Register odor complaints with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD)
by calling 800-334-ODOR (6367), or via www.baaqmd.gov/complaints.
An extra help is to complete our survey, which collects community air pollution complaint data, as well as BAAQMD response metrics. Pooling our data will allow us to better track, analyze, and leverage what is happening at a community level, and hold BAAQMD accountable.
Registering odor complaints creates a record of the issue, and triggers follow-up investigations and enforcement actions by BAAQMD.
Please ask for follow-up as well as a complaint reference number. Ideally BAAQMD will contact you and be on-scene right away, though at times their response is delayed, and they arrive after the air pollution is no longer detectable, especially challenging for confirming of episodic air pollution.
It is critical that BAAQMD deploy adequate staff investigators and pollution monitoring and sensing equipment based on previous pollution patterns and anticipated polluter activity.
If BAAQMD confirms the air pollution, and can attribute it to a source, they have discretion to issue Notices of Violation to the polluter. They also have discretion in assigning penalties, fines, and requirements to fix pollution for each Notice of Violation.
What determines BAAQMD’s enforcement response is not totally clear, though they do seem to respond more to higher numbers of legitimate complaints over larger areas with more severity. And they state additional consideration to complaints by school principals, schools, and elected officials.
At times it seems like the old adage “if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear, does it make a sound?” If a polluter pollutes the air, but the public doesn’t report it, and BAAQMD doesn’t smell it . . . YES IT IS STILL POLLUTION! YES IT STILL IMPACTS OUR ENVIRONMENT AND OUR HEALTH! AND WE NEED BAAQMD TO BE SCIENTIFICALLY PROACTIVE AND PROTECT OUR AIR AND PREVENT THIS HARM!