Officials rebuke hasty DEQ ruling

On Monday, just 23 hours before a commission vote, the Department of Environmental Quality intended to pass emergency rules that would force glassmakers to stop using heavy metals without pollution controls in place.

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House Speaker Tina Kotek and 10 other Portland lawmakers immediately told the agency to slow down, asking for a 14-day delay that advocates had been seeking.

“We are concerned that the department and the commission may not involve the public in a meaningful way prior to adopting this temporary rule,” they said in a letter calling for a two-week delay. “An open public process is essential in building public understanding of and trust in the eventual outcomes.”

Advocates had said the timeframe was far too short for the public to provide thoughtful input on whether the proposal was sufficient.

(READ MORE: Oregon Live)

The DEQ recently tested soil samples from the area around Bullseye Glass and said the area showed no serious health risk. The Borte family, who lives near the glass manufacturer, found high levels of arsenic and cadmium in their children.

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