On Thursday, February 23, 2017, the City of Paramount’s Air Quality Sub Committee met at the Paramount Park Community Center. It was the Sub Committee’s third meeting, and a special guest in attendance was Dr. Jason Low from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). After a quick overview of the meeting’s structure, rules, and procedures, group members continued their discussion of some issues and questions raised at the January 31 meeting.
City Manager John Moreno and Assistant City Manager Kevin Chun clarified questions on how to contact SCAQMD, and gave an update on the City’s current outreach efforts for the community. The Sub Committee then followed-up on questions from the previous meeting about revoking an air quality permit and testing the community’s water supply for hexavalent chromium. It was noted that, while SCAQMD has not previously revoked an air quality permit, they may have the opportunity to take legal action if a cause emerges. Regarding drinking water, the City has begun testing for hexavalent chromium on a monthly basis and staff reported that the levels continue to be well below state standards.
The City’s environmental consultants, Tetra Tech, presented an update on current air quality monitoring and environmental protection efforts. Consultant Brian Jordan informed the Sub Committee that the City and the State Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) had agreed to a soil testing plan for Village Park. Tetra Tech and DTSC conducted the testing on Thursday, March 2 at 7:30AM. Tetra Tech plans on giving a detailed presentation on the DTSC testing plan at the next Sub Committee meeting.
Mr. Jordan continued his update by outlining SCAQMD’s enforcement actions on Paramount businesses: the District has issued 28 Notices to Comply, 14 Notices of Violation, and three curtailment orders (Aerocraft, January 19; Anaplex, February 3; Aerocraft, February 14). The Sub Committee requested that an SCAQMD permitting officer attend the next meeting to explain the differences between the violations issued.
It was stated that, due to SCAQMD’s activities, hexavalent chromium levels throughout Paramount have been steadily improving. Overall, the average has dropped to around 0.5 nanograms per cubic meter. Further, none of the monitors placed at schools has given a reading above 1 nanogram per cubic meter (as of 3/5/17); the only monitors that have averaged over that threshold have been located in front of Anaplex and Aerocraft. Mr. Jordan informed the Sub Committee that the City had requested that SCAQMD perform a Health Risk Assessment (HRA). Although SCAQMD denied this request, the District is currently conducting extensive air quality monitoring that far exceeds HRA standards, as well as requiring the heavy pollution emitters to conduct their own HRAs.
After completing his update, Mr. Jordan gave a hands-on presentation of an air sampling device to the Sub Committee and audience members. This portion of the meeting was open to questions from the public. Community members were given detailed explanations about how the sampler worked and the City Council’s plan to purchase other filters for the monitors.
At the close of the meeting, the Subcommittee reviewed the total number of metal-related businesses within the City, concluding that 17 of the 85 facilities required SCAQMD permits for metal-processing. Additionally, the team put together a list of items to consider, such as an expanded community outreach process when developing new City zoning regulations, and committed to a tour of Weber Metals on Friday, March 10.
The Sub Committee has agreed to meet on the fourth Thursday of each month, with additional meetings to be scheduled on an as-needed basis. These meetings will be held at Progress Park Plaza, 15500 Downey Avenue, unless otherwise noted. The next Air Quality Sub Committee meeting will be on March 23, 2017 at 6:00PM. Materials for this meeting are listed below; click/tap to download the files: