The City of Paramount held its second Air Quality Sub Committee meeting on January 31st at Progress Park. The meeting was a working meeting focused on providing updated information to members of the Committee and orienting newly added members of the public. Although the previous Sub Committee meeting on December 10, 2016 included nearly two hours of public hearing comments, no public commenting period was offered during the most recent meeting to maintain a tight agenda and to respect the nature of this event being a working meeting. However, the meeting was open for public observation and feedback at certain key points in the evening’s discussions.
The Air Quality Sub Committee has been formed by the City to evaluate policy options in response to the SCAQMD findings of elevated hexavalent chromium levels in the community. The Sub Committee will be evaluating and advising upon various policy options for consideration by its Council Members, who will then bring the ideas back to the full City Council. It is anticipated that the Sub Committee will be meeting for at least a year, though ideas for policy action may emerge more quickly.
The Air Quality Sub Committee welcomed new public members Mauricio Hernandez, Jacklyn Avila, and Guillermo Parga. The new members were selected by an application process the City held at the beginning of January to seek an expanded range of voices from the community to aid the work of the Sub Committee.
The City’s environmental consultants, Tetra Tech, presented an update on the testing data concerning hexavalent chromium levels as well as the current status of testing activity by SCAQMD and the City. Following this, Sub Committee members heard from the public about ideas for improving the environmental information portal. Senior City Staff then presented background information on land use policy and regulations while answering questions from the group, including discussion of Conditional Use Permits (CUP), and providing policy options for the Sub Committee to study. Members of the public were invited to submit written questions to the Committee with the goal that those questions would be addressed or answered by the City prior to the next meeting.
Toward the end of the meeting, the City noted that Anaplex Corporation had invited members of the Sub Committee to tour their facility. The goal is to review the measures that the business has put in place to address hexavalent chromium emissions. (Note: this tour was subsequently cancelled when SCAQMD shutdown Anaplex Corporation’s hexavalent chromium-emitting activities after air sample levels exceeded the 1.0 nanogram per cubic meter threshold established in the abatement order).
The Sub Committee agreed to meet again in February to continue the dialogue and policy option reviews.