February 2014

  • New Alliance Website
  • Alliance’s Year in Review
  • BAAQMD (Bay Area Air Quality Management District) Update
  • City of Berkeley Update
  • Cancer Update
  • What You Can Do

May 2014 bring all of us in the Alliance closer to good health and less toxic air! Thank you for steadfastly calling the BAAQMD Complaint Line (1-800-334-6367) whenever you smell PSC’s odor. It’s the best tool available for pressuring regulatory action.

New Alliance Website

We are proud to announce our new website, created by the Design Action Collective and one of the Alliance’s long-time members, David. The design Action Collective work was paid for by a grant from the Justice Fund of the San Francisco Foundation. David’s work was a very generous donation. Please visit the newly designed Alliance website and give us your feedback: westberkeleyalliance.org

Alliance’s Year In Review

During the past year, members of the Alliance attended several S.F. protests; one against the passage of the Keystone XL Pipeline and one to raise awareness about the dangers of climate change.

BAAQMD Update

The Alliance used a second grant from the Northern California Environmental Grassroots Fund of the San Francisco Foundation to pay for a wonderful attorney, Julia May, to write incisive public comments on behalf of the Alliance regarding the first draft of the BAAQMD metal melting rule.

Alliance members attended a number of important meetings at the BAAQMD:

  • providing vital input into two draft versions of the BAAQMD’s first metal melting rule
  • giving testimony at the BAAQMD Board’s meeting when it approved the BAAMD staff’s final draft metal melting rule
  • advocating for adoption of the changes recommended by the BAEHC (Bay Area Environmental Health Collaborative, of which the Alliance is proudly a member) to the BAAQMD’s proposed public participation plan.

City of Berkeley Update

The Alliance attended a public meeting convened by Linda Maio, city council member for 21 years in the district that houses PSC (Pacific Steel Casting Company). Maio has never called the BAAQMD complaint hotline, and she did not commit to using it in the future to complain about the nuisance odor. This is unfortunate because a confirmed complaint by an elected official carries the weight of five confirmed complaints by ordinary community members. Five ordinary confirmed complaints can lead to the BAAQMD issuing a notice of violation to industry, which is the path to legal action and fines in the absence of cleanup.

Cancer Update

It is with a very heavy heart that I inform members that my life partner of 40 years was very recently diagnosed and on February 16th died of a brain tumor. We had been active in the struggle to get PSC to clean up for more than 30 years before the diagnosis. I will continue to monitor and respond to Alliance e-mails, but the action alerts may be few and far between in the near future.

What You Can Do

Let’s all continue the struggle to insure that the air we breathe is safer for us, our families and all workers. Call the BAAQMD Complaint Hotline (1-800-334-6367), 24/7 whenever you smell any objectionable odor. Educate and organize your block!

Sincerely,
Janice
Volunteer
West Berkeley Alliance for Clean Air and Safe Jobs