The Portland glassmaker said Tuesday it resumed cadmium use after installing a baghouse filter.
Bullseye Glass has since February been embroiled in a high-profile health scare because of heavy metals found in the air near the plant. State regulators found arsenic and cadmium – elements Bullseye used to make glass – at levels that created a cancer risk far exceeding state safety benchmarks.
Although the company was operating within the law, the state asked Bullseye to stop using the heavy metals. The company complied, and made plans to install a filter.
“We said we wouldn’t use (cadmium) until we had emissions controls in place, and that’s what we’ve done,” Jones said.
(READ MORE: Oregon Live)
Department of Environmental Quality spokesperson Jennifer Flynt told the Mercury that the “DEQ confirmed that Bullseye resumed using cadmium containing compounds yesterday, April 11.”
The DEQ has four air monitors positioned around Bullseye’s Southeast Portland facility, a precaution taken shortly after air monitoring from last fall turned up alarming levels of the carcinogens cadmium and arsenic in the air around the building earlier this year. Those levels slackened in more recent tests—which took place after the company ceased using the metals materials February 11. The baghouse Bullseye installed recently is said to be 99 percent effective at filtering harmful particles, according to the DEQ.
…[The] DEQ is still pressing Bullseye to sign an agreement formally reining in heavy metals from its furnaces. “This agreement has not yet been signed,” the release says.
(READ MORE: Portland Mercury)
Governor Kate Brown announced earlier this month that a new entity, Cleaner Air Oregon, would give regulators more power against air polluters.