Air Quality Sub Committee Meets To Discuss New Map, Additional Updates

Paramount’s Air Quality Sub Committee held its fourth meeting on Thursday, March 23, 2017. The Committee gathers on the fourth Thursday of each month at 6:00 p.m. at Progress Park Plaza, 15500 Downey Ave.

Discussion resumed on issues raised at the previous month’s meeting that included questions submitted by the public. There was a brief update on the air quality monitors purchased by the City, which are being calibrated at the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) offices. All five monitors are the same types currently used by SCAQMD in Paramount; two will be directly connected to a power source, while three are battery-powered. The City is working with SCAQMD to place three of the monitors at Mokler, Gaines, and Lincoln schools, sites that already have SCAQMD monitors. The plan is for the City monitors to confirm the accuracy of the readings of SCAQMD’s monitors.

Staff proposed several options for non-operational regulations for metal companies that could be recommended to the City Council during the current moratorium. Additionally, staff members discussed meetings with metal companies to present options for operational regulations. Staff will continue to meet with these companies and bring back proposed operational regulations to the Sub Committee at a future meeting. Moreover, the Sub Committee and community members expressed an interest in meeting with metal companies to explore possible operational improvements, with an eye toward lowering emissions from a preemptive standpoint.

Assistant City Manager Kevin Chun then discussed the City’s current business licensing process using the existing SCAQMD form. He explained that the current SCAQMD form is a self-certifying checklist and it is flawed: if a company did not answer truthfully about its potential emissions, then there was no information for SCAQMD or the City to act upon. Additionally, the company does not have to fill out the form if renewing their City business license, which does not take into account any new equipment additions or other environmental factors. The City has been working with SCAQMD to create a new form; the new process is no longer self-certifying and allows for more oversight by SCAQMD. The City will not issue any business license to operate until SCAQMD certification is acquired. This process will apply to both new businesses and companies looking to renew their business license. This is a pilot program, which could be potentially used for SCAQMD permitting in other cities within the District’s jurisdiction.

The City’s environmental consultants, Tetra Tech, presented an update on air quality monitoring and environmental protection efforts. Consultant Weyman Kam provided the latest SCAQMD monitoring results.

Mr. Chun and Sub Committee members next discussed their tour of Weber Metals on March 10, during which company officials explained their different operations and types of products. During the tour it was noted that Weber uses non-ferrous metals that do not emit hexavalent chromium and that the company has various environmental measures in place that meet the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System.

The meeting was opened to comments from the public and other general updates. Consultant Ryder Smith from Tripepi Smith introduced a new map on the ParamountEnvironment website. The map shows the locations of metal-emitting facilities in the City, all of SCAQMD’s monitors, and Paramount schools. Metal-emitting facilities are defined as businesses required to have an SCAQMD permit due to the fact that they produce some form of air pollution regulated by the District. The air monitors purchased by the City will be added to this map once they have been installed by SCAQMD staff.

The meeting closed with a discussion on whether or not the City could operate independently or beyond the requirements of entities such as SCAQMD or DTSC. It was decided to continue that conversation at the next scheduled meeting.

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