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Department of Planning & Development
Department of Planning & Development

Environmental Quality

I. Strategic Statement

West Berkeley in many ways is the environmental "frontline" of Berkeley. It is adjacent
to the Bay and Interstate 80, and contains the Southern Pacific Railroad and all or part of
Berkeley's 2 State highways. West Berkeley has Berkeley's largest concentration of users
of hazardous materials, such as manufacturers, laboratories, and auto repair shops.
West Berkeley also has a thinner network of public transportation network than the rest
of Berkeley, forcing greater reliance on automobiles for transportation. In this special--
and especially vulnerable--context, citywide policies and strategies to protect and
improve the environment become particularly crucial for maintaining West Berkeley's
productive diversity of industrial, residential, and commercial land uses.

Environmental strategies are found throughout the West Berkeley Plan because
achieving good environmental quality is a key goal of the Plan. Environmental
measures are found particularly in the Transportation, and Land Use Elements, as well
as this Environmental Quality Element. This Element establishes the environmental
measures necessary to maintain a balance between a viable and productive economy --
which provides economic opportunity (and funds environmental protection efforts)--
and a decent, safe, and sanitary residential community and work environment.
Implementation has already begun on a great many of its measures. The Plan is
premised not on the displacement of existing manufacturers, but rather on the
improvement of their (as well as other business', institutions', and households')
environmental practices.

This Element's goals and policies complement those of the Transportation and Land Use
(and Economic Development) Elements. The Land Use and Transportation Elements
provide environmental protection through a gradation of zoning/land use districts, the
careful selection of permitted and prohibited uses, strategies to reduce single occupant
vehicle trips, and a set of appropriate development standards. The environmental goals
and policies that follow are based on a strategy of increased communication,
community participation, regulatory coordination, and a spirit of cooperation and
compromise. In particular this Element addresses community awareness and the
regulatory process, as well as 5 specific areas of concern: Hazardous Materials,
Biohazardous Materials, Air Quality, Soils and Groundwater, and Noise. On the
positive side, the Element briefly reviews the actual activity and potential for further
activity of recycling in West Berkeley.

II. Background
A. General Introduction

On some fundamental levels, the environmental quality of West Berkeley is good and
improving. The Bay Area overall has almost the lowest air pollution of the 20 largest
American metropolitan areas, with most measures showing continued improvement.
West Berkeley, with its strong prevailing westerlies from the Bay and the ocean, shares
in this favorable circumstance. Drinking water, supplied by the East Bay Municipal
Utilities District (EBMUD), is high quality, drawn from clean Sierra sources.

Yet there are unquestionably serious environmental issues in West Berkeley. Interstate
80 is a major emitter of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and reactive organic gases,
joined by some industrial users. There is significant use of hazardous materials in
industries and households, causing the potential for environmental problems. Aquatic
Park has suffered water quality problems, many other sites have contaminated soils.
The ground itself can be a cause for concern in West Berkeley, given that it has
liquefaction potential in earthquake, particularly west of 3rd St. (Southern Pacific RR).

These environmental stresses do not occur in splendid isolation in West Berkeley--
because from virtually its beginnings as Oceanview until today West Berkeley has
encompassed the full range of uses from "heavy" industrial to residential. Conflicts
over noise, odors and sometimes more severe problems are virtually structured into this
pattern. Some previous planning efforts sought to deal with these conflicts by
eliminating either the residential or the industrial component. The West Berkeley Plan
by contrast recognizes conflicts, seeks to reduce them, and seeks to improve
environmental performance while maintaining a mix of uses.

The response to these issues has come from a variety of levels, resulting in a complex of
federal, state, regional, and local environmental regulations to protect both residents
and workers. The appropriate level for regulation continues to be discussed, especially
in the legislature. State laws are often particularly far-reaching. This growing mass of
sometimes duplicative legislation can bewilder and irritate businesspeople. Yet the
multiplication of laws does not necessarily produce effective enforcement, particularly
if resources are not available to enforce them. And some Berkleyans express frustration
about what they see as a lack of effective environmental protection.

The West Berkeley Plan Preferred Land Use Concept has a healthy environment as a
central goal, without destructive overregulation of West Berkeley's economic base. One
impediment to developing and evaluating environmental strategies is lack of data--local
data on environmental conditions is not yet as well as developed as for areas such as
housing, economic development, or transportation. Many environmental problems are
broadly regional or site specific, limiting the availability of data about West Berkeley as
an area. Over time more relevant data should be available.

