According to State law, the SCAQMD has sole jurisdiction to adopt and enforce local air quality laws. The California Air Resources Board and the United States Environmental Protection Agency also adopt and enforce state and federal standards. Nonetheless, the City has played an active role in partnering with SCAQMD in order to enable the agency to move as fast as possible and is working to provide timely and accurate information to residents to help them understand the issues. Because the City has not been responsible for air quality, it has not had expertise in air quality issues. However, this issue has raised broader questions about environmental quality and the City Council has directed City Staff to explore a long-term strategy for monitoring environmental quality factors and supporting policies that will facilitate cleaner jobs in our community.
The City also adopted a 45-day moratorium on all new metal-related businesses in town on December 13, 2016. This means that no new metal-related businesses can open up or expand in town until the City Council lifts this ban or it expires. The City Council can extend the moratorium for up to 18 months.
Update 9/14/17: SCAQMD is the primary agency for regulating air quality in southern California; their years of research and rule development have made them the foremost experts in the matter. The City of Paramount does not nearly have the same scientific background to adequately take on the law-making process – nor does any other city in the state. As such, the City has decided to follow the recommendations of both SCAQMD and other regulating agencies who have greater expertise.
Beyond this cooperative partnership that has been established between all relevant agencies, the City has also: engaged a top-quality environmental consultant, declared a moratorium on new or expanding metal-related businesses, formed an Air Quality Sub Committee to create or modify zoning laws, launched an innovative new business license review process with SCAQMD, built an environmental website to provide transparency, purchased air samplers to add 20% more capacity to monitoring efforts, performed monthly testing for hexavalent chromium in the water supply, and joined DTSC and LA County Public Health in soil testing near known emitters.