Air Quality Sub Committee Reviews Final Recommended Changes to Zoning Ordinance

The Paramount City Council Air Quality Sub Committee met for the tenth time on October 26, 2017 to continue its review and discussion of a draft zoning ordinance for metal companies. The Sub Committee was established at the end of 2016 to develop recommendations for the City Council that would address air quality concerns in the City. The final recommended changes to the extensive zoning code amendments were presented during the October meeting; as such, it was decided that this would be the final meeting of the Sub Committee prior to its disbanding at the end of the year.

The meeting opened with a review of the Sub Committee’s role and goals. Following this, Assistant City Manager Kevin Chun went over questions, and their responses, from the September 28th Sub Committee meeting.

Similar to the previous meeting, the main item on this agenda was the review of the updated draft zoning code amendments. The draft includes both non-operational measures (i.e., requirements that do not affect the operations of a business, such as buffer landscaping and business signs) and operational regulations (i.e., code provisions that sets specific limitations and requirements on businesses operations). The proposed changes to the code are extensive and will have a long-lasting impact on the future of industrial businesses in Paramount.

View the most recent draft amendments to the zoning code:

Revised Zoning Code Changes
Assistant Community Development Director John Carver presented an overview of the newest changes to the draft ordinance, such as the requirement of an annual inspection for metal manufacturing facilities.

Carver then discussed public comments and suggestions from previous meetings, and the Sub Committee discussed several fine points to help make the proposed ordinance as clear and effective as possible. For example, there was a thorough discussion about metal companies using Best Available Control Technology (BACT) for emission filtration and following standards set by the appropriate regulatory agency(ies).

Rounding out the meeting, Carver provided an air quality update based on the City’s weekly calls with the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). During the call, SCAQMD noted that the majority of recent readings from air samplers throughout the City were below 1 ng/m3, although two specific readings were above this level near Mattco/Aerocraft and Lubeco (which is located in Long Beach). Additionally, the agency reported, Carlton Forge Works (CFW) is planning to install a new carbon filtration system to lower odor emissions; a third-party monitoring company will determine the success of these changes. CFW is required to have the new filter installed by early January 2018.

Sub Committees of the City Council are formed on an ad hoc and temporary basis (generally for one year). In this case, that means the end of 2017. Because of this, and the fact that the draft ordinance was recommended to be forwarded to the City Council, the Sub Committee will no longer meet, as it has fulfilled its purpose. (Although it was agreed that a meeting could be called if any major related issues arose over the next two months.)

However, the suspension of these meetings does not mean Paramount’s work on air quality is complete. The City will continue to be an active partner with SCAQMD and other environmental regulatory agencies, while providing transparency and access to environmental information through the portal and other communication avenues. Further, SCAQMD will continue monitoring for hexavalent chromium in Paramount for an indefinite period of time.

The Sub Committee will present its recommendations (zoning code amendments) to the full City Council at their December 12th meeting. Staff will request that the City Council forward the Sub Committee recommendations to the Planning Commission for further study. The Planning Commission will then recommend their own additions and modifications. The last step of the process will be the City Council receiving the Planning Commission’s recommendations and then voting to adopt or deny the zoning code amendments. The chart below details this process. The ParamountEnvironment portal will continue to report on updates and significant decisions regarding the finalized zoning ordinance.

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