This Element of the West Berkeley Plan, along with the Land Use and Transportation
Elements lays out the environmental policy framework and strategies of the West
Berkeley Plan. This Element discusses goals, policies, and implementation measures in
the areas of environmental review generally, hazardous materials, soils and
groundwater, air quality, noise, and biohazardous materials. The Environmental
Quality Element incorporates one of the most detailed programs for City action of any
West Berkeley Plan Element.

Appendix A--Environmental Strategies and Implementation Measures-- is a 1992
evaluation of a set of generally shorter range strategies in these areas which the West
Berkeley Plan Committee put forward for review. In many cases, as the Appendix
describes, the City is already implementing programs in these areas. Taken as a whole,
the goals, policies, and implementation measures in the Element and the Appendix are
designed not only to address specific environmental concerns, but to improve the
environmental regulatory process as well.

B. Hazardous Materials--Use & Disposal
1. Existing Conditions

Hazardous materials raise environmental concerns because they may be released into
the air, water, or soil, and then pose a threat to people who are on site or nearby. In
recent years, most businesses and institutions have tried to reduce their use of
hazardous materials, in part because it has become increasingly expensive to handle
them. However, for many manufacturers, laboratories, and service providers, there are
as yet no adequate substitutes for many hazardous materials.

Hazardous materials releases can occur during any of the stages of use of hazardous
materials. These stages are: first, hazardous materials of various types are acquired and
stored by a business or institution. Secondly, these hazardous materials are used in the
production of a (generally) non-hazardous product or provision of a non-hazardous
service (e.g. chlorine is used to clean swimming pools). Finally, a typically much smaller
quantity of hazardous waste is produced as the outcome of the production/service
process. Hazardous wastes represent those portions of hazardous materials nor
consumed or transformed during the production process.

At present, there is no comprehensive source of current data on the hazardous materials
or the hazardous waste stream from Berkeley. City records are not yet adequate to
assess the overall level of hazardous materials use in West Berkeley. As of November,
1992, 256 users of hazardous materials in West Berkeley have registered with the City.
There may be additional users of hazardous materials who have failed to register. West
Berkeley has more hazardous materials users than any other area, but the largest single
users in Berkeley are UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley Labs. The users range from
gas stations and auto repair shops to foundries and pharmaceutical companies. The
City--in the office of Toxics & Emergency Management--is currently assembling a data
base on the various hazardous materials used by different companies and institutions.

West Berkeley hazardous materials users are generally found on commercial corridors
and in "heavier" industrial areas. San Pablo Ave. has --by preliminary court--some 67
users of hazardous materials/generators of quantities of hazardous waste sufficient to
require the filing of a Business Plan. However, these businesses are largely auto repair
shops, whose main waste is small quantities of used oil. The Mixed Use/ Light
Industrial district--which is the largest non-residential district in West Berkeley--has the
largest number of users/generators--95. These businesses are not concentrated--
spreading from the Emeryville to the Albany line, from near San Pablo Ave. to the
railroad track. Hazardous materials users in this district largely consist of auto repair
shops, wholesalers, and light manufacturers. The smaller Manufacturing and Mixed
Manufacturing districts have smaller numbers of hazardous materials users--27 and 15
respectively. However, these users tend to be larger and "heavier", such as foundries,
chemical plants, and pharmaceutical plants. Finally, the Mixed Use/Residential district
has some 25 hazardous materials users, including auto repair shops, light
manufacturers, and wholesalers.

Data on the waste stream is somewhat outdated. The most comprehensive data now
available are the 1986 figures contained in the Alameda County Hazardous Waste
Management Plan. The Plan indicates that Berkeley generated 6,248 of the 85,107 tons
of hazardous waste generated countywide. Thus Berkeley generated slightly over 7% of
the County's waste stream, while representing slightly under 9% of the County's
population. Berkeley wastes were made up of 3,267 tons of manifested waste, 2,744
tons from small generators, an estimated 160 tons from households, and an estimated 77
tons from tank cleanups. While no data is available for West Berkeley specifically, we
may safely assume it provided a major part of the waste stream. Non-West Berkeley
contributors include the University of California, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory,
private laboratories, auto repair shops, and gas stations.

