Saturday, August 12, 2017

New California law allows for faster shutdown of polluters

Children play in a neighborhood behind a metal-processing facility in Paramount. (Katie Falkenberg, LA Times)





















Tony Barboza reports for  the Los Angeles Times:

Local air quality officials are gaining new powers to quickly stop polluters when they endanger people’s health under legislation signed by Gov.
Jerry Brown on Monday.
The law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, follows years of frustration in communities such as Paramount, Boyle Heights and Maywood — where regulators have struggled to stop highly polluting operations after discovering hot spots of Chromium-6, lead and other dangerous pollutants.

Currently, air regulators seeking orders to curtail operations that violate rules and threaten public health must go through an administrative hearing board. The process can take months, while the pollution continues unabated.
As a result, residents “were being told: ‘You are in grave danger, but we can’t do anything about it,’ ” said Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), who wrote the legislation.
“What we’re saying today is that when we have imminent health threats, that trumps the right to do business,” Garcia said.
The new law will give pollution control officers the power to issue immediate orders to stop polluting operations when violations pose an “imminent and substantial” danger. The orders are temporary, pending a hearing before an administrative board.
South Coast Air Quality Management District Executive Officer Wayne Nastri welcomed the legislation as “an important new tool to protect public health.”
At Anaplex Corp., a metal-finishing facility in Paramount, it took the South Coast air district months to secure an administrative order to curtail operations after the carcinogen Chromium-6 was detected last fall at levels up to 350 times normal. The district has said it would have used the new authority to stop dangerous levels of lead from the now-shuttered battery recycler Exide Technologies in Vernon and Chromium-6 from Hixson Metal Finishing in Newport Beach, among other cases.
Some industry groups opposed the legislation, while cities backed it as giving air districts the tools they need to protect residents.
Like this? Use form in upper right to receive free updates
See popular posts from the last 30 days in right column --- >>

Subscribe here to view all our YouTube videos

Repost this article