Bullseye set to resume full production despite neighbors' linger - KPTV - FOX 12

Bullseye set to resume full production despite neighbors' lingering concerns

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Bullseye Glass Co. will be resuming full production in August after a third new filter system will bring them in compliance with requirements issued to them by the DEQ and the governor. (KPTV) Bullseye Glass Co. will be resuming full production in August after a third new filter system will bring them in compliance with requirements issued to them by the DEQ and the governor. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The glass company at the center of an air pollution controversy is preparing to ramp up production again after installing new equipment to cut down on emissions.

After months of negotiations with the Department of Environmental Quality and a cease-and-desist order issued by the governor, Bullseye Glass will be allowed to resume manufacturing glass using heavy metals, albeit under certain conditions.

"In a controlled furnace, a furnace with a bag house, they can use pretty much any of the metals they have except chromium," Keith Johnson, an air quality manager with the DEQ, explained.

A bag house is an emissions control device that Johnson said is 99 percent effective at filtering out heavy metals from furnace exhaust.

Johnson said Bullseye currently has one bag house on-line and is in the process of assembling a second. A third system is scheduled to go on-line in August, allowing the company to resume production at normal levels.

The company had been limited under its agreement with the DEQ, only allowed to use arsenic, cadmium and lead in a furnace controlled by a bag house.

While the new systems will bring the glass maker into state compliance, some residents living nearby still contend it is not enough.

"I don't feel comfortable with them going into production again with the rules we have in place right now. They're substandard," neighbor Sarah Livingstone said.

Livingstone lives less than half a mile from the glass factory. She said she has suffered from lung problems over the past several months, and blood tests on her 20-month-old daughter showed elevated levels of both arsenic and cadmium, which are both linked to cancer.

"It makes me anxious. It's always on my mind," Livingstone said. "We've been looking at houses. We've been looking at different neighborhoods."

The DEQ will continue to monitor air quality around the plant, at least for the time being, in hopes that the improvements at Bullseye give neighbors some peace of mind.

Livingston said the only acceptable resolution to the situation is tougher environmental laws and meaningful reform.

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