Environmental Situations: The City of Carson and The City of Paramount… How do they differ?

There has been some recent news coverage on the Tesoro Refinery’s planned expansion in the City of Carson. Since the beginning of the project, several community members in Carson have expressed various environmental concerns. Both the Carson Tesoro refinery and Paramount’s hexavalent chromium air quality concerns pose environmental challenges, which are unique to their specific situations. While the challenges are quite different, how these cities are responding have their own distinct merits. The following is an attempt to outline those key differences.



  • The City of Carson has sued SCAQMD for approving a project to allow Tesoro to integrate its Wilmington refinery into the Carson refinery, making Carson the largest petroleum refinery on the West Coast. The City will work with the agency moving forward.
  • The City of Paramount has been working closely with SCAQMD since fall 2016 to reduce chrome 6 emissions from Anaplex and Aerocraft, and other facilities in the future. Monitoring efforts are ongoing to ensure lasting reduction in emissions.
  • The City of Carson states that resident and city concerns were not taken into consideration while preparing the environmental assessment for the Tesoro project. However, this project is in its initial phases; SCAQMD may have plans to gather community input and discussion.
  • The City of Paramount has worked to ensure that community and city concerns are considered by the SCAQMD. Moreover, SCAQMD has actively responded to the situation to investigate and reduce emissions.
  • The City of Carson believes that local pollution effects were not considered in the Tesoro project. The City will need to further discuss this topic with SCAQMD as the project advances.
  • The City of Paramount and SCAQMD have led an unprecedented cooperative multi-agency investigation into hexavalent chromium emissions and have both dedicated significant resources to address this issue.
  • The City of Carson believes that the Tesoro project will increase pollution in the city.
  • The City of Paramount is working with SCAQMD to develop and adopt new regulations with the goal of ensuring that there is a reduction of pollutants, including chrome 6. These rules may benefit other communities in the future with better environmental standards.
  • Opponents of the Tesoro project claim that outdated technology related to pollution monitoring was used in the environmental analysis.
  • The City of Paramount, the California Air Resources Board, and SCAQMD have worked to ensure that air monitoring devices are technologically advanced.
  • The City of Paramount is currently working on developing changes to the municipal zoning code that could include fees paid by industry.  Revenue from these fees could pay for ongoing air monitoring and other environmental programs.

This is just a brief comparison of the two situations. Should you have further questions or comments, we encourage you to write to us via our Contact page.

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