Bullseye Proposes New Production Limits to DEQ
FOR RELEASE MAY 25, 2016—Bullseye Glass Company has presented Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality with a plan for safeguarding air quality in the neighborhood surrounding its ongoing glassmaking operations. If approved by DEQ, the plan will allow Bullseye to place strict limitations on the use of cobalt, manganese, lead, nickel, and selenium in its furnaces.
“We have asked DEQ for guidance on the use of key colorants in our glass production,” said Jim Jones, Bullseye’s vice-president. “In the absence of that guidance, we are taking a proactive approach and proposing safe levels based on DEQ’s own benchmarks.”
The company met with DEQ representatives on Tuesday to present the plan, said Jones. “We studied more than 200 air monitor readings over the last two months, which we are using as a guideline to set production limits. Cobalt, manganese, nickel, and selenium have never exceeded the state’s newly established 24-hour screening levels."
Although Bullseye was operating within EPA guidelines and its DEQ air contaminate discharge permit, it voluntarily ceased all production of glasses containing cadmium and arsenic on February 4 when high levels of those elements were discovered in the surrounding area, and immediately took steps to limit emissions by beginning construction of furnace filtration systems. The following week it discontinued production of chromium glasses, shutting down more than 60% percent of its product lines. Oregon’s governor, Kate Brown, further restricted production of lead glasses plus four additional metals that had never exceeded health benchmarks for ten days beginning on May 19, reducing the factory output to just 20% of its original product line.
The company has installed pilot “baghouse” filtration on one furnace, with a second scheduled soon, and is following DEQ’s required process for monitoring and analyzing furnace emissions to ensure that its furnaces operate safely. The company plans to have filtration systems installed on all affected furnaces in August.
Jones said the initial DEQ response to Bullseye’s plan was positive, but representatives felt they needed approval from the Governor’s office to proceed. “We’ve demonstrated, again and again, our willingness to comply with DEQ requirements, and we will continue to do everything we can to keep the neighborhood safe. With DEQ’s cooperation, we can resume only those operations deemed safe by DEQ, and avoid laying off additional employees.”
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