Your Complaint Matters!
Call the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) complaint hotline, 1-800-334-6367, every time there is a nuisance phenolic smell of burning pot handle/burning vehicle brake/acrid chemicals from Pacific Steel Casting Company (PSC). All complaints are recorded and investigated by the BAAQMD; your complaint can by used in regulatory proceedings and litigation. If you and the inspector both smell the odor and the inspector traces it to PSC, it becomes a confirmed complaint. Five confirmed complaints called in within a 24 hour period allow the inspector to issue a notice of violation to PSC. If PSC receives notices of violation, the BAAQMD may be forced to mandate cleanup.
How to Complain
1. Familiarize yourself with PSC’s emissions. When you happen to be near 2nd and Gilman streets, circle the blocks around 1333 Second Street to learn how the emissions from PSC smell.
2. Call BAAQMD at 1-800-334-6367 any time you smell PSC’s emissions in your area. They have an answering service available 24/7.
3. Say that you want to make a complaint about PSC plants 1, 2, and 3, where you believe the odor originates. Give your name and full address, including apartment number.
4. Describe the phenolic odor you smell of burning pot handle/burning vehicle brake/acrid chemicals coming from PSC.
5. Stay where you are and be patient until an inspector arrives (this may take a long time, depending how far away from you and how busy the inspector is when you call).
6. Tell the inspector:
- When you started smelling the burning brakes/burning pot handle/acrid chemicals
- How strong the smell was then and is now
- How the smell bothers you (you lose business, you feel compelled to: go inside, close windows, leave the area, etc.)
- What physical symptoms you experience, if any (i.e., irritated eyes or throat, nausea, headache, difficulty breathing, etc.)
7. Once you have had one face-to-face confirmed complaint, thereafter when you call to complain you can say you cannot wait for the inspector, but you’d like the inspector to leave a Complaint Declaration form for you. You must complete this form and get it to the inspector. (If the inspector confirms that the smell originated at PSC within 60 minutes of your phoned complaint, it can become a confirmed complaint when you submit the completed Complaint Declaration form.)
8. Please keep a log! Each time you smell PSC, write in the log:
- Description (burning brakes/burning pot handle/acrid chemicals and the like)
- Intensity of odor (very strong, strong, easily noticeable, faint, or very faint)
- If you called BAAQMD
- If an inspector came
- If the complaint was confirmed
Important: If at all possible write an individual statement to BAAQMD (not a form letter!) about each complaint you make including the log information and your signature. Keep a copy of all of your complaint log sheets, notes, phone calls, medical records and expenses. This information is vital when there is a public hearing or legal action. Thank you so much for helping the whole community!