Bullseye Glass responds to Cease and Desist Order | News Releases

Bullseye Glass responds to Cease and Desist Order

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 20, 2016

On the evening of May 19, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the Oregon Health Authority, and the Multnomah County Health Department held a press conference to discuss a Cease and Desist Order issued by the Office of the Governor, ordering Bullseye Glass to stop using materials that will force us to eliminate 80% of our products. This order came nearly 12 hours after DEQ learned of a reported one-time spike in lead levels May 9 in the air near Bullseye Glass. Bullseye received the Order minutes before it was sent to the press.

Why didn’t DEQ contact Bullseye about the readings immediately?  Bullseye has consistently cooperated working with DEQ to suspend the use of materials when issues arose, first with cadmium and arsenic, and later with chromium.  The Cease and Desist Order and press conference were an unnecessary and heavy-handed tactic.  If DEQ had contacted us, we would have suspended use of the materials they are concerned about until they could investigate further.  It is alarming that, instead of communicating with us, state officials chose to spend the 12 hours preparing legal documents and planning for a press conference.
 
If the matter was so urgent that it requires these unprecedented steps, why didn’t they simply pick up the phone and inform us of the problem?  We would have suspended the use of lead while they investigated the matter further – as we have suspended the use of other metals in the past when DEQ has expressed concerns.

DEQ has now added cobalt, manganese, nickel and selenium to the list of restricted raw materials even though air monitoring data over the past few months has not shown any significant concerns with these materials. Why did DEQ add additional metals to the Cease and Desist Order, metals that have not exceeded benchmarks or health standards – unless the real goal is to put Bullseye out of business?  Because these metals were added to the list, Bullseye is forced to lay off employees, starting on Monday, May 23.
 
Bullseye had a conference scheduled with DEQ for Friday, May 20.  This meeting had been scheduled for weeks.  The meeting agenda was meant to focus on the plan going forward with milestones for the installation of pollution controls and the continued campaign to meet the deadline set in the temporary rule. Shortly before holding their press conference, DEQ canceled the meeting. If there has ever been time to discuss a plan forward, today would have been the critical time.
 
Over the past four months, Bullseye has tried to be a model of how a business can work with DEQ to solve problems once they come to light.  Our goal since the beginning of this ordeal has been to become the cleanest manufacturer of colored art glass in the US.  But it does not seem that DEQ wants to work with small businesses in Oregon.  Their actions show that, rather than helping a business operate in the cleanest manner possible, they would prefer to simply close us down.  We acknowledge that air quality problems in Oregon are real – but these problems will remain, even if DEQ shuts us down.