7/18 Monitoring Results Show Widespread Increase In Hexavalent Chromium Levels

The South Coast Air Quality Management District has published the latest monitoring results for July 18, 2017. The results show that in several areas of the City or near the City, hexavalent chromium levels were increased for the testing period. The results follow increased levels that were found in the July 12th and July 15th results. Areas showing elevated hexavalent chromium are near both industrial areas in town and a facility located in north Long Beach. Schools, too, saw increased levels with every school exceeding the 1 ng/m3 threshold AQMD has established in its abatement orders with Anaplex and Aerocraft. A map and the latest test data can be found here.

In response to seeing the results on Friday evening, Mayor Lemons issued the following statement:

“Tonight’s cr6 test results for July 18th are a huge disappointment for our community. After weeks of progress on air quality we have taken a major step backward. Fortunately, AQMD’s continued presence and ongoing testing in Paramount was able to inform us that something has changed for the worse. I have already contacted AQMD about my deep concern and expressed the need to get to containment more quickly.  City staff and the team at AQMD have already spoken. Whether this is a result of changed operations, different weather patterns or an unknown factor, our community must work together to find an answer.”

Mayor Lemons has sent a communication to AQMD leadership expressing her concerns with these latest findings, affirming her confidence in the expertise of AQMD staff and offering the City’s full support in investigating and resolving the matter.

The management team for the City of Paramount has been in contact with AQMD staff about the latest results. Further, test results from the 7/12 and 7/15 had prompted several prior questions from City Staff to AQMD about reasons for the observed rise in hexavalent chromium. The questions have focused on why the increase is happening and possible source. AQMD has indicated that no specific sources have been identified by the test data and expanded monitoring footprint has been aiding their efforts to narrow down sources of hexavalent chromium. No direct answers, however, were available for why the general increase had been detected through monitoring.

“The City is working tirelessly and dedicating significant resources to cooperating with AQMD and doing our part to address air quality in the City of Paramount. The City Council has made it clear that air quality is our number one community priority, and while certainly we had been making progress with leading efforts of AQMD, these recent results are disturbing,” said Kevin Chun, Assistant City Manager for Paramount. “We are asking the same questions the public is likely asking, and I hope we will have more answers and new information to address all of our community’s concerns.”

The City of Paramount will continue discussions with AQMD and fully cooperate to support their investigation and ongoing work in the City of Paramount. These latest results are likely to result in additional curtailment action and potentially additional administrative actions by AQMD to address identified emission sources.

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