OPB has been reporting on Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's cease-and-desist order to Bullseye Glass on production with nine metals — basically taking out 80 percent of the company's production, according to Bullseye. This follows the revelation that a children's daycare center near Bullseye's production plant showed hazardous levels of lead earlier in the month.
We spoke with Jim Jones, director of sales for Bullseye Glass, and Jennifer Flynt, chief public affairs officer at DEQ. Here are three key points on which they differ:
1. Production On The Dates In Question
DEQ says readings taken at the daycare monitoring site May 9 and 10 show lead levels three and four times higher than the state’s 24-hour benchmark. DEQ says its review of Bullseye’s production records suggest the company was definitely the source. Jones says DEQ can’t be certain of that. He says Bullseye was producing white glass that day, using lead as an ingredient.
2. Who Knew What, And When Did They Know It?
Bullseye says DEQ willfully kept the company in the dark about the heightened lead levels, only informing Bullseye of the impending action minutes before informing the public. Jones maintains the company would have voluntarily stopped production if notified. Flynt says proper procedure was followed, and that the DEQ moved as fast as possible to remedy the situation.
3. Who’s Negotiating In Good Faith?
Bullseye suggests in its printed statement that the DEQ is trying to close the company. Bullseye maintains some items on the list of banned ingredients have not been mentioned as problem emissions to this point. DEQ's Flynt says the list was compiled with an eye for what might be dangerous to the public.
Listen to full interviews with representatives from Bullseye Glass and DEQ below.