The composition of manifested wastes (those wastes shipped offsite) from Berkeley was
dominated by "Miscellaneous Waste" (40%) which includes inorganic solids, aged
organics, empty containers, photo and lab wastes, household wastes, pharmaceuticals,
and asbestos. Soils contaminated by leaks or spills represented 21% of the waste
stream. Non-halogenated solvents (solvents whose composition does not include
chlorine) accounted for an additional 18% of the manifested waste. The wastes
represented a wide range of hazard levels.

Since 1986, source reduction and pollution prevention efforts seem to have reduced the
waste stream. One major change is a dramatic reduction in hazardous waste disposal by
DeSoto, Inc (now Courtalds). DeSoto's 1,104 tons disposed of in 1986 accounted for 34%
of Berkeley's manifested waste stream and 18% of the city's total hazardous waste

2. Regulatory Framework

There are over 15 major state, federal, and local laws which regulate the use of
hazardous materials and waste in (West) Berkeley. Each has a variety of complex
reporting, inspection, and monitoring programming requirements. Virtually any
business using hazardous materials in Berkeley is required to submit a Hazardous
Materials Management Plan, which contains basic information on the facility, materials
used there, and emergency response plans for handling incidents. Risk Management
and Prevention Programs, specifying engineered backup safety systems--to protect the
community in the event of a primary systems failure, are required for a small number of
large scale hazardous materials users. Berkeley's own Disclosure Ordinance also
requires users to disclose known carcinogens or reproductive health hazards that they
use. Alameda County is preparing to adopt a Hazardous Waste Management Plan, to
coordinate and guide hazardous waste management in the County. The City has
recently enacted 2 hazardous materials Ordinances--the Ozone Depleting Compounds
Ordinance (July, 1989) and the Hazardous Waste Importation Regulation Act (Feb.
1991), and is considering adoption of a Pollution Prevention Act.

C. Biohazardous Materials--Use and disposal
1. Existing Conditions

Biohazardous materials are specific subset of hazardous materials. Biohazardous
materials are those with the potential to cause infection and disease. Such materials are
used in West Berkeley by "biotechnology" manufacturers, by laboratories, and to lesser
extent by medical, dental, and veterinary offices (which are relatively rare in West
Berkeley). Biotechnology is a growing industry in the Bay Area, and one which Berkeley
is well positioned to capture--thus it may well expand in West Berkeley in the years

2. Regulatory Framework

The use and disposal of biohazardous materials is regulated by a very extensive
network of state, federal, and local law. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has
developed Guidelines for use of recombinant DNA. One of the requirements of the
Guidelines is establishment of an Institutional Biosafety Committee at each site using
DNA. The manufacture of pharmaceuticals intended for human use is regulated by the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA not only inspects the final product, but
inspects manufacturing facilities to insure that they follow Current Good
Manufacturing Practices. (Bio) hazardous waste generation and management are
regulated by state statutes such as the California Hazardous Waste Control Law. The
City has been restructuring its regulation of biohazards. A former City Ordinance, now
repealed, dealt solely with recombinant DNA, and required public hearings to use it.
Current City law is much broader and includes disclosure requirements for such items
as the use of biosafety level 2 and 3 organisms, safety and health information for
emergency responders, and certification of compliance with safe laboratory practices.

Miles, Inc. is the largest biotech company in Berkeley. The Development Agreement
which they recently signed with the City (which will allow them to pursue a 30 year
development program) contains a number of measures to both reduce the risk of
biologically hazardous material, and to increase community awareness about the topic.
Miles' Waste Reduction program applies to biohazardous material as well as other
hazardous material, a requirement which goes beyond current California law.
Similarly, Miles' Risk Communication program incorporates material about biohazards
as well as "conventional" hazardous material.

The State of California adopted the 1991 Medical Waste Management Act. The Act
regulates the generation, transportation, disposal, and treatment of medical wastes.
Medical waste generators include medical and dental offices, clinics, hospitals,
laboratories of all types, veterinary treatment facilities, and pet shops. The state's
expectation was that local "Administering Agencies" such as the City of Berkeley would
administer the Act's regulations. However, upon reviewing the costs of administration
and the state's proposed fee structure, the City decided not to assume responsibility for
the program. This decision was also made by a majority of the other administering
agencies in the state.

