The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) filed a petition for an Order for Abatement against Anaplex Corporation and Aerocraft Heat Treating Company, Inc. The petition was filed with the independent SCAQMD Hearing Board on November 29, 2016. Both companies, operating within Paramount, are accused of conducting operations resulting in emissions of hexavalent chromium that contribute significantly to higher exposure and risk of cancer.
In October 2016, after the District expanded its air quality monitoring efforts, monitors located in close proximity to both Anaplex and Aerocraft registered hexavalent chromium emissions of a much greater magnitude than typical background levels. Based on SCAQMD’s previous findings within its overall jurisdiction, typical levels of hexavalent chromium are about 0.06 nanograms per cubic meter. However, ambient levels of chrome 6 vary throughout Los Angeles County; in the southwestern basin, levels of hexavalent chromium are generally around 0.11 nanograms per cubic meter. Though not unusual for Paramount, located in the basin, to have levels of about 0.11 nanograms per cubic meter, the readings near the two companies were hundreds of times greater.
Anaplex is a metal-processing company which operates chromic acid anodizing tanks, surface treatment tanks, and spray coating operations, all of which may lead to emissions of hexavalent chromium. Similarly, Aerocraft is in the business of processing forgings, castings, bar, plate, and rough-machined parts; the company conducts metal-heating treatment, cooling, cutting, and grinding operations. These processes may likewise lead to chrome 6 emissions.
SCAQMD performed screening source tests at both companies in mid-November. At Anaplex, the District determined that the facility’s emissions are releasing excessive amounts of hexavalent chromium into the ambient air. Moreover, Anaplex has violated permit conditions that prevent spray painting with chromate paints. Within Aerocraft, the District found hexavalent chromium in the dust collected around the facility, which is constantly disturbed and moved by the on-going business. The carcinogen was also found within Aerocraft’s three methods—air, water, and oil—of cooling its heated metal forging operations.