As part of its on-going investigation and monitoring, South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) received new test results based on samples taken from the roof of the Anaplex facility. SCAQMD took 13 samples from loose debris on the roof: these samples revealed a wide range of deposits of hexavalent chromium, ranging up to 75,000 ppm.
According to SCAQMD, this number reflects a different type of measurement than what was used for the on-going monitoring results; however, the numbers are viewed as significant. As noted by SCAQMD, PPM (parts per million) does not look for a specific concentration or level of a certain compound; rather, this measurement only reveals if that compound is present on the surface from which the sample was taken. This calculation differs from the monitoring results released to the public in early November 2016, which measured the concentration of hexavalent chromium in the air. Nevertheless, the test results do provide additional evidence for SCAQMD’s efforts with regard to the continuing investigation into Anaplex.
SCAQMD took the samples from the roof on December 9, 2016 and later reported the results to Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn’s office. Anaplex subsequently stated that it had cleaned its roof after the District informed them of the hexavalent chromium test results. Anaplex further specified that the cleaning occurred before the weekend’s rainfall.
The presence of hexavalent chromium on the rooftop at the Anaplex facility has raised questions about the impact of hexavalent chromium runoff into the stormwater system. Anaplex has its own Industrial General NPDES permit directly from the State Water Resources Control Board for storm water discharge, and the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board holds responsibility for inspecting as well as giving and enforcing permits to the company. The City, under its general stormwater permit, also has a responsibility to inspect these facilities, but only for the purposes of determining whether there were any illicit discharges and ensuring that best management practices are in place to prevent storm water runoff.
The City has reached out to the Regional Water Quality Control Board to request that they conduct a new inspection of Anaplex. SCAQMD has put in a similar request to the Regional Board and to CalEPA as well. Currently, the Regional Board is not required to monitor for hexavalent chromium; however, due to recent developments, the City has taken the step of asking that the Board now include the carcinogen for future testing.
The City issued the following statement regarding the latest test results:
“The City is deeply concerned with the SCAQMD’s latest test results at Anaplex, and we welcome SCAQMD’s expertise and aggressive action to seek an immediate solution to any potential health risks posed these levels. We again urge Anaplex to cooperate with SCAQMD’s investigation and hope the hearing this Thursday in Diamond Bar brings about a productive outcome. We will continue to partner in any way possible to aid SCAQMD in this matter to ensure a healthy environment in Paramount.”