Appeal Filed Against Pacific Steel Odor Reduction Permit

By Suzanne La Barre
Friday June 02, 2006

L. A. Wood has filed an appeal to the Zoning Adjustments Board’s (ZAB) decision to modify a use permit that allows Pacific Steel Casting to construct odor pollution reducing facilities. 

Wood, a longtime critic of the steel company, submitted the appeal to the City Council May 29. He accuses ZAB of violating open meeting laws, inadequately scrutinizing the odor reducing technology and failing to require a full environmental review. ZAB approved the modified use permit for the $2 million carbon abatement system May 11.  

Wood is also demanding that City Council, which will hear the appeal, impose mitigations on one of the polluting sources at Pacific Steel. 

Pacific Steel, at 1333 Second St., has been the subject of complaints from West Berkeley residents for more than two decades. The foundry emits an odor many liken to the stench of a burning pot handle. 

Implementation of a carbon abatement system is the upshot of a settlement agreement reached between Pacific Steel at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District in December. The settlement issued Pacific Steel $17,500 in fines for emissions violations and required the company to take measures to curb odor. 

Wood said he expects the appeal to go before City Council June 13 or June 27.