Non-Discrimination Policy and Complaint Procedure

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, ethnic group identification, ancestry, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, color, genetic information, medical condition, or mental or physical disability, or any other attribute or belief protected by law in administration of its programs or activities, and BAAQMD does not intimidate or retaliate against any individual or group because they have exercised their rights to participate in action protected by or oppose actions prohibited by 40 C.F.R. Parts 5 and 7, or for the purpose of interfering with such rights.

It is BAAQMD's policy to provide fair and equal access to the benefits of a program or activity administered by BAAQMD. BAAQMD will not tolerate discrimination, intimidation, or retaliation against any person(s) seeking to participate in, or receive the benefits of, any program or activity offered or conducted by BAAQMD. Members of the public who believe they or others were unlawfully denied full and equal access to a BAAQMD program or activity may file a discrimination complaint with BAAQMD under this policy. This non-discrimination policy also applies to other people or entities affiliated with BAAQMD, including contractors or grantees that BAAQMD utilizes to provide benefits and services to members of the public.

Auxiliary aids and services including, for example, qualified interpreters and/or listening devices, to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, and to other individuals as necessary to ensure effective communication or an equal opportunity to participate fully in the benefits, activities, programs, and services will be provided by the BAAQMD in a timely manner and in such a way as to protect the privacy and independence of the individual. Please contact the Non-Discrimination Coordinator identified below at least three days in advance of a meeting so that arrangements can be made accordingly.

If you believe you have been discriminated against with respect to a BAAQMD program or activity, you may contact the Non-Discrimination Coordinator identified below and read further to learn how and where to file a complaint of discrimination.


If you have any questions about this notice or any of BAAQMD's non-discrimination programs, policies, or procedures, you may contact:

Non-Discrimination Coordinator
Suma Peesapati
Environmental Justice and Community Engagement Officer
Bay Area Air Quality Management District
375 Beale St., Ste. 600
San Francisco, CA 94105


Complainant: Individual(s) or other interested parties filing a discrimination complaint under this policy.

Discrimination: The unlawful denial of fair and equal access to a program or activity offered, conducted or administered by BAAQMD based on a protected class. "Denial of Fair and Equal Access" includes:

  1. The denial of any program benefit,
  2. Providing a different level of benefits than provided to other program users,
  3. Restricting the benefit or advantage of any program in a manner dissimilar to restrictions placed on others program users without a protected characteristic.
  4. Subjecting a person to segregation or separate treatment in any way related to receiving the benefits of the program,
  5. Denial to any person, or group of people, the opportunity to participate as a member of any planning or advisory body otherwise open to the public in some fashion, and
  6. Using criteria or methods of administering its program that has the effect of discriminating against a user, or potential user, of the program offered by BAAQMD.

Protected class: A characteristic of a person which cannot be targeted for discrimination including race, national origin, ethnic group identification, ancestry, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, color, genetic information, medical condition, or mental or physical disability.

Intimidation: The act or process of attempting to force or deter an action by inducing fear.

Retaliation: An intentional act in response to a protected action.


BAAQMD’s Executive Officer will have final authority and responsibility for compliance with this policy.

Suma Peesapati,  Environmental Justice and Community Engagement Officer, is responsible for coordination of compliance efforts and receipt of inquiries concerning non-discrimination requirements implemented by 40 C.F.R. Parts 5 and 7 (Non-discrimination in Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Assistance from the Environmental Protection Agency), including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; and Section 13 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 (hereinafter referred to collectively as the federal non-discrimination laws). The Non-Discrimination Coordinator will also ensure that BAAQMD is complying with state and federal reporting and record retention requirements, including those required by Code of Federal Regulations, title 40, section 7.10 et seq.

As of 12/2/2022: Please note that the sections below are under revision and will be updated shortly:

Complaint Procedure

The complaint procedure has four steps:

  1. Submission of Complaint:
    A person who believes that he or she or a specific class of persons has, on the basis of any protected class, been excluded from or denied the benefits of, or been subjected to discrimination under, any program or activity of the Air District may file a written complaint with the Non-Discrimination Coordinator for the Air District. Such complaint must be filed within 180 calendar days after the date the person believes the discrimination occurred. See the Discrimination Complaint Form.
  2. Referral to Review Officer: 
    Upon receipt of the complaint, the Non-Discrimination Coordinator will appoint one or more staff review officers, as appropriate, to evaluate and investigate the complaint, in consultation with the District Counsel. The staff review officer(s) will complete their review no later than 60 calendar days after the date the Air District received the complaint using a preponderance of the evidence standard.  If more time is required, the Non-Discrimination Coordinator will notify the complainant of the estimated time for completing the review. Upon completion of the review, the staff review officer(s) will make a recommendation regarding the merit of the complaint and whether remedial actions are available to provide redress. Additionally, the staff review officer(s) may recommend improvements to the Air District’s processes as they relate to the Non-Discrimination Policy and environmental justice, as appropriate. The staff review officer(s) will forward their recommendations to the Non-Discrimination Coordinator for review. The Non-Discrimination Coordinator will issue the Air District’s written response to the complainant.
  3. Appeal: 
    If the complainant is dissatisfied with the response, the complainant may request an appeal, in writing, to the Executive Officer within 10 calendar days after receipt of the response. The request for appeal should explain any items the complainant feels were not addressed by the Non-Discrimination Coordinator. The Executive Officer will notify the complainant within 10 calendar days whether the request for appeal has been accepted or rejected. In cases where the Executive Officer agrees to reconsider the matter, the matter shall be returned to the staff review officer(s) to re-evaluate in accordance with Paragraph 2, above.


BAAQMD strives to protect the confidentiality of the complainant and all participants in the discrimination complaint process to the greatest extent possible and as authorized by law. The nature of this process does not permit absolute confidentiality. The Non-Discrimination may release information as necessary to resolve this complaint. If a remedial action results in employee discipline, the Non-Discrimination Coordinator may release information provided during the complaint process to appropriate BAAQMD personnel and outside parties including independent investigators.

Retaliation for filing a complaint is prohibited and claims of retaliation will be handled promptly if it occurs. 

Complaint Form

To initiate a complaint, the complainant must complete BAAQMD’s Discrimination Complaint Form and send it to BAAQMD’s Non-Discrimination Coordinator at the address listed below. Complaints must be sent within the time period discussed above.


If you need assistance with completing a discrimination complaint, please contact the Air District's Non-Discrimination Coordinator.

Non-Discrimination Coordinator
Suma Peesapati

Submission of a Discrimination Complaint to the Environmental Protection Agency

Any person may also file a discrimination complaint directly with the Environmental Protection Agency by submitting it to the Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 1201A, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460.

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Non-Discrimination Coordinator
Suma Peesapati


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