With Bullseye Glass resuming the use of cadmium in its colored glass products for the first time in a month, the Oregon DEQ says the company has indeed installed a "baghouse" pollution control device.
In a press release issued this evening, a day after Bullseye announced its intentions to resume cadmium use, the Oregon DEQ "confirmed Bullseye has installed the baghouse and that the device is functioning." But the device still will require testing, according to the release. "Bullseye has proposed a plan to conduct stack testing between April 26 and April 28. DEQ has approved that proposal and will oversee stack testing activities, review results, and share those results with the public."
In the meantime, the cadmium has already hit the company's furnace, according to DEQ spokesperson Jennifer Flynt. "DEQ confirmed that Bullseye resumed using cadmium containing compounds yesterday, April 11," she tells the Mercury.
The DEQ has four air monitors positioned around Bullseye's Southeast Portland facility, a precaution taken shortly after air monitoring from last fall turned up alarming levels of the carcinogens cadmium and arsenic in the air around the building earlier this year. Those levels slackened in more recent tests—which took place after the company ceased using the metals materials February 11. The baghouse Bullseye installed recently is said to be 99 percent effective at filtering harmful particles, according to the DEQ.
This evening's release mentions one more interesting tidbit: That the DEQ is still pressing Bullseye to sign an agreement formally reining in heavy metals from its furnaces. "This agreement has not yet been signed," the release says.
Hit the jump for the whole release.
Bullseye Glass Co. in southeast Portland notified the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality that it has installed a baghouse filtration device to limit emissions of heavy metals and other particulate emissions in its glass-making operations.
Bullseye also informed DEQ that, as a result of the installation of this new air pollution control equipment, it is resuming the use of raw materials containing cadmium.
The company had agreed to suspend use of cadmium, along with arsenic and chromium, on Feb. 11.
DEQ, Oregon Health Authority and Multnomah County Health Department expect Bullseye to ensure its control devices are working within acceptable parameters and are properly controlling emissions from the furnace.
Today DEQ performed an onsite inspection and confirmed Bullseye has installed the baghouse and that the device is functioning. Bullseye has proposed a plan to conduct stack testing between April 26 and April 28. DEQ has approved that proposal and will oversee stack testing activities, review results, and share those results with the public, OHA and Multnomah County. DEQ is keeping four air monitors deployed around the company’s site in southeast Portland, and the agencies are watching readings closely. They will continue to publish weekly reports on that data at SaferAir.Oregon.gov.
DEQ, along with its partner agencies OHA and Multnomah County Health Department, recognizes Bullseye’s installation of this emission control device is consistent with the direction of DEQ’s temporary rules, and the agreement DEQ has been pursuing with Bullseye to control emissions of heavy metals from its furnaces. This agreement has not yet been signed.
The agencies have authority to take additional action to protect the health of the public in the event that data for heavy metals emissions indicate an imminent public health threat. Results from tests on soil and air, as well as data on cancer incidence and urine cadmium tests from community members, so far have shown low short-term health risk associated with exposure to the heavy metals from the glass companies.