With Bullseye future cloudy, neighbors, artists share concerns o - KPTV - FOX 12

With Bullseye future cloudy, neighbors, artists share concerns on both ends of spectrum

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Governor Brown announced Friday a cease and desist order severely limiting operations for Bullseye Glass will be extended for another 10 days.

"I will continue this prohibition on the use of toxic metals in uncontrolled furnaces as long as necessary to protect the well-being of children at the nearby daycare center and other residents," Governor Brown said in a release. 

The release also said Bullseye refused to sign an agreement by Friday afternoon that would have eliminated the cease-and-desist order.

Fox 12 asked for a copy of the agreement’s terms, but the Department of Environmental Quality did not release it, citing attorney-client privilege. 

A spokesman for Bullseye also declined to share the document, and said the company has no comment on the latest order. 

Area neighbors and artists, however, had plenty to say, offering opinions from two very different ends of the spectrum.

“I’m really happy (the state) ordered (Bullseye) to step up,” said Judith Ontiveros, a nearby neighbor who has lived at her home for about 30 years.

Ontiveros said she and her grandson, who also lives nearby, both have severe asthma.

“It could be related,” Ontiveros said. “In 30 years of living here, you have ongoing health issues that get worse, then yeah, you’re going to ask questions. Is this part of the reason that my asthma is getting worse?”

Another neighbor, Jaclyn Evans, said she’s letting her fruit garden go to rot this summer because she’s afraid it could be contaminated with toxins caused by Bullseye. 

“It’s frustrating and overwhelming because that’s not something you expect to happen,” Evans said.“(Bullseye) know where they are situated, and to me, that makes their responsibility to all of us neighbors around them bigger.” 

But artists around the world are also frustrated: many of them told Fox 12 that they rely on Bullseye glass to make their products and art pieces.

“I don’t know what I’ll do because I use their products exclusively with my glass,” Portland artist Jenny Wells said. “I really do feel like Bullseye is being unfairly targeted.”

Wells said she believes there are plenty of other Portland businesses that are polluting the environment, and she said she wonders why Bullseye is getting the harshest punishment

“It seems to be political,” Wells said. “I’m quite sure even if they were to shut down completely, (the state) would still find the same pollution as they would with Bullseye running.”

Wells said she worries not only for her business, but for glass art in general. A Washington glass manufacturer recently announced it was shutting down.

“This could be a lost art, and it would start with fused glass,” Wells said. 

Bullseye will not be able to produce 80 percent of its glass until at least June 8. Negotiations between the state and the manufacturer are ongoing

A memo from DEQ and the Oregon Health Authority to Gov. Brown noted that the agencies are confident that the source of the toxins is Bullseye, despite the company’s claims to the contrary.

"While in public statements about this matter, Bullseye suggested that the dangerous levels of lead detected at the day care center originated from a different source…DEQ is confident Bullseye is the source of the emissions. Such claims by the company continue to indicate a lack of recognition of the impacts that its operations have to the surrounding community."

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