Image taken from Google Street View.
UPDATE | On Tuesday afternoon, the independent hearing board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) ruled that Anaplex Corporation will be shut down unless they obtain permits for all equipment with the potential to emit hexavalent chromium, a known human carcinogen, above a certain level.
Anaplex, the Paramount metal plating business found to be emitting unsafe levels of chromium 6 just north of Long Beach, will be required to provide proof of those permits, as well as chromium 6 reductions, on January 20, according to a release.
If the company’s emissions exceed a threshold of the pollutant, implemented to reduce the risk of cancer for nearby residents, averaged over a week, then it must shut down any equipment releasing chromium 6, according to KPCC.
This is after the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health ordered Anaplex to “immediately take all necessary actions to eliminate the current nuisance endangering the health of the public, which may include full or partial suspension of operations,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Speaker of the Assembly and representative of the 63rd Assembly District Anthony Rendon, who represents both North Long Beach and Paramount, submitted testimony on Tuesday to the SCAQMD. As a resident and representative of Paramount, Rendon expressed his dismay and called for the immediate stop to the chromium 6 emissions, according to a release.
Rendon also asked the board to require Anaplex to take any actions necessary to immediately address the chromium 6 pollution found on the roof of their facility, and to stop all chromium 6 emitting operations until the permit violations are resolved.
“We don’t want any more Exides where repeated violations are allowed to go unanswered for years, especially with the public health dangers posed by cumulative exposure to toxic chemicals,” Rendon wrote. “The toughest regulations in the world don’t matter if they are not aggressively enforced--the Hearing Board helped ensure those regulations are enforced.”
Exide Technologies is a Vernon battery recycling plant that was closed in 2015 after it was found to have emitted lead, arsenic and other hazardous pollutants into the area for decades.
On Tuesday evening, Rendon commended the Paramount City Council for purchasing additional air monitors, however warned other steps must be taken, according to the release.
“I would hope that the information gathered from these monitors can be used to better inform the land use decisions that come before the Council,” Rendon wrote. “Additionally, it would be worth examining how the cost of monitoring can be borne by the businesses that produce emissions and not by the taxpayers.”
PREVIOUSLY: Supervisor Hahn Fights Chromium 6 Crisis in Nearby Paramount; County to File Lawsuit
12/21/16 at 1:10PM | On Tuesday, Supervisor Janice Hahn instructed the Office of the County Council to file a public nuisance lawsuit against Anaplex, a metal plating business in the city of Paramount, just north of Long Beach.
The county's Department of Public Health determined Anaplex to be emitting unsafe levels of a known human carcinogen, chromium 6, according to the release.
The lawsuit will be jointly filed this week with the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) in an effort to enforce both agencies’ efforts to enforce air pollution standards and reduce emissions to acceptable levels.
The agencies seek an order compelling Anaplex to immediately cease any operations that generate chromium 6 emissions exceeding 1.0 ng/ m3 as measured by an SCAQMD ambient air monitor.
“Anaplex’s ongoing emissions of Chromium 6 are a serious threat to public health and local Paramount residents,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn in a statement. “With this lawsuit I hope we will force Anaplex to immediately stop these dangerous emissions and send a strong message to the residents of Paramount that the County of Los Angeles is here to protect them.”
Air quality tests in recent months in Paramount measured Chromium 6 hotspots at 300x normal levels.
Since taking office December 5, Hahn has made Paramount’s Chromium 6 crisis one of her top priorities. At a December 12 community town hall she addressed local residents on the situation, has met with Paramount elected officials and invited concerned Paramount residents to testify in front of the Board of Supervisors.
During Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Hahn led the questioning of County Public Health Interim Director Cynthia Harding, regarding the ongoing public health issue threatening Paramount residents.