Since 2016, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has led an intensive investigation into elevated levels of hexavalent chromium. A key feature of this investigation has been SCAQMD’s extensive network of air monitors. As the City has been a close partner with SCAQMD in this effort, this extensive network of monitors includes five City-owned samplers.
After the monitors successfully determined the two primary sources of hexavalent chromium in Paramount, the sampling strategy was adjusted to focus on specific facilities and on characterizing hexavalent chromium levels in the adjacent communities. As a result, several facilities made a range of improvements; today, the changes have substantially reduced ambient hexavalent chromium levels in the City.
Because the levels have been declining slowly and are now within the typical levels, the City recently learned that SCAQMD will be reducing the size and frequency of sampling for its monitoring network in Paramount to focus on other areas that have higher potential for air toxics exposure. The new strategy for Paramount is as follows:
- Continue monitoring at Anaplex and Aerocraft (Sites #8, 11, 14, 15), Site #16, and Lubeco (Sites #29, 30) with a 1-in-3 day sampling frequency.
- This will continue until the Orders for Abatement (OA) have been lifted at the end of December 2018.
- Once the OAs have been lifted, monitoring will continue with a 1-in-6 day sampling frequency before removing the samplers.
- SCAQMD will also decrease the sampling frequency of the four “Area Wide” monitors (Sites #2, 19, 23, 25) from 1-in-3 day to 1-in-6 day until the City has a strategy/contract in place for their monitoring effort.
Twelve monitors will remain in Paramount under this revised action plan. Anaplex, Aerocraft, and Lubeco will continue to be monitored until their respective OAs have been lifted; at that point, SCAQMD will revisit each stipulated order and determine whether each facility requires extended monitoring. The Area Wide samplers, including the monitor at Lincoln Elementary, will remain in place and continue to monitor indefinitely.
The City will work closely with SCAQMD to ensure that the hexavalent chromium levels remain at safe ambient levels after the monitors are removed. Further, the City will consult the agency on how to best utilize its five air samplers to safeguard Paramount’s air.
SCAQMD’s full report can be viewed here: http://paramountenvironment.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Paramount-Updated-Monitoring-Plan_FINAL.pdf
Dr. Jason Low from SCAQMD presented this updated plan to the City Council during the June 5, 2018 meeting. He reviewed the progress to-date and the major effort that has gone into lowering the hexavalent chromium emissions. Click/tap here to view his presentation. (Note: The information on the “Inspection Activities” slide is incorrect; Dr. Low provides the correct data during his presentation.)
To watch Dr. Low’s presentation, please see the video below. Meeting agenda can be viewed via this link.