coalition of environmental justice and health organizations, which has written a cumulative impacts resolution that would have the BAAQMD adopt and incorporate the California EPA’s definition of “cumulative impacts” along with the criteria that incorporate multiple pollutant exposures as well as particular sensitivities and vulnerabilities that leave certain residents more susceptible to harm.

Cumulative impacts come from multiple sources of pollution. Members of the West Berkeley community are exposed to pollution from numerous mobile sources such as motor vehicles on the streets and freeway, trains, and planes, as well as stationary sources such as local facilities like Pacific Steel Casting Company (PSC) and collections of small scale polluters, e.g., dry cleaners, bakeries and woodsmoke-emitting chimneys.

West Berkeley is recognized by the BAAQMD as one of many Bay Area overburdened communities and is on the list for the BAAQMD Community Air Risk Evaluation (CARE) program. If the BAEHC cumulative impacts resolution is adopted, West Berkeley would see reductions in pollution through new initiatives, health-protective rules, and strong, enforceable Community Risk Reduction Plans (CRRPs).

Signing and mailing a BAEHC postcard is an easy and painless way to make your voice heard. Mail the signed postcard by November 5th, 2011 to:

Rosina Roibol, BAEHC Program Director
40 Jessie Street, Suite 536
San Francisco, California 94105-2968

The signed postcards from Bay Area residents will be delivered to the BAAQMD Board members at the upcoming November 16th Board meeting.

Thank You for Doing Your Part!

What you can do:

  • Give a postcard to a neighbor or friend to sign!
  • E-mail BAAQMD Board members telling them to adopt the BAEHC’s cumulative impacts resolution
  • Educate and organize your block about PSC and the cumulative impacts resolution
  • Call the BAAQMD complaint hotline 24/7 when you smell PSC’s odors (1-800-334-6367)

July 2011

  • Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) releases draft metal melting rule—demand the strongest possible metal melting rule!
  • City council resolution to stop ICE audit of I-9 forms of PSC union workers

2011 Draft Metal Melting Rule

Under pressure from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the BAAQMD has drafted a metal melting rule. The draft rule was ready in September of 2010, but wasn’t released to the public until June 23, 2011. The public now has 30 days to submit written public comments on the draft rule counting down from the June 23rd date of release.

The Alliance and other environmental allies are negotiating with the BAAQMD to schedule more than one public workshop in the East Bay, to extend the written public comment period to 60 days, and to begin the clock on submission of written public comments after the public workshops have been completed. The Alliance hopes to host a community meeting before the public workshop is held in Oakland. (We meet with the BAAQMD staff to negotiate all of the above on July 20th.)

This rule should put limits on toxics, odors and fine particles from foundries like PSC, as well as other scrap metal recycling facilities. Our ally Global Community Monitor has estimated that there are about 130 Bay Area facilities that would be affected by this first-of-its-kind metal melting rule.

The BAAQMD has posted the Draft Regulation, Rule Notice and Report for Proposed Regulation 12, Rule 13 on Metal Melting and Processing Facilities (look at 6/23/11 for Draft Rule 12-13: Metal Melting and Processing Facilities, especially the Plain Language Summary).

City Council ICE Resolution

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is conducting an audit at Pacific Steel Casting Company (PSC) of union workers’ I-9 employment verification forms. Alliance members attended the 6/28/11 city council meeting to support PSC union workers and to recommend that the council adopt the resolution to urge ICE to stop its audit at PSC. Councilmember Arreguin’s resolution was adopted by the council with three abstentions. PSC’s GMP Local 164-B workers were very grateful for the Alliance’s support.

Thank You for Doing Your Part!

What you can do:

  • Call the BAAQMD complaint hotline 24/7 when you smell PSC’s odors (1-800-334-6367)
  • Educate and organize your block about PSC and the draft metal melting rule
  • Attend the upcoming Alliance community meeting (date to be announced)
  • Attend the proposed BAAQMD public workshop on the draft metal melting rule. Industry lobbies BAAQMD board members, so we must make our voices heard, too:

Wednesday, July 27th
MTC Auditorium
101 Eighth Street
Oakland, CA
6-7 pm (Open House)
7-9 pm (Public Workshop)

  • E-mail the BAAQMD board members to adopt the most stringent, health protective metal melting and processing facilities rule