The City of Paramount has been working aggressively with other environmental enforcement agencies and experts to lower hexavalent chromium emissions within its boundaries. This work has spanned several disciplines and areas of study. The City recently attempted to summarize its work to-date toward tackling this goal, as well as focused its mission of working with all regulatory partners. The summary provides both an update to the public on the City’s efforts on their behalf and an outline that other cities can use as they begin to address hexavalent chromium emissions in their own communities.
PDF versions of the document are available here:
The text from the document is also provided below for convenience:
Air quality and environmental regulations are handled by regulatory experts, not cities. Upon learning about local air quality concerns, Paramount worked aggressively to become an active partner in the solution. The City:
- Engaged a top-quality environmental consultant.
- Held frequent phone calls with key regulators to stay current on a dynamic solution.
- Developed a list of all known metal-related businesses in town.
- Visited with high-priority businesses to discuss their operations and express air quality concerns.
Within the limits of its expertise and authority, the City identified key actions it could take to make the situation better or ensure it did not get worse. The City:
- Declared a moratorium on new or expanding metal-related businesses.
- Formed an Air Quality Sub Committee of the City Council to create or modify zoning rules.
- Launched an innovative new business license review process with SCAQMD.
- Advocated for legislation and regulations to empower SCAQMD.
- Dedicated City Code Enforcement Officers to accompany SCAQMD inspectors.
Informing the Community
Much as the City had a learning curve, so too, did residents. News stories and public presentations produced technical data and scientific concepts that required explanation. Transparency and public information were viewed as critical to developing long-term strategies. The City:
- Built an environmental website to provide transparency and access to information.
- Leveraged communication platforms in English and Spanish to update the community and answer questions.
- Provided resources to facilitate SCAQMD town hall gatherings to bring the experts to the public.
- Conducted nearly 20 community meetings to share information and listen to residents.
Investing in Data
Environmental concerns require scientific analysis that must come from good data. The City recognized that access to data would be critical to maintaining an ongoing method to ensure good environmental quality in Paramount. The City:
- Purchased air samplers to add 20% more capacity to monitoring efforts.
- Performed monthly testing for hexavalent chromium in the city’s water supply.
- Joined DTSC and LA County Public Health in soil testing near known emitters of hexavalent chromium.
Achieving Results Through Partnerships
Since October 2016, the City has supported the efforts of environmental regulators to identify the sources of the elevated hexavalent chromium levels. While more work needs to be done, the groundwork developed thus far has better positioned the City of Paramount to work with regulators in the future.
For the latest information about hexavalent chromium or other environmental data, please visit the following websites: