Gov. directs cease and desist order to glass company – Washington Times

5 months ago Comments Off on Gov. directs cease and desist order to glass company – Washington Times

SEATTLE (AP) – Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Thursday ordered a Portland glass company stop using numerous air pollutants after monitoring at a nearby daycare showed lead levels four times higher than the 24-hour benchmark.

The state Department of Environmental Quality issued Brown’s order to Bullseye Glass Co., telling the company to halt the use of lead, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, all chromium compounds, cobalt, manganese, nickel, and selenium in any uncontrolled furnace for the next 10 days.

“Public health and safety are my highest priorities,” Brown said in a news release. “This swift action and public notification will help ensure the wellbeing of local residents who live and work in the area.”

The DEQ announced Feb. 3 it discovered hazardous levels of cadmium and arsenic in the air near the company, which has used the metals for years without being subject to regulation, to make colored glass. In the following weeks, concerns about pollution spread.

A call and email to Bullseye Thursday night were not immediately returned. The company has already voluntarily suspended the use of cadmium, chromium and arsenic. Bullseye officials said in a news release Wednesday, before the directive was issued, that they are working to install filtration systems and that they support stronger regulation of air toxics.

“We are on track to meet new standards in the coming months,” Bullseye said.

DEQ officials said in a news conference Thursday night they have been continuously monitoring the air in four places near Bullseye since the toxic air levels were first discovered.

Readings from May 9 which were analyzed Wednesday night showed the elevated lead levels and prompted officials from DEQ and the Oregon Health Authority to ask for the governor’s order, according to Brian Boling with the DEQ.

The wind was blowing from the company toward the daycare at the time of the data collection, he added.

David Farrer, a toxicologist with the Oregon Health Authority, said the findings made officials concerned for the health of the children in the daycare center because lead can affect brain development, especially in children under the age of 6.

County officials visited the daycare Thursday, notifying staff about the situation and offering free lead screening tests.

Officials said the order could extend beyond 10 days depending on monitoring data.

Two top state air regulators have resigned since the levels were discovered. The state is now working to close its regulatory gaps and identify other potentially troublesome industrial sites around the city.

Federal officials have launched a nationwide review of small art glass-making plants.

Gov. directs cease and desist order to glass company – Washington Times