The following Statement was issued by the Mayor and City Council of the City of Paramount:
The City of Paramount appreciates the progress the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has made to identify the sources of hexavalent chromium in our community and the enforcement actions taken against those businesses responsible to substantially reduce ambient levels for the health and safety of our residents. The City will continue to partner in any way we can with all regulatory agencies that have the legal authority and expertise on air quality and public health matters to ensure further swift and effective action.
On Friday, December 16, the independent SCAQMD Hearing Board adopted an administrative order which was developed jointly and cooperatively by SCAQMD and Aerocraft Heat Treating that will require the company to take 22 actions to reduce hexavalent chromium emissions. Equally important, the administrative order will require ongoing monitoring of air quality near Aerocraft by the SCAQMD. Should at any time levels of hexavalent chromium exceed a specified threshold mandated by SCAQMD, Aerocraft will be required to shut down all hexavalent chromium-emitting equipment.
Also on Friday, the SCAQMD Hearing Board continued the abatement hearing on another business, Anaplex Corporation, identified by SCAQMD as a source of hexavalent chromium emissions, until January 5, 2017. But SCAQMD attorneys plan to take legal action this week to require Anaplex to shut down hexavalent chromium-emitting equipment. While the City respects that a proper legal hearing process must be followed, it also believes strongly that actions should be taken by the responsible regulatory agencies to ensure emissions of hexavalent chromium do not exceed ambient levels. The City will continue to aid regulatory agencies in their efforts throughout the holidays to make progress prior to the next hearing.
On Tuesday, December 13, the City Council took action by adopting a moratorium ordinance on new or expanding metal-related businesses in town. One business seeking to open a metal-related operation has already been denied under the moratorium. The City’s focus right now is on evaluation of the current situation and collaborating with SCAQMD in the creation of a long-term strategy for aggressive air-quality monitoring.
These steps are just the first of many to come for the residents and businesses of Paramount. The health and welfare of our community is the top priority for the City Council and additional actions that the City can take will be evaluated by the City Council Subcommittee on Air Quality in the coming weeks.