D. Soil and Groundwater Contamination
1. Existing Conditions

Soil and groundwater contamination can occur if hazardous materials (or biohazardous
materials) are not handled safely. Such contamination can be caused by incidents, such
as a spill of materials. It can also result from losses of material during operation of a
facility. Leaks from underground tanks have been a particularly common source of
contamination. Typically, contamination is a site by site issue, but if contaminants have
leaked into the groundwater there can be "plumes" of contaminants to neighboring
properties. Soil and groundwater contamination is more dispersed throughout Berkeley
than some other environmental problems. Of the properties in Berkeley known to have
experienced underground tank leaks, less than half are in West Berkeley. These leaks
occurred at a great variety of types of uses--manufacturers, gas stations, auto repair
facilities, private and University-related laboratories, apartment buildings (out of
heating fuel tanks), and other types of sites.

2. Regulatory Framework

Like other environmental arenas, soil and groundwater contamination is subject to both
state and local regulation. The California Health and Safety Code sets out the basic
requirements that all underground tanks be registered, that permits be obtained before
they are installed, and that they meet construction and operating standards. The
Uniform Fire Code--which the City of Berkeley adopts as its own Fire Code--also
includes provisions concerning fire safe fuel storage and tank installation. The Regional
Water Quality Control Board is responsible for monitoring the cleanup of hazardous
materials that have contaminated groundwater. The State Department of Health
Services is responsible for approving soil remediation goals, and thus has overlapping
jurisdiction with the Regional Board. Once contamination is detected, soils and
groundwater must be remediated before sites can be released for further use.

The City's Toxics and Pollution Prevention Program acts as lead agency and
administering agency for the Regional Board, and therefore oversees granting of
permits, monitoring of conditions, tank removal, and release investigations. However,
closure--regulatory signoff than work is completed--on sites with hazardous wastes is
handled by Alameda County rather than the City of Berkeley.

E. Air Quality
1. Existing Conditions

While environmental problems related to hazardous materials are site specific, air
quality problems tend to spread across multiple sites. Depending on the source of air
pollutants, and the particular pollutant being emitted, the problem may spread over a
greater or lesser area. Unlike some parts of the Bay Area, air quality in Berkeley meets
clean air standards almost every day of the year.

Transportation is the greatest source of air quality problems in the Bay Area. Over half
of the background concentration of toxic air contaminants in the Bay Area comes from
motor vehicles (cars, trucks, and other vehicles). Motor vehicle emissions account for
83% of ambient carbon monoxide, 43% of human-caused reactive organic gases (gases
which react with nitrogen oxide in sunlight to form dangerous low level ozone), and
56% of nitrogen oxides. The remainder come from a variety of stationary sources,
notably fuel combustion by utilities, manufacturers, and households. Use of paints,
solvents, and chemicals, in manufacturing, business, and household situations also
contributes. The most severe problem in the Bay Area (although relatively mild by
large metropolitan area standards) is ozone in photochemical smog. Particulate matter
has also become an increasing concern. West Berkeley's foremost local air pollution
problem--likely to get worse with worsening traffic conditions-- is Interstate 80. There
are also other major roads and some major manufacturers contributing to pollution

2. Regulatory Framework

Authority to regulate air pollution descends from the federal government to the state
government to regional agencies. In California, the California Air Resources Board
coordinates and oversees both the Federal and State air pollution control programs.
These are implemented through regional districts. In West Berkeley, the Bay Area Air
Quality Management District (BAAQMD) is responsible for both air quality planning
and enforcement. The District has recently adopted a Clean Air Plan which includes a
number of Transportation Control Measures and controls on stationary sources in an
effort to bring the Bay Area as close as possible to 100% attainment of state pollution
standards. Specifically, the Plan seeks to reduce per capita exposure to pollutant levels
above the state standards by 50% by 1994 and by 75% by 1997 (it should be noted that
inland valleys, San Jose, and Vallejo are more likely to have excessive pollutant levels
than the East Bay). For air emissions compliance, the District has a full-time Berkeley
inspector, and the Toxics Program maintains a reciprocal referral and monitoring
system with BAAQMD for responding to air quality complaints.1

