PLATFORM : Big Guys Untouched

<i> Harry Levy is president of Gene's Plating Works in Boyle Heights. He told The Times:</i>

The problem with some of the regulations on chrome emissions is that the AQMD (Air Quality Management District) has not totally done its homework in determining what is and is not dangerous in the atmosphere. Its premise is that all chrome in the air is dangerous. But a California Air Resources Board study says that more than 90% of the chrome in the air is not dangerous.

There’s a lot of politics involved, but let’s be very honest. Using the AQMD’s own data, 95%-plus of what’s in the air comes from mobile sources--cars, trucks, buses--and energy-generating companies--your DWPs, Southern California Edisons, ARCOs and Union Oils. All other is 4%, 5%.

If the AQMD is effective in shutting down 100% of those businesses that emit chrome, its effect on the air would be almost zero, because that 95% wouldn’t be touched.

So yeah, they could shut me down, and shut down every other metal finisher, and cost literally tens of thousands of jobs that pay up to $20 an hour--without touching the big ones.