DEQ working to pass new rules regarding glass companies and heav - KPTV - FOX 12

DEQ working to pass new rules regarding glass companies and heavy metals

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Meeting held at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality headquarters in downtown Portland. (KPTV) Meeting held at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality headquarters in downtown Portland. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission just voted unanimously to delay enforcing new temporary rules proposed by the DEQ to regulate the way glass companies release heavy metals into Portland neighborhoods.

This comes after a 4 hour long meeting at DEQ headquarters in downtown Portland.

The DEQ was hoping to pass temporary rules to control metal emissions from glass companies, after state studies showed high levels of arsenic, cadmium and chromium near Bullseye Glass and Uroboros Glass.

The DEQ says their temporary rules would affect those two manufactures, along with three others in the Portland area.

Here’s what they want done in those facilities:

1)      Prohibit use of arsenic, cadmium or chromium 6 in any uncontrolled furnace. 
2)      Require installation of emission control devices on furnaces that use arsenic, cadmium, chromium or nickel
3)      Require source testing to establish maximum usage rate of chromium 3 and chromium 6.
4)      Require source testing of emission control device.
5)      Require a permit.

Some 47 people showed up to talk about the new rules and how it would impact them personally, including Bullseye glass employees themselves. 

Bullseye issued this statement to FOX 12 about the situation which says in part:

“Bullseye Glass Company urges the State of Oregon to enact stronger environmental protections across all manufacturing industries. New rules must be based upon science, and they should actually protect the community.  The proposed temporary rules for CR+3 (which is a safe and essential nutrient) in glass making are based on politics rather than science, and they distract the public from the real sources of hexavalent chromium in SE Portland. Contrary to unfounded speculation by DEQ officials, CR+3 (safe) does not convert to CR+6 (toxic) in the colored glass furnaces used by Bullseye. We agree with the Legislature and community’s request for a 14 day comment period. The current proposal is rushed, sloppy and based more on politics than public interest.”

While the commission did not have to listen to public testimony in order to pass a temporary rule, they decided to allow it on this heated issue.

In the end, they voted unanimously to postpone a decision on the DEQ’s request, until after a 14 day comment period.

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