BAAQMD has enacted on a regulation which would require every employer of over 100
people in the region to develop measures to increase "Average Vehicle Ridership"--to
increase the number of people who commute by transit, carpool, bicycle, and other
"alternative" means. The City could accept "delegation" of authority from BAAQMD to
implement this Program, but has chosen not to do so at this time. The City's Trip
Reduction Ordinance complements this regulation. It requires--among other provisions-
-that employers designate a commute coordinator and provide information about
alternatives to driving alone to their employees (see the Transportation Element)

F. Noise
1. Existing Conditions

Like air quality, noise is a problem of contamination of the ambient environment, in this
case by excessively loud sound. Noise can be a problem in the outdoor environment, for
those who work and/or play there. Noise can also enter the indoor environment,
although some measures can be taken to reduce noise impacts on indoor places.

According to environmental studies, the primary source of noise in West Berkeley is
auto and truck traffic on major roads. Typically, this noise will most impact the first row
of buildings along the street, which attenuate (lessen) the impact for people in buildings
behind them. However, a major highway like I-80 has literally far-reaching noise
impacts. Another noise source is the Southern Pacific railroad line, which currently
accommodates some 36 trains per day (2 direction total). A secondary noise source is
from various industrial operations.

Noise is difficult to measure, because it not only varies from place to place, but also
from time to time. The West Berkeley Plan Environmental Impact Report projects noise
contours--areas where overall noise levels are likely to exceed 60 decibels. 60 decibels is
the level the 1977 Master Plan sets as a generally acceptable level. The EIR indicates that
noise is likely to be higher on major travel corridors, and generally from 4th St. west,
due to the impact of freeway noise. Aquatic Park is one of the more heavily noise-
impacted sites in Berkeley, although this should improve somewhat with the
construction of soundwall along I-80 near the park.

2. Regulatory Framework

Noise is one of the few environmental areas where regulation is almost completely
local. The City's Noise Ordinance--last amended in 1982--sets limits for permissible
noise levels during the day and night according to the zoning of an area. Residential
zones have quieter standards than industrial or commercial zones, but the Ordinance
does not recognize residents living in non-residential zones. However, if ambient noise-
-the general level of noise in an area--exceeds the standard, that ambient noise level
becomes the allowable noise level. The Ordinance is widely viewed as both inadequate
and hard to enforce, therefore the Health Department is in the process of documenting
the current state of Berkeley noise problems as a prelude to revising the Noise

III. Goals and Policies
A. Community Awareness and the Regulatory Process
Goal 1:

Improve the efficiency, coordination and effectiveness of environmental review and
regulation, and provide recognition and reward to firms which exceed environmental


The West Berkeley community--residents, businesses, environmentalists and others--
seek to improve the existing local environmental review and regulation process. All
parties seek a more "transparent" and understandable process. Environmentalists seek
to assure that environmental information will be accessible, that there will be citizen
participation in the policy-making process, and that any new users of hazardous
materials will be carefully reviewed. Businesses seek to assure that regulation will not
be so onerous as to threaten business viability, and that regulatory requirements are not
duplicated or conflicting. All sectors of the community recognize the need to improve
preparedness for environmental emergency, compliance with environmental law,
enforcement, and clean up efforts. They also acknowledge the value of recognizing and
rewarding those firms which exceed environmental standards or otherwise undertake
extraordinary environmental efforts.


1.1 Provide environmental information which is accessible to the community and in a
central location, through a coordinated staff effort.

1.2 Coordinate environmental regulation, both within the City of Berkeley, and with
County, regional, state, and federal agencies, to avoid duplicative and unnecessary
efforts by regulators and businesses, while meeting environmental standards.

1.3 Increase citizen participation in environmental policymaking, in coordination with
City staff programs.

1.4 Increase preparedness for environmental emergencies, utilizing existing
neighborhood organizations and watch groups, as well as other resources.

1.5 Retrofit seismically unsafe buildings.

1.6 Avoid the establishment of new uses which pose unmitigable environmental
hazards (see Permitted and Prohibited Uses in Land Use Element).

1.7 Require new uses to demonstrate an ability to meet applicable environmental laws
and standards.

1.8 Enforce new and existing environmental laws in coordination with non-City
regulatory agencies.

1.9 Assist existing manufacturers (and other businesses and institutions) to achieve
compliance with environmental standards.

