Air regulators have ruled that a second Paramount business must immediately control its emissions of an airborne substance that could cause cancer.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District Hearing Board approved an abatement order concerning Anaplex Corp., a metal finishing company at 15547 Garfield Ave. The order requires Anaplex to shut down all equipment with the potential to emit hexavalent chromium if the facility has caused outdoor levels to exceed one nanogram per cubic meter of air, according to SCAQMD spokesman Sam Atwood.
A similar order from the five-member board involving nearby Aerocraft Heat Treating Company was agreed to by both parties last month.
The SCAQMD on Nov. 30 identified Aerocraft and Anaplex as significant sources of chromium emissions. The next day, county public health officials directed both companies to take immediate action to reduce emissions, including suspending operations if necessary to eliminate danger to the public.
“We have made this issue priority No. 1 and we are pleased that the hearing board has adopted this order,” SCAQMD executive officer Wayne Nastri said Tuesday. “We now have enforceable orders in place to protect Paramount residents from the two facilities we have identified as high emitters of hexavalent chromium.”
Anaplex spokesman Adan Ortega told City News Service that the company agreed to the one-nanogram-per-cubic-meter threshold weeks ago.
“The rest was in the details in terms of AQMD giving us the list of equipment that was relevant to the abatement order,” Ortega said.
“We’re happy to have come to an agreement with regulators toward the common goal of assuring the public through our best efforts about the safe operation of Anaplex in the community of Paramount,” he added.
The SCAQMD has been been monitoring for toxic metals, particularly hexavalent chromium and nickel, since 2013. In August 2016, staffers reported hexavalent chromium levels in one residential area of Paramount — at Vermont Avenue near Jefferson Street — at five times higher than typical background levels in Southern California.
In late October 2016, a monitor in the vicinity of Madison Street and Minnesota Avenue, a mostly industrial area, measured localized levels of the heavy metal about 350 times higher than typical background levels. Both Anaplex and Aerocraft Heat Treating, which process parts for the aerospace and defense industries, operate nearby.
The agency noted that breathing high levels of hexavalent chromium for many years can increase a person’s risk of developing lung cancer.