The scandal around airborne pollutants has catalyzed changes in government policy and fomented fear among residents who live near the offending companies. Now another group of concerned citizens is starting to make its voice heard: glass artists from around the country who feel the local conversation has unfairly demonized companies like Bullseye Glass and fails to take into consideration rezoning and other solutions — in addition to more stringent regulations.
We’ve gathered together some of the comments that appeared on our site here and on Twitter:
“As a mother, scientist, and glass artist I fully support clean air. However, not all potential sources are being treated equitably. Destroying a company that is working to install the necessary pollution controls is both short sighted and bad business. Protect the children, work with Bullseye and Oroborous Glass. A win-win solution is achievable.”
— Susan Gray
“I am a glass artist that is concerned about the kids at the day care center. I believe that it was admirable a company wanted to provide day care for their employees. My question is why was that location chosen to house small children in the first place? The properties west and south of the center are zoned industrial. There are cement trucks, railroad tracks and diesel locomotives, and diesel locomotives, a plaiting company, a glass manufacturing company and many more industrial company’s that are, and have been in that location for years. Who approved the original location for a children’s center? More importantly what were they thinking?
“On the same property on the north east corner there is a park. To the east of this spot is zoned residential. Seems like a more likely spot for the original center to have been erected. For the protection of the children they should be immediately moved to a more healthful environment. As a parent I would not allow my child to go to school there. Not only because of Bullseye being so close but for the harmful effects of the trains, cement trucks, plating company and other industries in the zone. I do have one more question. What type of business was conducted on and around the property that the school was built on before the kids got there? Was the soil tested?
“As I said at the beginning, I am a glass artist that supports the kids. I also support clean air and water. Along with this I support small business. Bullseye glass needs help to make the changes that they have already begun. I believe that clean safe air and glass manufacturing can go hand in hand.”
— Jill Leslie
“I too rely on Bullseye Glass for my livelihood. My husband and I just began an online store and a teaching studio. We in turn serve hundreds of customers who also rely on Bullseye Glass. We engage other glass artists who come to teach at our studio. That’s a part of their livelihood. The closing of Bullseye Glass will have an unbelievable ripple effect. All the tools and materials glass artists use. Those manufacturers will also suffer or go out of business. I know Bullseye is going to try do whatever it takes to make their glass cleanly. The people who are in a panic about this should stop to consider all sides of the issue.”
— Meryl Raiffe
“I am a glass fuser in Florida and use Bullseye glass too. I like the idea of relocating the daycare. We will be lost without our glass! The glass from China is substandard.”
— Kendra Wiggins
“I, too, am a glass artist from out of state (New Mexico) who depends on Bullseye glass. I have been following the air quality issues surrounding Bullseye and Uroboros with great concern. My art depends on Bullseye glass and I encourage the parties involved to work together to find a solution. We all want to have clean air, but in most cases like these, more time is given for a company to comply to new regulations. I know that Bullseye is working to bring their factory up to the new standards. As Sheila mentioned, this impacts tens of thousands of artists and distributors worldwide. Let’s approach this rationally, without the politics and grandstanding. We’ve identified a problem, now let’s work together to find the solution without destroying an industry.”
— Lydia Piper
“As a complete outsider I have been following this story with great interest. I’m one of the sustainability champions for the company I work for and have spent the last few years helping a range of businesses improve their sustainability position. From the various posts I see there seems to have been a completely one sided and biased approach.
“I’m fully in support of clean air and can understand that the residents want to have a safe environment, but there appears to be a targeted attack on Bullseye Glass without the same pressure being brought to bear on industries who also work with toxic metals in the same area. One of the articles I read suggested that the measurements for cadmium and chromium haven’t decreased since the cease and desist order which to me would suggest that the source has not been identified. as I understand it, at a recent meeting the actual owner of the company wasn’t allowed to attend the board meeting simply because she wasn’t the person that they invited. That strikes me of petty bureaucracy or small people hiding behind rules because they have things to hide.”
— Mark Laird