Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

An executive for the South Coast Air Quality Management District said the agency is “disappointed” that a judge denied an application for a temporary restraining order seeking to reduce high levels of hexavalent chromium emitted from Anaplex Corp. in Paramount, but added that other options will be explored.

The application was jointly filed by the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the County of Los Angeles. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joanne  O’Donnell denied it Thursday based on her ruling that the independent SCAQMD Hearing Board has primary jurisdiction over the matter.

“We are disappointed that the court denied our request for a restraining order,” said Wayne Nastri, SCAQMD’s executive officer. “In addition to seeking an administrative order from the independent SCAQMD Hearing Board, we will consider all other enforcement options available to us with our partner agencies. We also will remain vigilant as to Anaplex’s actions and its emissions.”

Had it been granted, the temporary restraining order would have compelled Anaplex Corp. to shut down all equipment with the potential to emit hexavalent chromium if the level of cancer-causing compound at the facility’s fence line exceeded 1.0 nanograms per cubic meter, determined by an average of the three most recent air monitoring samples taken by SCAQMD at a monitor immediately downwind of the facility, according to the district. Samples are collected once every three days.

The conditions are the same as the ones imposed upon Aerocraft Heat Treating Co., Inc., another Paramount facility found to have high hexavalent chromium emissions  by the SCAQMD Hearing Board on Dec. 16.

While Aerocraft voluntarily agreed to terms of the Hearing Board’s order, Anaplex refused to do so, prompting the legal action by the SCAQMD and Los Angeles County, according to the district.

SCAQMD will now seek an order against Anaplex at a Jan. 5 hearing before the SCAQMD Hearing Board, according to the district.

The company released a statement saying the judge’s “ruling provides much needed clarity to the process toward a goal we all agree about in protecting public health, including that of Anaplex’s employees who own the company.”

Another statement released by the company earlier in the day said Anaplex is “an employee-owned corporation of 70 people who live in and around Paramount. Our health and the health and safety of our neighbors is of utmost importance in our roles as employees and owners of Anaplex, and as residents.”

—City News Service

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