Pacific Steel Casting Final Emissions Report Released

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday March 06, 2007

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District reviewed Pacific Steel Castings’s (PSC) final emissions inventory report and released it to the City of Berkeley and the public on Feb. 23. 

In an e-mail statement to community members, District 1 councilmember Linda Maio, who represents the neighborhood the West Berkeley based steel foundry falls in, said the report was completely open. 

“This means that PSC has not withheld any information as ‘trade secrets’, as we previously thought they might,” she said. “The report will serve as the basis for completion of the health risk assessment.” 

Under the Air Toxics “Hot Spots” Information and Assessment Act of 1987, PSC’s Berkeley Facility is required to quantify air emissions of listed substances resulting from operations at the facility. 

Berkeley Hazardous Materials Manager Nabil Al-Hadithy told the Planet on Thursday that the report of the emissions from the three plants at PSC contained a year’s worth of analysis. 

“The data itself will not tell us anything about the health risks involved,” he said. 

“The information will be transferred into a dispersion model after which the doses will be converted into a health risk assessment report.” 

The dispersion model is software created by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment—part of the California Department of Health Services—which has been employed by the air district to carry out the assessment.  

Consultants from the city as well as PSC have started working on the health risk assessment report which will be available in mid-April. 

ENVIRON International Corporation assisted PSC with the development of the final environmental impact report (EIR). The report summarizes the methods used by ENVIRON to develop emission estimates for the EIR and provides the results to the air district for their final review and approval. 

The report includes a description of the facility and its processes, the substances used, produced, or present at the Facility and the processes and equipment that emit the listed substances and ENVIRON’s emissions estimation methodologies for these substances at relevant process units at the Facility. 

Located at 1333 Second St., PSC produces steel castings that are used in different industries. Area residents have complained for years about noxious odors and emissions which they feel impose a health risk.  

A previous version of the emissions report was submitted to the air district on Nov. 16, 2006. 

This final version of the report incorporates the changes asked by the district in its Feb. 5 letter to PSC. 


The inventory report can be found at www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/council1/images/PSC_EIR_021507.pdf