Community Air Monitoring of
Pacific Steel Casting Company
West Berkeley Air monitoring

WBCMP GRANT: Environmental Monitoring of West Berkeley Industrial Neighborhood

Summary: Global Community Monitor (GCM) proposed to design and carry out a program of environmental monitoring in the West Berkeley industrial neighborhoods to identify various pollutants known to be emitted by point sources in the area.  The monitoring will be conducted by GCM staff and members of the public following training on methods accepted by the US EPA and other agencies.  Quality control and quality assurance methods, as well as chain of custody requirements will be observed and followed. Laboratories that follow US EPA and other similar accredited methods will be used to analyze samples.  All data will be publicly available. GCM received a grant of $25,000 from the BAAQMD for this activity and associated costs.

Proposal:  The program to conduct environmental monitoring in the West Berkeley industrial area will be known as the West Berkeley Community Monitoring Project or WBCMP.  The program has identified the Pacific Steel Casting (PSC) facility as the largest point source of a variety of air pollutants of concern.  The WBCMP has reviewed available information on the specific pollutants reported to be emitted by PSC for priority monitoring.  These metal pollutants include: Cadmium, Chromium, Copper, Lead, Manganese, Nickel, and Zinc in particle form. The WBCMP proposes to conduct monitoring for these priority emissions in areas beyond the property line of PSC, such as residential areas, public areas and nearby businesses.

Types of Monitoring:  In phase one, WBCMP will monitor the composition of particles found in the air by use of portable air samplers (mini-Vol PM 10) to gather particles on filters.  Filters will be analyzed for various metals know to be emitted by PSC by a laboratory using accepted methods and low detection limits in order to establish the presence of metals. Various sampling periods will be used including 24 hour and 8 hour periods.  Locations will be determined by the impacted community, proximity to the PSC facility, previous sampling results, wind direction and other reasonable criteria.

GCM will conduct and oversea training of community monitors to ensure protocols are followed and quality control/quality assurance is observed. Chain of custody and appropriate paperwork will accompany samples to the laboratory.  GCM will involve BAAQMD monitoring staff in training and oversight as deemed appropriate and helpful to the project.

Other types of monitoring:  Particle monitoring may also conducted by collecting dust and fallout from the air that distributes itself offsite.  Methods will include distribution of clean surfaces for collecting particles over a variety of time periods and other accepted methods of collecting particle samples.  Sampling will take into account methods to minimize interference of "reservoir" sources such as soil.  Input on methods to deal with "reservoir" sources will be sought from the BAAQMD.

Areas of specific sizes will be wiped and collected in order to estimate levels of contamination that may be occurring.  Results will be compared to risk comparison levels developed by the US EPA and other accepted entities. We will communicate the limitations of our testing methods as well as our findings and recommendations, especially for increased monitoring and pollution prevention at PSC.

Gaseous pollutants of concern reported by PSC include phenol and cresote.  Gases will be monitored using both passive and active sampling methods. Passive 'badge' samplers will be distributed offsite for absorption of gases over prescribed periods of time.  Active sampling will use accepted methods including calibrated flow pumps and appropriate collection devices.

Additional monitoring may be developed based on the results of initial monitoring and communicated in advance to the BAAQMD.

Budget:  Funding will be required for monitoring equipment, laboratory analysis, shipment of samples, related materials, training, oversight and data review. Budget   $25,000

Reporting:   A final report of funds expended, results of the sampling and recommendations will be provided to the BAAQMD within 60 days of completion of the initial project. Interim reports and updates will be provided upon request as soon as is practical.

Administration:  The grant would be administered by the Global Community Monitor a project of the Tides Center 2530 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702 a 501(c)3 organization.

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