The Southern California Air Quality Management District Hearing Board has unanimously approved an order to address and reduce hexavalent chromium emissions at Anaplex Corp., a metal finishing facility in Paramount. Under the order, effective immediately (1/10/2017), Anaplex must shut down all equipment with the potential to emit hexavalent chromium if the facility has caused outdoor levels to exceed 1.0 nanograms per cubic meter. The threshold is an average of three samples taken over a period of about a week.
“We have made this issue Priority No. 1 and we are pleased that the Hearing Board has adopted this order,” said Wayne Nastri, SCAQMD’s executive officer.
“We now have enforceable orders in place to protect Paramount residents from the two facilities we have identified as high emitters of hexavalent chromium.”
SCAQMD will continue to conduct air monitoring and inspections in Paramount to look for any other potential sources of hexavalent chromium, Nastri said.
The City of Paramount released the following statement to the media about today’s ruling:
The City of Paramount is pleased with the outcome of the SCAQMD Hearing Board’s process with Anaplex today. This is an important step in addressing hexavalent chromium emissions from the company. The SCAQMD’s aggressive investigation and quick response to its findings, along with the support of additional elected leaders and other regulating authorities, has been important in achieving a result that supports the long-term health of Paramount residents. The City, however, is still concerned about Anaplex’s roof-cleaning process and the remaining questions about Anaplex’s equipment permits with SCAQMD, and is encouraged to know that SCAQMD will be addressing both of these issues through orders for abatement.
Even with the SCAQMD/Anaplex agreement, there is more work to be done regarding local air quality concerns. The City looks forward to further cooperative relations with regulatory authorities to identify and address all questions. We will continue to support the work of SCAQMD to maintain a healthy environment for all.
On December 16, the Hearing Board adopted an order with the same requirement for Aerocraft Heat Treating Co., Inc., at 15701 Minnesota Avenue — the other facility identified by SCAQMD as causing high emissions of hexavalent chromium.
Anaplex Corp., at 15547 Garfield Avenue, processes metal using chromic acid anodizing tanks, surface treatment tanks and spray coating operations, all of which can cause hexavalent chromium emissions. Hexavalent chromium is a potent human carcinogen associated with lung cancer when inhaled over long periods of time, typically years to decades.
In its petition, SCAQMD alleged that Anaplex violated the agency’s Rule 402 prohibiting public nuisances because the facility emitted levels of hexavalent chromium that substantially increased the cancer risk for Paramount residents.
SCAQMD found last fall that Anaplex was the source of high levels of hexavalent chromium emissions through an exhaustive investigation including:
- An unprecedented, intensive monitoring campaign that deployed multiple air monitors around Anaplex and surrounding areas, which found high levels close to the facility; and
- Emissions tests of equipment inside the facility that also found high levels of the compound.
In response to a SCAQMD finding of high levels of hexavalent chromium on Anaplex’s roof, today’s order also requires Anaplex to submit a roof- and facility-cleaning plan to SCAQMD by January 17.
SCAQMD also has required Anaplex and Aerocraft to develop health risk assessments and risk reduction plans under the state’s Toxic Hot Spots program to ensure these facilities reduce all toxic air contaminants to health-protective levels. While some actions may take longer to implement, the facilities will have to start implementing many risk reduction measures over the next few months.
On December 23, SCAQMD sought a temporary restraining order in Los Angeles Superior Court seeking to force Anaplex to immediately reduce its emissions of hexavalent chromium. A judge denied the order, ruling that the Hearing Board was the proper venue. Anaplex subsequently agreed to today’s order prior to its approval by the Hearing Board.