1.10 Require businesses which close or leave Berkeley to clean up contaminated sites, as
mandated by State law.

1.11 Recognize and reward those companies which exceed City of Berkeley or regional
environmental standards, or undertake other extraordinary environmental efforts.

B. Hazardous Materials
Goal 2:

Reduce the generation of, importing importing into West Berkeley, transportation, use,
storage, and disposal of all hazardous material/hazardous waste.


It is in the interest of all West Berkeley stakeholders to see that the transport, use, and
disposal of hazardous materials is minimized. Recognizing this, an increasing number
of West Berkeley industries have indeed sought to minimize or eliminate the use of
hazardous materials, or to use materials with a lower level of hazard. They have done
so because it is increasingly expensive to handle and dispose of hazardous waste, and
because there is an increasing market for products produced in an environmentally
sound manner. Nevertheless, there are many firms and research organizations--large
and small--which still must use hazardous materials for producing goods or providing
services. Although on a much smaller scale, ordinary households use hazardous
materials. Given these realities, and given the close proximity of industrial, laboratory,
and residential uses in West Berkeley, the effective regulation of hazardous materials
and waste is critical.


2.1 Reduce to the greatest feasible extent the amount and/or hazard intensity of
hazardous materials and hazardous waste imported into West Berkeley, transported
through West Berkeley, used or stored in West Berkeley and disposed of by West
Berkeley businesses, institutions, and households.

2.2 Promote risk management and communication

2.3 Promote hazardous waste reduction and recycling

C. Biohazardous Materials
Goal 3:

Assure that biohazardous materials are appropriately regulated, by the City or other


Biohazardous materials--even more than other environmental problems--are regulated
by complex network of agencies at various levels of government. The City should work
to assure both that regulation covers important issues, and that businesses are not
subject to unnecessary and repetitive regulation.


3.1 Implement the City's new biohazards amendments to the Hazardous Materials
Disclosure Ordinance

3.2 Coordinate City regulatory action with other agencies.

D. Soil and Groundwater Contamination
Goal 4:

Decrease the level of contamination in West Berkeley soils and groundwater.


The degree to which soils and groundwater in West Berkeley are contaminated is not
fully understood at present. Unfortunately, there have been cases of contamination, the
apparent result of decades when industrial, commercial, and even residential
environmental practices were less than careful. Nonetheless, increased disclosure
requirements, inspections, and enforcement efforts can both provide information about
conditions and improve the conditions.


4.1 Increase contaminated site clean up efforts

E. Air Quality
Goal 5:

Enhance air quality in West Berkeley


Air quality in the East Bay (as measured by state standards) has been generally good in
recent years. Nevertheless, the I-80 Freeway, and to a lesser extent industrial sources,
continue to be significant sources of air pollution. Some air emissions are actually or
potentially hazardous to health, while others are not, but result in unpleasant odors. By
working-- along with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District--for trip reduction,
and improvements in industrial emissions, air quality in West Berkeley can continue to


5.1 Improve communication and coordinate responsibilities for assistance, enforcement,
and complaint response with the BAAQMD.

5.2 Reduce existing traffic and adequately mitigate the impact of future traffic (see
Transportation Element)

5.3 Regulate the use of ozone depleting compounds.

5.4 Promote risk management and communication practices.

5.5 Reduce the importing, transportation, use and storage of materials which will
become airborne hazardous waste.

5.6 Avoid the establishment of new uses which would create immitigable odors in
residential districts.

5.7 Institute tree planting as an anti-pollution measure (see Physical Form Element for
Implementation Measures)

F. Noise
Goal 6:

Reduce irritating noise by mitigating existing noise conflicts and preventing the
development of future noise conflicts.


There are many quiet times in West Berkeley, yet the area is also often subject to
freeway and highway noise, railroad noise, and industrial noise, along with other
ambient urban noise. However, there are many measures which can be taken to reduce
the amount that noise impinges on "sensitive receptors" such as residents. Separating
industrial and residential uses to prevent the creation of additional noise conflicts.


