PARAMOUNT, Calif. /California Newswire/ — On January 24, the Paramount City Council unanimously voted to extend the moratorium on all metal-related businesses within the City for an additional six months.
The original moratorium was established on December 13, 2016 to prohibit businesses that manufacture or process metal from opening or expanding within the City. The interim urgency ordinance was adopted to immediately protect the health, safety, and welfare of the residents and businesses from elevated levels of hexavalent chromium and other pollutants emitted by metal manufacturing and processing.

City of Paramount

Said Mayor Daryl Hofmeyer, “As the primary role of city government is centered on land-use and zoning, the moratorium is a key step the City could take to curtail harmful emissions. It also gives the Council additional time to consider further policy responses. Our Council is working with all regulatory agencies to address air quality so that our residents have access to information and we address problems that are documented and understood by the experts.”

The passage of the moratorium is one of several actions taken by the Paramount City Council to address the air quality concerns discovered by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) in November 2016. The City allocated funds to support enhanced air quality monitoring with the aid of SCAQMD and also sent a letter to SCAQMD urging adoption of Rule 1430 related to metal grinding particulate containment. City staff has been in daily contact with SCAQMD to monitor and address a range of issues and continues to work with several environmental regulatory experts to gain a complete view of the environmental quality concerns in town. The City has also engaged TetraTech, an environmental consulting firm with expertise in air, water and soil.

The extended moratorium now allows for specific exceptions: pollution control measures can be implemented by a facility if they are required through an Abatement Order by the SCAQMD or through any other documented SCAQMD action, so long as a conditional use permit is granted by the Planning Commission and a letter from the experts at SCAQMD indicates support for the environmental benefits of the project; facility or property improvements will be allowed if the changes do not expand the production capacity or output of a facility; and replacement of existing outdated, damaged, or broken equipment is allowed if the equipment replacement is not done to intentionally increase production capacity or output.

These exceptions will help reduce emissions from metal-related facilities. The moratorium will also provide more time for Paramount’s Air Quality Sub Committee to continue considering new policy measures to address air quality in the city for the long term.

Paramount, California is nationally known for its successful transformation from blighted suburb to a well-run city with an attractive business climate and quality of life. Located at the gateway to the Los Angeles metropolis, the municipality has earned numerous state and federal awards for its innovative strategic planning and investment in capital improvements. Today, Paramount is a business-friendly, growing community of landscaped boulevards, enhanced police service, parks, recreation programs, affordable housing, public art, and tree-lined neighborhoods with white picket fences.

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