In today’s news, Portland glass plant to close, seismic experts oppose OSU’s new research building and a Hillsboro company is banned from government contracts.
1. North Portland glass plant to close amid environmental regulations
Owner Eric Lovell says costly new environmental regulations will force him to shutter Uroboros Glass. Uroboros was one of two glass plants caught up in Portland’s toxic air scandal earlier this year. The other was Bullseye Glass. Officials found high levels of cadmium, used in colored glass, near the North Portland plant. Lovell said the plant will shut down by early 2017 if a buyer isn’t found, the Oregonian reports.
2. Scientists speak out against OSU ocean research building
Oregon State Univeristy intends to build its $50 million research facility in the middle of a tsunami zone — a zone with a 33% chance of an earthquake and tsunami in the next 50 years. OSU researchers say they can engineer the building to survive, but seismic experts say the university is ignoring the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission’s recommendation. OPB reports Senate President Peter Courtney is also frustrated with the university. He says it is hubris to think we can control Mother Nature.
3. Bureau of Labor and Industries banned a Hillsboro janitorial company from contracting with government agencies
Cornerstone Janitorial Services was accused of underpaying workers on publicly-funded projects. The ban is only the second of its kind BOLI has imposed, according to the Portland Tribune. More than $200,000 had been distributed to workers by BOLI to make up for the underpayment. In one instance, a worker was paid $12 per hour for work that required a minimum $36 per hour.
4. Federal Land Management settlement benefits Oregon tribe
A decades-long land management dispute between U.S. tribes and the federal government has concluded with a $492 million settlement, OPB reports. Oregon’s Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation will receive $20 million. Fifteen million dollars will be distributed to the tribe’s members, and the remaining $5 million will fund economic and social development.
5. Speaking of Oregon tribes, the Klamath Tribe opposes the Jordan Cove energy project
The tribal council says the Pacific Connector liquid gas pipeline will run through traditional tribal lands in Klamath County. The State Historic Preservation Office also opposes the project, according to the Herald and News. The Oregon Department of State Lands on the Jordan Cove project permits is expected to issue a decision in November.
6. Tigard industrial project gets a boost
The city of Tigard has won $2 million from the Commerce Department to build out an industrial district. Once completed, the district should create an additional 152 jobs, according to the Portland Business Journal. The funding will pay for part of the core project, 2,040 feet of road and water lines.
7. Finance pulse: Are the dog days over?
OB columnist Jason Norris believes the Fed will increase rates before year-end.