East Bay Area neighborhood watchdog groups, environmentalists and community members got together on Wednesday to form the first Pacific Steel Protest Committee to heat up efforts to stop the west Berkeley-based steel foundry from emitting noxious fumes.
“We formed the committee to rally folks who want to deliver a direct and loud message to PSC,” said Willi Paul, director of Cleanaircoalition.net. “We hope to enlist the old guard and new activists in the fight to clean up the factory and our communitites. There are many groups in this struggle; some are pursuing a diplomatic approach, while a third group is working the courts.”
A federal court in San Francisco recently denied Oakland-based environmental nonprofit Communities for a Better Environment’s (CBE) request for a preliminary injunction against Berkeley-based Pacific Steel Casting. But CBE is hopeful that it will go on to win the actual trial, said staff attorney Philip Huang.
The CBE lawsuit alleges that west Berkeley-based PSC violated the air district’s permit with respect to the amount
of emissions from the steel foundry in