The City of Paramount, aided by the expertise of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), has completed deployment of five air quality monitors that will test for hexavalent chromium. The devices will supplement SCAQMD’s network of monitors currently active in the city for identifying sources of hexavalent chromium emissions. Samples will be taken by SCAQMD every three days and lab testing will be done by SCAQMD staff as part of an agreement with Paramount.
“The City has taken an aggressive step to enhance oversight of air quality in our community with the purchase and deployment of these monitors,” stated Mayor Peggy Lemons. “It’s unique for a City to act like this, and to work so closely with SCAQMD. But it’s just one of many things we’ve done to respond to the discovery of elevated hexavalent chromium levels in our community. Our commitment to these issues is deep and ongoing.”
Since learning of the elevated hexavalent chromium levels, the City has partnered with SCAQMD and other regional environmental regulators. The City has leveraged its communication platforms to spread the word and enhance community access to health information and it has launched a “Paramount Environment” portal to provide routine updates to the public on an array of environmental matters. The City Council has placed a moratorium on new metal-related companies or the expansion of existing ones while policy options are evaluated.
“City staff have been working tirelessly to keep the public informed and provide information to the City Council to craft policy responses that could aid air quality in town,” said John Moreno, Paramount City Manager. “We have benefitted greatly from the Air Quality Sub Committee and the cross section of community members who participate on the Sub Committee.”
The City-owned monitors are located at: Wesley Gaines Elementary School, Major Lynn Mokler Elementary School, Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, Promise Hospital, and at Somerset and Vermont near Carlton Forge. Three of these have been co-located with SCAQMD monitors to validate their performance by comparing findings. Once the readings have been confirmed, SCAQMD will be positioned to move their monitors elsewhere. The current locations for the sensors can be found on the Paramount Environment Portal online map.