The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality passed new air pollution restrictions for glassmakers on Thursday.
The rules aim to control harmful emissions of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead and manganese coming from facilities that make colored glass. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality proposed the new, temporary rules following the discovery of heavy metal hot spots near two Portland glassmaking facilities, Bullseye Glass and Uroboros Glass. The hotspots were revealed by a U.S. Forest Service study that tested for air pollutants in tree moss.
The most restrictive new rules apply only to Bullseye and Uroboros. They require the two companies to install and test pollution control devices on furnaces handling any of the six metals of concern by September. The companies will also be required to test how much trivalent chromium used in glassmaking is converted to toxic hexavalent chromium during the manufacturing process.
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The Department of Environmental Quality recently tested the air near Bullseye Glass and Uroboros and detected “noteworthy levels” of hexavalent chromium in addition to the previously found arsenic and cadmium compounds.