The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is the foremost air quality regulator for Orange County and the urban portions of Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. One element that backs up SCAQMD’s expertise and authority is conducting regular Health Risk Assessments (HRA): an HRA is a technical study that evaluates how toxic emissions are released from a facility, how they disperse throughout the community, and the potential for those toxic pollutants to impact human health. Both the SCAQMD and the state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) review HRAs submitted by facilities per the requirements of AB 2588.
In response to recent air quality issues, the City of Paramount requested that SCAQMD conduct a comprehensive HRA due to their expertise and based on California Health & Safety Code 40449 (b). The HRA was requested to include hexavalent chromium and other Toxic Air Contaminants (TACs) listed on AB 2588, in relation to all metal forging facilities within the boundaries of Paramount. The City felt that the HRA would provide the best protection for residents and community members in close proximity to metal-related facilities.
Although SCAQMD thanked the City for their continued support in the hexavalent chromium issue, the District declined to conduct an HRA. SCAQMD responded that it is already conducting extensive air quality monitoring throughout Paramount, which provides a much more accurate method for assessing potential impacts in the community.
In the past, the District has required facilities to conduct their own HRA if a screening analysis of their toxics emissions inventories submitted is above District thresholds. Along with current air quality monitoring, SCAQMD has ordered Carlton Forge Works, Aerocraft Heat Treating Company, and Anaplex Corporation to conduct and submit HRAs under Rule 1402, due to their high emissions. If any additional facilities are identified through the SCAQMD’s screening analysis or air quality monitoring, they will also be required to prepare an HRA.
The City appreciates SCAQMD’s work for the community. Moving forward, City staff have requested copies of the HRAs that SCAQMD has ordered from the three businesses so that they can be reviewed. The City of Paramount will continue working with the District in improving air quality and enforcing regulations. A copy of the City’s letter requesting an HRA, as well as SCAQMD’s response, can be viewed below.
Click/tap here to read the City’s letter requesting a Health Risk Assessment from SCAQMD.
Click/tap here to read SCAQMD’s response to the City’s request.