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Portland Glass Maker Uroboros To Close After Air Quality Concerns


Uroboros Glass in Northeast Portland

Uroboros Glass in Northeast Portland

Bryan M. Vance/OPB

Portland-based glass maker Uroboros announced Wednesday it will discontinue operations in 2017 barring its sale, according to a news release.

Uroboros president and founder Eric Lovell wrote in the release the company could be sold and continue Portland operations.

“I am already in active discussions with credible interested parties,” Lovell wrote. “My goal is to find a way to provide a continuation of jobs for our staff if at all possible.”

The decision comes in the wake of air quality concerns raised by Portland residents earlier this year. Uroboros and fellow Portland glass maker Bullseye Glass were identified as potential culprits early on when a U.S. Forest Service study found abnormal levels of heavy metals in the city’s air.

“The Uroboros business model and location has lost viability for the long term,” Lovell wrote. “This situation has developed partly due to the very high costs of meeting many new environmental, fire safety, and seismic regulations now required by our city and state.”

Jessica Applegate with the Eastside Portland Air Coalition said her group is sad to see anyone go out of business.

“We kind of feel like it’s a consequence of decades and decades of lax air regulations,” she said. “It’s kind of all the more reason why we need really clear regulation, so that businesses can be successful and not be hit with these surprises.”

Uroboros will gradually phase out production of new products until mid-2017. Sales will continue throughout that process.

April Baer contributed reporting. This story will be updated.

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