6.1 To the extent feasible, separate noise emitters from sensitive receptors (see Buffer
Standards in Land Use Element.)

6.2 Develop performance standards for new uses (see Performance Standards in Land
Use Element).

6.3 Investigate problem noise sources and develop appropriate solutions through
negotiation or enforcement.

6.4 Regulate truck circulation. (see Transportation Element for Implementation

6.5 Construct sound walls around freeways where feasible.

Goal 7:

Support and increase the recycling of a broad range of materials.


Berkeley has historically been a leader in recycling activity, and West Berkeley has
historically been a location for recycling businesses. Recycling of discarded materials
such as glass, paper, metals, plant debris, and construction materials is more important
than ever, to help us towards a sustainable economy, to help preserve resources, and to
fulfill local, State, and Federal mandates.

These issues are discussed in detail in the Source Reduction and Reduction Element, by
the City to fulfill the requirements of the California Integrated Waste Management Act
of 1989 and subsequent amendments.

West Berkeley is the Berkeley portion of the Oakland-Berkeley Recycled Materials
Development Zone (RMDZ), a state designated zone where businesses are encouraged
and assisted to use recycled materials in producing products. In this way, recycling of
materials can support the goals of the Plan to retain and attract manufacturers.


7.1 Support the growth of businesses using recycled materials in the West Berkeley
RMDZ. Assist existing manufacturers and other businesses to convert to recycled
materials in their production processes, and attract new businesses that use recycled

7.2 To the extent feasible, and consistent with other land use goals, provide locations for
recycling businesses in West Berkeley.

7.3 Implement citywide recycling programs in West Berkeley.

7.4 Encourage local businesses to use products -- especially locally-made products --
made from recycled materials, such as packaging, office supplies, and construction and
landscaping materials

IV. Implementation Measures

A. Implementation Programs

General Programs:

1. Centralize and coordinate environmental information--using measures such as an
improved software program--through the Emergency & Toxics Management Office,
Office of Special Community Services. This will provide Community Right to Know

Goals and Policies Implemented: Goal 1, Policy 1
Responsibility: Emergency & Toxics Management Office
Funding/Status: Ongoing operations

2. Develop and implement work program for the Community Environmental Advisory

Goals and Policies Implemented: Goal 1, Policy 3
Responsibility: Emergency & Toxics Management Office
Funding/Status: Ongoing operations

Hazardous and Biohazardous Materials Programs

3. Revise and resubmit to state Citywide Chemical Emergency Response Plan.

Goals and Policies Implemented: Goal 1, Policy 4
Responsibility: Toxics & Pollution Prevention Program
Funding/Status: 1991-92 Work Program--Completed

4. Provide risk management and communication program assistance to manufacturers
and other businesses.

Goals and Policies Implemented: Goal 2, Policy 2
Responsibility: Emergency & Toxics Management Office
Funding/Status: Ongoing operations

5. Work with businesses to improve existing odor problems.

Goals and Policies Implemented: Goal 5
Responsibility: Emergency & Toxics Management Office; Community Development
Funding/Status: Ongoing operations

Air Quality Programs

6. Continue to review new and expanded uses for odorous potential.

Goals and Policies Implemented: Goal 5, Policy 6
Responsibility: City Planning Department
Funding/Status: Ongoing City operations, project applicants fees.
Recycling Programs

7. Provide assistance to businesses through the Recycling Market Development Zone

Goals and Policies Implemented: Goal 7, Policies 1-4
Responsibility: RMDZ Program (jointly funded by Cities of Oakland and Berkeley)
Funding/Status: Ongoing Implementation

B. Projects

1. Map source sites and groundwater contamination plumes.

Goals and Policies Implemented: Goal 3, Policy 2
Responsibility: Emergency & Toxics Management Office
Funding/Status: 1994-95 Work Program

2. Construct acoustic berm along western edge of Aquatic Park, as recommended in
Aquatic Park Master Plan.

Goals and Policies Implemented: Goal 6, Policy 5
Responsibility: Public Works Department (Parks/Marina Division)
Funding/Status: Caltrans to fund, design not yet finalized

C. Ordinance and Regulatory Changes to Implement Element

Hazardous Materials Ordinances

1. Implement 1991 Hazardous Material Importation Regulation Act.

Goals and Policies Implemented: Goal 2, Policy 1
Responsibility: Emergency & Toxics Management Office
Funding/Status: Ongoing operations--to be reviewed in Hazardous Waste Management

