On Thursday, July 13, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Hearing Board held a public hearing to consider a request for an Order for Abatement related to odor complaints at Carlton Forge Works. SCAQMD has issued 17 Notices of Violation (NOVs) to date to Carlton Forge after having received more than 190 odor complaints from the community alleging the facility as the source of the odors.
Paramount Vice Mayor Diane Martinez attended this hearing and, during public testimony, spoke on behalf of the City. Below is a video and transcript of her comments:
Good morning, Chairman Camarena and hearing board members.
My name is Diane J. Martinez and I am the vice mayor of the City of Paramount.
Our Mayor, Peggy Lemons, sends her regrets. She wanted very much to speak on this issue today, but a close family member is having a medical procedure and she needed to be there.
In her place, I want to thank you for the opportunity to represent the Paramount City Council and our entire community regarding the Order of Abatement.
Since December of last year, SCAQMD has received nearly 200 complaints from our residents about odors apparently coming from Carlton Forge Works.
These have included complaints from individuals at Lincoln Elementary School, located a few blocks from the facility
Since that same time, SCAQMD has issued 17 Notices of Violation to Carlton Forge Works for nuisance odors, in violation of the agency’s Rule 402.
SCAQMD inspectors have traced the odors to the facility’s grinding room and other areas.
In addition, the agency issued a violation notice to Carlton Forge on May 5 for failure to monitor natural gas fuel lines.
These odors unfortunately have continued, and led to this hearing.
On a positive note, as Executive Officer Wayne Nastri has said, Carlton Forge Works has made changes to its operation and has been working with regulators to identify the sources.
They have stopped outdoor grinding; sealed their grinding building, and installed high-efficiency air filters.
And now, we have heard, they have agreed to the Order of Abatement and will follow the stipulated actions.
We appreciate all of this very much. But at this point the problem has not been eliminated.
There is much that needs to be done.
We fully expect Carlton Forge to be more proactive and move quickly, and work hard to gain the trust of our community.
The City continues to work cooperatively with SCAQMD wherever possible, and we know the Order of Abatement will benefit our community.
If nothing else, SCAQMD has consistently been very tenacious in Paramount.
Our confidence in their process and their experts is secure.
We wholeheartedly support this enforcement action and the Hearing Board’s efforts.
And we expect the results will produce a long-lasting and positive outcome.
As the vice mayor of Paramount, here to represent everyone in my City, I cannot emphasize enough how much we rely on you when it comes to protecting our environment.
Thank you for your consideration.
At the conclusion of the hearing, Carlton Forge Works voluntarily agreed to a Stipulated Order for Abatement. SCAQMD and Carlton Forge will return to testify before the Hearing Board at a status hearing on July 25, 2017.