Hexavalent Chromium Sampler Count Expands in Paramount

Government agencies have deployed an increasing number of hexavalent chromium (CrVI, chromium VI, or hex chrome) samplers in the City of Paramount to aid in measuring and locating potential sources of this metal in the air. South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), California Air Resources Board (CARB), and the City of Paramount (the City) have all contributed samplers to test for hexavalent chromium in SCAQMD-identified areas and schools.

There are currently nearly 30 hexavalent chromium air samplers in Paramount, an unprecedented number for one city in the 60-year history of air monitoring in Southern California.

The monitoring efforts started with a single sampler deployed in July 2013 when SCAQMD first began testing for hexavalent chromium and other metals in a specific industrial area of town. A second sampler was added in August 2013 and a third in October 2013. Then, in October 2016, SCAQMD again expanded the coverage of samplers in the city’s industrial area to support further investigation. That expansion – as well as emissions measurements inside metal-related companies Anaplex and Aerocraft – quickly identified those two facilities as the source of elevated levels of hexavalent chromium. SCAQMD then pursued abatement orders against the companies through a formal hearing before the SCAQMD Hearing Board, to which the companies stipulated. Subsequently, even more samplers were added in Paramount.

SCAQMD’s efforts have focused first on measuring hexavalent chromium emissions and locating potential sources of high hexavalent chromium emissions by using portable air samplers. Agency staff then follow up with measurements inside plant operations to assess specific manufacturing activities with the potential for emitting hexavalent chromium. It is a complex endeavor involving significant scientific effort.

Public access to air monitoring data has been a critical component of the intensive response by SCAQMD to evaluate and pinpoint sources of hexavalent chromium emissions.

To provide a visual of how SCAQMD’s investigative efforts have expanded since October 2016, the City has assembled a chart using SCAQMD’s data to show the total number of sampler points active in the community. These monitoring points may include at least three sampler locations where SCAQMD has co-located monitors for data validation purposes. The net result being that there are even more samplers active in Paramount than there are sample site locations reported in this chart.

*Note: There are at least three (3) additional collocated samplers active in Paramount as of May 20, 2017

**Note: Sites 29 and 30 are excluded from this count because they are located in the City of Long Beach

One important note is that the number of samplers increased in December 2016 when SCAQMD started monitoring various school locations in the City with assistance from CARB. School site data are collected on the same one-in-three-day cycle, and are reported at the same time as the other locations. The monitors, however, move from school to school after SCAQMD determines that levels are typical of the region after an acceptable sampling period has taken place.

At its upcoming town hall meeting on June 13, SCAQMD staff will discuss current and future air monitoring efforts planned in the City. The meeting will take place from 6PM to 8PM at the Paramount Community Center at 14400 Paramount Blvd.

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