November 29, 2016
The South Coast Air Quality Management District today launched enforcement actions against two metal-processing facilities in Paramount, requiring them to reduce their emissions of a cancer-causing compound or shut down.
“We are taking this action to protect the health of Paramount residents,” said Wayne Nastri, acting executive officer for the South Coast Air Quality Management District. “Meanwhile, our investigation is continuing and we will take similar actions if we find any other facilities emitting high levels of toxic air contaminants.”
Attorneys for SCAQMD today filed a petition for an administrative order, known as an Order for Abatement, against Anaplex Corp., at 15547 Garfield Ave. in Paramount, and Aerocraft Heat Treating Co., Inc., at 15701 Minnesota Ave. in Paramount. The petition was filed with the independent SCAQMD Hearing Board.
The Hearing Board will hear the case starting at 9 a.m. on Dec. 14 at SCAQMD headquarters at 21865 Copley Dr. in Diamond Bar. Members of the public in attendance may testify during the hearing, which is expected to be conducted over several days. All proceedings are webcast to a link at www.aqmd.gov.
The Order for Abatement alleges that Anaplex and Aerocraft both have unacceptably high emissions of hexavalent chromium, a known human carcinogen. The order also alleges that the two facilities are endangering public health and thus causing a public nuisance in violation of the agency’s Rule 402.
SCAQMD will also include in its Order for Abatement any other facilities that it finds to be contributing to high levels of hexavalent chromium in Paramount.
SCAQMD is working closely with several other public agencies that could initiate additional and coordinated enforcement actions against any facilities emitting high levels of hexavalent chromium.
SCAQMD inspectors today also served a Notice of Violation to Anaplex for violation of several SCAQMD rules and regulations, including the agency’s Rule 402 prohibiting public nuisance, Rule 1469 regulating emissions from chrome plating and related operations, and Rules 201 and 203, operating and/or modifying equipment without a required SCAQMD permit.
Anaplex operates chromic acid anodizing tanks, surface treatment tanks and spray coating operations, while Aerocraft conducts metal heat treating, cooling, cutting and grinding. All of these operations can cause hexavalent chromium emissions.
SCAQMD determined that Anaplex and Aerocraft were causing high levels of hexavalent chromium in an industrial area of Paramount following an intensive effort that involved air monitoring, thorough facility inspections and emissions tests of specific pieces of equipment at each facility.
Agency officials first detected high levels of hexavalent chromium – as high as 350 times typical background levels – in late October in an industrial area of Paramount. Since 2013, the SCAQMD has conducted special monitoring in Paramount for toxic metals, focusing on hexavalent chromium and nickel.
Hexavalent chromium is a potent human carcinogen associated with lung cancer when inhaled over long periods of time, typically years to decades. Hexavalent chromium emissions can result from chrome plating and other metal finishing processes used in aerospace and other industrial applications.
Members of the public can find information on SCAQMD’s efforts to identify and reduce emissions of hexavalent chromium in Paramount at http://www.aqmd.gov/home/regulations/compliance/air-monitoring-activities.
In addition, members of the public are invited to call in to a weekly conference call on the status of SCAQMD’s Paramount activities. The calls are scheduled every Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; residents can connect by calling 866-244-8528 and using the passcode 4063768. A simultaneous Spanish translation of the call is available by calling 888-394-8197 and using the passcode 9891238. The calls are listen-only, however questions may be submitted during the call by sending an email to email@example.com. Questions are answered during the call in the order received.
The SCAQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.