Air Quality Sub Committee Begins Discussion of Operational Regulations

The Air Quality Sub Committee met for the sixth time on Thursday, May 25, 2017. Sub Committee participants were joined at this meeting by members of the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s (SCAQMD) Compliance and Enforcement Department, as well as representatives from the City’s environmental consultant, Tetra Tech.

Assistant City Manager Kevin Chun opened the meeting by going over the two questions submitted at the previous Sub Committee meeting. Following this, the group had a final review of potential non-operational regulations suggestions for metal companies.

Moving down the agenda, the City’s environmental consultant Tetra Tech presented an air quality update. Consultant Brian Jordan informed the Sub Committee of SCAQMD’s enforcement and monitoring actions to-date, including 28 Notices of Compliance (NOC), 23 Notices of Violation (NOV), and 5 curtailment orders. SCAQMD has collected nearly 800 air quality data samples in the City to-date, with almost 310 samples collected at the schools.

Following Mr. Jordan’s presentation, the SCAQMD staff members gave an overview of the Office of Compliance and Enforcement’s responsibilities and programs. A key aspect of this department is inspections; a team of 87 air quality inspectors are responsible for monitoring 396 facilities that fall under the Title V Federal category, such as refineries, power plants, aerospace businesses, etc.; as well as 275 facilities in the RECLAIM program and around 27,000 other non-major sources. The inspections form a basis for SCAQMD’s compliance and enforcement activities: if any significant emissions or sources are found, then the team works quickly to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local air quality rules and permit conditions.

The Compliance and Enforcement team works directly with both the inspected facilities and the communities surrounding them. In the latter case, they respond to complaints and provide educational workshops to the public. For the City of Paramount, SCAQMD has assigned inspectors to respond to complaints during the morning and afternoon. The agency, working with City staff and other regulatory agencies, has performed over 80 sweeps in Paramount since last Fall.

Rounding out the meeting, Mr. Chun and Assistant Community Development Director John Carver began a review of potential operational regulations for metal companies. Mr. Carver briefly went over the types of facilities that were covered by the zoning code and outlined current uses that could potentially be prohibited, such as outside work. He additionally covered potential requirements that could be implemented, including better housekeeping practices, shorter operational times, emission control equipment to comply with Best Available Control Technology standards, and a Green surcharge.

“Because the zoning code is a living, breathing document, it can be changed,” said Mr. Chun. The Sub Committee’s final decisions and suggestions on operational and non-operational regulations will be recommended to the City Council. At that point, the City Council will have the opportunity review and implement the ordinance, turning it into law.

The next Air Quality Sub Committee meeting is on Thursday, July 31 at 6 p.m. in Progress Park Plaza (15500 Downey Avenue).

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