2. Create a hazard ranking system for use in charging fees and evaluating Use Permits

Goals and Policies Implemented: Goal 1, Goal 2; Policies 1.2, 1.6, 1.7, 2.1,2.2
Responsibility: Emergency & Toxics Management Office
Funding/Status: To be developed in Fiscal Year 1993-94, in conjunction with rezoning
of West Berkeley

3. Develop and implement standard Use Permit conditions for hazardous waste hauling
in West Berkeley.

Goals and Policies Implemented: Goal 2, Policy 1
Responsibility: City Planning Department, Emergency & Toxics Management Office,
Public Works Department (Traffic Engineer)
Funding/Status: Will be developed with Hazard Ranking System

4. Adopt requirement for pollution prevention planning (proposed in the Petris bill) to
reduce hazardous waste generation and encourage hazardous waste recycling.

Goals and Policies Implemented: Goal 2, Policy 1
Responsibility: Emergency & Toxics Management Office
Funding/Status: Business/Generator fees (potential)
Soil and Groundwater Ordinances and Regulations

5. Implement Non-Point Discharge Program which regulates runoff of water into storm
sewers and Bay.

Goals and Policies Implemented: Goal 3, Policy 1
Responsibility: Public Works (Engineering) with Emergency & Toxics Management
Funding/Status: Being implemented using business Fees

Air Quality Ordinances and Regulations

6. Work with Bay Area Air Quality Management District to assure that BAAQMD Clean
Air Plan Transportation Control Measures and Stationary Source Control Measures are
implemented in a fair and effective manner.

Goals and Policies Implemented: Goal 5, Policies 1,2
Responsibility: City Planning Department, with Community Development Department
Funding/Status: Ongoing operations.

7. Implement ozone depletion Ordinance through preparation of self- enforcement and
waiver materials.

Goals and Policies Implemented: Goal 5, Policy 3
Responsibility: Emergency & Toxics Management Office
Funding/Status: Implementation Program submittal to Council 2/92--numerous CFC
inspections already conducted.

Noise Ordinances

8. Revision of Noise Ordinance

Goals and Policies Implemented: Goal 6, Policies 1 and 2
Responsibility: Health & Human Services Dept.
Funding/Status: To be completed mid-1994

9. Improve the consideration of noise in Use Permit decisions-- particularly for new
residential or industrial uses--by measures such as performance standards, standard
Use Permit conditions, or other appropriate mechanisms.

Goals and Policies Implemented: Goal 6, Policy 2
Responsibility: City Planning Department
Funding/Status: To be included in rezoning of West Berkeley

D. Studies

General Studies

1. Review benefits and drawbacks, including potential to jeopardize companies'
existence (see Economic Development Element, Policy 1.1) in Berkeley, from
requirements for increased public notification for environmental review, particularly
when related to hazardous materials.

Goals and Policies Implemented: Goal 1, Policies 2,3
Responsibility: Emergency & Toxics Management Office with City Planning
Funding/Status: Source not yet identified

2. Study possibility of extending tax credits or other incentives for pollution prevention,
source and toxic use reduction.

Goals and Policies Implemented: Goal 1, Policies 9,11
Responsibility: Emergency & Toxics Management Office with Community
Development Dept.
Funding/Status: Source not yet determined

Hazardous Materials Studies

3. Research more comprehensive Hazardous Materials Transportation Ordinance, to
extend regulation beyond BART right-of-way.

Goals and Policies Implemented: Goal 2, Policy 1
Responsibility: Fire Department, with City Planning Department, Public Works
Department (Traffic /Engineer)
Funding/Status: Source not yet identified

4. Research a mandatory commercial hazardous waste recycling Ordinance, including
costs to Berkeley businesses and effects on their competitiveness.

Goals and Policies Implemented: Goal 2, Policy 3
Responsibility: Toxics and Pollution Prevention Program
Funding/Status: Source not yet identified

Noise Studies

5. Identify sources of night noise, and develop appropriate mitigations when possible.

Goals and Policies Implemented: Goal 6, Policy 3
Responsibility: Health & Human Services Dept. with City Planning Dept., Community
Development Department
Funding/Status: Source not yet identified

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Department of Planning & Development, 1947 Center Street, 3rd Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: Phone: (510) 981-7400
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
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