Paramount Company Agrees to Order to Reduce its Hexavalent Chromium Emissions

January 11, 2017

Anaplex Corp., a metal finishing facility in Paramount, will immediately control its harmful emissions of hexavalent chromium under an order approved today by the independent South Coast Air Quality Management District Hearing Board.

Under the order, effective immediately, Anaplex must shut down all equipment with the potential to emit hexavalent chromium if the facility has caused outdoor levels to exceed 1.0 nanogram per cubic meter. The threshold is an average of three samples taken over a period of about a week.

“We have made this issue Priority No. 1 and we are pleased that the Hearing Board has adopted this order,” said Wayne Nastri, SCAQMD’s executive officer.

“We now have enforceable orders in place to protect Paramount residents from the two facilities we have identified as high emitters of hexavalent chromium.”

SCAQMD will continue to conduct air monitoring and inspections in Paramount to look for any other potential sources of hexavalent chromium, Nastri said.

On Dec. 16, the Hearing Board adopted an order with the same requirement for Aerocraft Heat Treating Co., Inc., at 15701 Minnesota Ave. -- the other facility identified by SCAQMD as causing high emissions of hexavalent chromium.

SCAQMD is monitoring hexavalent chromium levels near Anaplex and Aerocraft as well in other industrial areas in Paramount. SCAQMD is also monitoring for hexavalent chromium at schools within Paramount in conjunction with the California Air Resources Board.

Anaplex Corp., at 15547 Garfield Ave., processes metal using chromic acid anodizing tanks, surface treatment tanks and spray coating operations, all of which can cause hexavalent chromium emissions. Hexavalent chromium is a potent human carcinogen associated with lung cancer when inhaled over long periods of time, typically years to decades.

In its petition, SCAQMD alleged that Anaplex violated the agency’s Rule 402 prohibiting public nuisances because the facility emitted levels of hexavalent chromium that substantially increased the cancer risk for Paramount residents.

SCAQMD found last fall that Anaplex was the source of high levels of hexavalent chromium emissions through an exhaustive investigation including:

  • An unprecedented, intensive monitoring campaign that deployed multiple air monitors around Anaplex and surrounding areas, which found high levels close to the facility; and
  • Emissions tests of equipment inside the facility that also found high levels of the compound.

In response to a SCAQMD finding of high levels of hexavalent chromium on Anaplex’s roof, today’s order also requires Anaplex to submit a roof- and facility-cleaning plan to SCAQMD by Jan. 17.

SCAQMD also has required Anaplex and Aerocraft to develop health risk assessments and risk reduction plans under the state’s Toxic Hot Spots program to ensure these facilities reduce all toxic air contaminants to health-protective levels. While some actions may take longer to implement, the facilities will have to start implementing many risk reduction measures over the next few months.

On Dec. 23, SCAQMD sought a temporary restraining order in Los Angeles Superior Court seeking to force Anaplex to immediately reduce its emissions of hexavalent chromium. A judge denied the order, ruling that the Hearing Board was the proper venue. Anaplex subsequently agreed to today’s order prior to its approval by the Hearing Board.

Members of the public can find information on SCAQMD’s air monitoring and enforcement activities in Paramount at http://www.aqmd.gov/home/regulations/compliance/air-monitoring-activities.

In addition, the public and the news media are invited to join a weekly conference call on the status of SCAQMD’s Paramount activities every Tuesday starting at 6:30 p.m. To participate, call 866-244-8528 and use 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 by email during the call to publicadvisor@aqmd.gov. 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.

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