Bullseye Glass' Sales Were $19.8 Million Last Year. Pollution Controls Would Have Cost A Tiny Fraction of That.

Comments

1
* pushes glasses up, adopts most condescending possible voice *

Dan, it's profit that matters, not revenue. If BG sold 20M on costs of 15M, then sure, this is easily do-able. But if they sold 20M on costs of 25M, then that's a very different story. I'm not defending BG, only pointing out that using sales as your Villainy Yardstick is somewhat fraught.

(And a third-hand sales figure at that. Seriously, what private company tells cold-calling data miners their true earnings figures, or any figures at all? If Johnny Infogroup calls Steve Humphrey tomorrow, does Steve just rattle off the Mercury's profit and loss sheet for him?)
2
How is this company's rights any different than the rights of their neighbors? Corporations are people too after all. In fact it seems like the Mercury is saying we should discriminate against people who choose to exhale cadmium and arsenic rather than carbon dioxide. Shame on you Portland Mercury!
3
Who the F*ck is Daniel Forbes and why does he have such a hard on for Bulleyes. From where I sit he's a self promoting, third tier writer of dystopian fiction "Mitchell Fremson finds himself an island of sanity battling a police state gone haywire". Sounds more like David Fry than Erin Brockovich.

I seriously doubt the owners of Bulleyes woke up one morning and said lets kill some babies with our glass. This is SE Portland; historic home to rail-yards, battery recyclers, metal platers, body shops, auto salvage, metal shops, printers. There could be dozens of potential sources for hazardous chemicals. Is anyone checking the dirt around Free Geek. Just sayin. Let folks do their job instead of letting another PM hack try to earn his spurs on the back of a business that until now has been one of the darlings of the Portland manufacturing.

It's a problem, they'll fix it. Untwist your panties and find an organization that genuinely deserves serious scrutiny.
4
Keep up the good work, Daniel. The only thing that makes any of this a little bit better is knowing there are investigative journalists and citizens who won't let this go until it's OVER.
5
Bullseye continues to emit high levels chromium and other toxic metals. One of the two common forms of chromium is far more carcinogenic than cadmium.

Bullseye continues operating at the height of irresponsibility.
6
Thank you, Daniel. I am so grateful for your thoughtful and penetrating look into this. It's revealed a lot of details that usually get lost. Personally, at the meeting on 2/8 at Cleveland High, I felt DEQ were condescending and tried the tactic of "blinding us with science".
7
Thank you, Daniel. Your reporting has been tremendous. Creative, intrepid, cutting through the bullshit, putting things in context and clarifying the stakes. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
8
But you guys Bullseye didnt know those toxins would be harmful to the neighborhood.
DEQ said they were fine. Most company's dont hire chemists or do any kind of research on harmful affects of the products they produce. They just let DEQ tell them what to do. They started their company 42yrs ago here because the laws were so strict on small company's polluting the air and soil. The DEQ is such an amazing agency and expert on glass manufacturing that Bullseye didn't have to do any research. DEQ has been BUllseye's conscience for 42 yrs! Now thats the kind of team work that keeps neighborhoods safe! Who wouldn't want a company like Bullseye in their neighborhood!
9
Great reporting, Daniel. The information you brought forth at both the meeting at Cleveland High school and through this report is greatly appreciated. As one of the many residents affected by the current situtation it gives me hope that people like yourself are bringing the issue to the forefront. Thank you.
10
Thank you for continuing to cover this unfolding story. It's disturbing to see SE neighborhood parents posting reports of their children's elevated cadmium and arsenic levels and photos post brain surgery. These children need an advocate, and I'm glad you have stepped up. Given the defensive comments on here (hello Bullseye employees?) it seems the pressure is working.
11
The exact figures don't matter, the owners of Bullseye are wealthy and are spending exorbitant amounts of money renovating their mansion which illustrates that wealth. By cutting costs on proper pollution control they were able to pocket the difference. After all, they don't have to live anywhere near the business, they can watch from on high as their employees and the children of the neighborhood choke on their emissions.
12
Daniel Forbes must've put out a call that his feelings were getting hurt and that he needed a bunch of compliments. That's the only reason I can think of for all these obsequious comments.

Danny Boy, it's not becoming to beg for praise. Try not to do it again.

EDIT: Wait, Daniel Forbes is still using an AOL email address?!??!!! How the fuck is anyone supposed to take anything he says seriously?! Someone tell this guy about Gmail.
13
Quote:
"Monro replied that he didn’t think, given the high temperatures involved in making glass, that it was even possible to use such a control on their furnaces. The EPA says furnaces contribute "over 99% of the total emissions from a glass plant, both particulates and gaseous pollutants.”

But Monro is wrong, according to Eleftherakis, Frost, and the EPA.'"

WOW...That's Dave Monro chief permitter for DEQ. This is such a profoundly ignorant response from someone who should know exactly how effective a Donaldson Torit filter can be that it exposes really remarkable incompetence at the regulating agency. It's what the filters are made to do.

