City Manager John Moreno Comments Before SCAQMD Governing Board

On December 9, 2016, following Mayor Daryl Hofmeyer, City Manager John Moreno also met with the SCAQMD Governing Board regarding the investigation and here are his comments pertaining to the issue:

Thank you Mayor Hofmeyer and good morning, Chairman Burke and governing board members. As the mayor, shared my name is John Moreno and I am the City Manager of the City of Paramount.

I also want to thank council member Mitchell for her assistance, as well as extend my appreciation to Mr. Nastri and his team for their efforts over the past few weeks.

Mr. Nastri has been contacting me to provide daily updates on the status of the district’s work to identify the source or sources of these significantly elevated levels of hexavalent chromium.

As of yesterday, we understand that AQMD officials have visited 20 or more locations in the affected area.

Based on these visits and the data collected, your staff focused on businesses located in the area of Madison Street bordered by Garfield and Minnesota Avenues.

In addition, staff at the air resources board has offered to install monitors at schools in this area, and the d-t-s-c is looking into conducting soil and groundwater analyses as well.

Weekly conference calls are conducted every Tuesday morning between AQMD and members of the public, and the latest community meeting was held just last night.

As Mayor Hofmeyer touched upon, city staff has made this matter our top priority and has worked diligently over the past month.

We compiled a comprehensive list of metal-related businesses from our business license database and forwarded that to the AQMD.

So that you know, we have 88 licenses for metal-related businesses, making up just fewer than 3% of the total number of businesses in Paramount.

Our city attorney has also been in communication with your district counsel to determine what, if anything, the city could bring to bear in our municipal code to assist with this effort.

Starting this week, we provided a Spanish language interpreter, at our cost, for the Tuesday conference calls with members of the public.

As the mayor shared, we have formed a task force to work specifically on this issue, and the date of the first air quality subcommittee meeting will be Saturday, December 10th at 1:00 or 1:30 p.m at Progress Park plaza.

I am also discussing with Mr. Nastri, as the mayor mentioned, the possibility of the city purchasing air monitors and entering into an MOU with AQMD for your staff to remove and test the samples.

We would foresee this happening once this current, most critical and time-sensitive issue is resolved.

Mayor Hofmeyer and I are here today to impress upon you the importance of this issue to our community.

As the mayor shared, we were relieved to hear earlier this week that two companies, Aerocraft and Anaplex, are facing administrative orders from the AQMD that could shut down their operations.

This recent resolve by your district to devote the time and resources to this issue is certainly commendable and appreciated.

It needs to be said, though, that as days passed without clear and definitive answers and actions, our residents, young and old, became more and more concerned and frustrated.

Your agency is the leading air quality agency in the nation, and you have a record of bringing the full resources. We were shocked and upset to learn from our air quality consultant that years of reports of notices to comply and notices of violation for one of these facilities where found on your own website.

To us at the City of Paramount, it appears that prior to Mr. Nastri’s recent tenure, district staff either ignored or simply missed dozens of opportunities to take action against this company.

We have no way of knowing how much this failure to act for years has impacted the health and well-being of those who live and work in Paramount.

We need your help. Our residents, business owners, and the men and women who work in Paramount desperately need you to continue to provide your staff with the resources required to swiftly and aggressively identify every source of these emissions and immediately implement all available enforcement measures.

As stated previously, we will continue to make ourselves and our facilities available to you and your staff throughout this process.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration and I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.

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