Greenaction Releases Report on Harmful Pollution from Under-Regulated Concrete Plants in Bayview Hunters Point and Beyond, Exposing Lax Government Oversight of Air Pollution
SAN FRANCISCO, May 25, 2017 -- On behalf of Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, the Environmental Law and Justice Clinic at Golden Gate University School of Law today released a report, Concrete Manufacturers and the Regulatory Role of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, detailing the results of an investigation into Bay Area concrete batching plants, compliance with their air pollution permits and the air district’s failure to adequately regulate them. The report concludes that the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) inspected these concrete facilities only sporadically and, when it discovered permit violations unearthed by law students, it failed to take adequate and timely enforcement action. The report also faulted BAAQMD’s system for responding to Public Records Act requests as far too slow and incomplete.
“The bottom line is that the low-income, people of color residents of Bayview Hunters Point are continuing to bear the burden of industrial pollution, regulatory negligence, and environmental injustice in San Francisco, as it did in the past when it hosted the only power plants in the city,” said Bradley Angel, Executive Director of Greenaction.
The extensive investigation was conducted by law students and other staff of the Environmental Law and Justice Clinic at Golden Gate University Law School. Clinic students targeted three concrete manufacturers operating at Pier 92 in San Francisco and around the Bay Area: Cemex Construction Materials Pacific, LLC, Central Concrete Supply Co., Inc., and Hanson Aggregates Mid-Pacific, Inc.
The investigation found that these manufacturers that supply concrete to the many construction projects in the area violated air permitting rules intended to protect the public from emissions of particulate matter, which is harmful to health. Some of their operations evaded permitting altogether, providing no opportunity for regulating emissions, and other operations exceeded permit limits. Steve Castleman of the Clinic at Golden Gate University School of Law said, “BAAQMD needs to take enforcement more seriously. And it needs improve its response to Public Records Act requests to be more transparent.”
The investigation exposed flaws in BAAQMD’s enforcement program and its system for responding to Public Record Act requests. First, BAAQMD was too lenient. It responded to unpermitted operations and failure to keep records with a “fix-it” ticket, sanctioning violations of air regulations designed to protect health and to track violations. Second, BAAQMD’s response to Public Records Act requests is far too slow and incomplete.
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CONTACT Bradley Angel, Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, (415) 722-5270 (cell) or (415)447-3904 x 102 (office) - [email protected] Steve Castleman, Staff Attorney, Environmental Law and Justice Clinic at Golden Gate University School of Law, 415-442-6675 - [email protected]