Air Quality Sub Committee Continues Discussion of Operational Regulations

Following its standing plan to meet every fourth Thursday of each month, Paramount’s Air Quality Sub Committee held its eighth meeting on August 31, 2017. The group was joined by Susan Nakamura of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD).

Per a City Council decision, the meeting opened with public comments and questions; usually this item takes place at the end of the meeting. Following this, the Sub Committee resumed its discussion of items raised at the July 27th meeting, including reviewing questions and comments submitted by the public.

Assistant City Manager Kevin Chun rearranged the agenda to begin with the update and review of potential operational regulations for metal companies, saving the Update on AQMD Rules until Ms. Nakamura had arrived.

The last major overhaul or change to the City’s zoning code was in 1985. Over the past months, City staff had been meeting with metal companies to receive their professional input on potential operational regulations that could be applied to Paramount companies. The proposed regulations were intended to provide an appropriate amount of local authority over metal industry operations while being fair to those companies subject to the changes.

Once the Sub Committee is satisfied with the amendments to the zoning code, City staff will draft code language with the City Attorney. The team is aiming to provide a draft of the updated language on both operational and non-operational regulations at the Sub Committee’s September 28th meeting. Once approved by the Sub Committee, the recommended language will be taken to the City Council in October. After the Council has reviewed it, the draft will be need to be approved by the Planning Commission. Finally, the draft will return for a final review by the City Council, who will vote to make the draft into a new ordinance. City staff hopes to achieve this goal by the end of the year.

“The Air Quality Sub Committee is one – if not the first – of the City’s Sub Committees”, said City Manager John Moreno. The work done by the Sub Committee will have a lasting impact on the City’s current and future businesses. With the adoption of the updated zoning code language, Paramount will be able to welcome more businesses that match the City’s environmental goals and standards.

After reviewing potential regulation changes, Ms. Nakamura led the group in a presentation on SCAQMD’s Rule Development for Metal Processing Operations. SCAQMD’s Rulemaking process involves gathering input from both the public and stakeholder working groups in order to discuss elements of the proposed rule(s) with those who will be affected. Rule 1430 is SCAQMD’s most recently adopted rule; the agency is currently working on updating Rule 1469. This rule will affect Anaplex and 115 other chromic acid anodizing facilities in the South Coast Basin.

As Ms. Nakamura’s presentation wound down, the Sub Committee was assured that the air quality monitoring data seemed to be improving between July and August. Additionally, SCAQMD is still monitoring Lubeco in north Long Beach, as well as outside of Gaines Elementary, Lincoln School, and Jackson Middle School.

Rounding out the meeting, Mr. Chun led the Sub Committee in a discussion about the group’s goals and status. At one of its previous meetings, the City Council gave a consensus that the Sub Committee should continue through December 2017. Therefore, the Sub Committee will continue to meet until this time, providing input on environmental issues.

The next Air Quality Sub Committee meeting is on Thursday, September 28 at 6 p.m. in Progress Park Plaza (15500 Downey Avenue).

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