For the owners of either company to suggest that they did not know Cadmium vapor might be an issue is equally remarkable. The arsenic is another interesting issue not yet well explored. It has also not dealt with Lead and Chrome

This is really like getting two drunks to go through an intervention. They simply can't envision life without the sauce. Time to get their knees nailed to the floor and to beg forgiveness and to order the filtration systems tomorrow.
14
For what it's worth, the home in Scottland is actually a castle.
15
Unless you moved to SE Portland before the turn of the last century you KNEW you were moving into the heartland of Portland's industrial manufacturing community, and now you are shocked, SHOCKED that some of the grit in your "gritty little neighborhood" might not be good for your kids to eat. Who could of imagined. Unless you need this hand wringing to demonstrate your Portland Family street cred or you're fishing for some of that sweet class action cash, Move. If you really care about your kids just move...otherwise you're just whining
16
Two clarifications: First: "A reporter stepped to the microphone at one point to get an explanation from Monro on why the two glass makers lacked such equipment." That reporter was Daniel Forbes (the author), right? Why be so mock-detached?

Second, doesn't Bullseye have three plants (PDX, Oakland, Seattle)? If so, the $20 million revenue should be compared to the cost of scrubbing the stacks at all 3, right? So $1.5-3 million? Unless the devices are already installed at those sites?
17
Monro's explanation was wrong, amazing in itself.

Further, don't confuse Bullseye with Uroboros and Spectrum. Very different entities but the ones in Portland have the cadmium levels beyond acceptable norms. I find it fascinating that there are people scolding others about being upset over toxins in the air of a day care center. . 150 times the normal level acceptable? Really ? That's OK?

Baghouses can be amortized like most other tooling. They are not obscenely expensive as many other glass manufacturers have found.
18
Here's an informative comment about the history of the neighborhood from another article in this series: "But in the case of the neighborhood around Bullseye, most of the houses and schools predate much of the industrial development. Cleveland High School was built in 1929; Winterhaven was built (as Brooklyn Elementary) in 1930. Many houses in the area were built between 1905 and 1940. Bullseye started in 1974 – in the backyard of a residential house – and then took over much of a residential neighborhood. I agree that land use planners could have been more strict back then, but awareness of pollution wasn't as strong in the past. Now that we know more, our government needs to step up."
19
Daniel Forbes you pinhead. I'm skeptical you've ever started or run a business. You pull down Bullseye Glass' revenues and put them forth as the amount of money they keep - clearly trying to paint the owners as greedy polluting robber barons. Are you such a simpleton that you don't know that businesses have expenses and taxes, leaving them with a much much smaller figure called profit? The $19 million in sales pays for the operations, including raw materials, labor, administration, and other expenses, including efforts toward DEQ compliance, etc, leaving them with a small fraction of that number. And while we're at it, Is DEQ so toothless and inept that they never could have required Bullseye Glass to add improved abatement systems? No comparison to Erin Brokivich, where waste was being thoughtlessly and intentionally dumped with no regulation. You'd do everyone much better to point that razor sharp investigative reporting skill of yours to finding out the numbers in perspective.
20
I am curious if the threats of violence and death against the employees and families of these local glass manufacturers will cause the Portland Mercury to analyze the writing style of Mr. Forbes. It's obvious his intent in these blog entries is to frame as unflattering a picture of the companies, their owners and their employees as possible. The results of this irresponsibility is that the threat of violence has been invoked on internet forums.

Let's be clear, each one of these companies is filled with hardworking americans who care about this issue deeply. To think otherwise is inhuman. The evidence is clear considering each one of the companies has responded to the requests made by DEQ. Each one is willing and able to work towards a solution. But now each one of the over 300 people employed at these companies, who are your neighbors here in Portland, fear violent reprisal and risk to their livelihoods. It's a shame that decency has not prevailed. I pray the Portland Mercury take a look at the entire story that is unfolding before our very eyes.
21
ESRI isn't environmental data firm. They are the largest maker of GIS (geographic information system) software in the world. DEQ uses it to make those maps they release. ESRI just happens offer Infogroup data through their Business Analyst product.
22
I know Daniel from the community and thank him. Polluters knew it was toxic, and they knew they could capture the toxins. - Ignore the trolls defending polluters.

There are almost no legal limits to dumping toxins in the air. It is fully legal dumping that mirrors the dumping in rivers over 100 years ago.

Profit driven institutions drive our lawmakers and our voting choices. Democrats created this toxic situation. The Dem. establishment has a majority in Salem ( Gov/House/Senate) . Even the “liberal” papers (Mercury/WWeek) keep this pattern going by ignoring campaigns of true progressives seeking clean air and endorsements. If the Mercury and readers want change, change your votes to locals who run for the Green Party and don’t cozy up to profit over people.

Our whole system is broken, but the revolution is coming.
23
Bad stupid meanie doody-head Daniel, how dare you write bad things about a business? THAT'S NOT GOOD JOURNALISM.