DEQ and Bullseye sign agreement that ensures state oversight of use of hazardous metals in production

Cleaner Air Oregon News

Glass company’s use of hazardous metals is restricted under terms of new agreement

Portland, OR – The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Bullseye Glass Co. in southeast Portland signed a binding Mutual Agreement and Final Order (MAO) today:…

The agreement, drawing on current regulations as well as additional provisions, prohibits the usage of certain metals in uncontrolled furnaces, including arsenic, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, and lead. It also outlines a path by which the glass manufacturer may apply to DEQ, in consultation with the Oregon Health Authority, for approval to resume production using certain metals (nickel, cobalt, selenium, and manganese) in uncontrolled furnaces while ensuring that resultant emissions remain safe to the surrounding community. The use of trivalent chromium remains restricted consistent with DEQ’s temporary rules.

This agreement lifts a cease-and-desist order against the glass company, directed by Oregon Governor Kate Brown after an air monitor deployed near Bullseye measured potentially dangerous levels of lead on May 9 and 10. The air monitor located southeast of Bullseye, at the Children’s Creative Learning Center (CCLC), measured lead levels at over four times the Oregon 24-hour screening level. The Oregon 24-hour screening level is the short-term concentration below which immediate health effects are not expected to occur.

The MAO imposes the required conditions under which Bullseye could resume use of specific metals, prior to September 1, 2016 and within new limitations that go beyond the recently adopted temporary rules for glass manufacturers.

Under the terms of the agreement:

  • Bullseye Glass will not use lead, arsenic, cadmium, or hexavalent chromium VI in an uncontrolled furnace.
  • Bullseye Glass will submit to DEQ information about its quality assurance, metals usage, and production procedures relative to air emission, as well as all testing data.
  • The glass company may submit a request to DEQ to use cobalt, manganese, nickel, and selenium in an unfiltered furnace by submitting a written request outlining the proposed use, but may not proceed without official approval.
  • Officials at DEQ and OHA will assess the request and determine if the proposed use of the requested metals constitute a health threat to the community, prior to authorizing any use of these metals.

DEQ and OHA environmental science and health experts will make final determinations on the amounts of metals used in uncontrolled furnaces that would not be expected to create an unreasonable risk to the community.

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