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Bullseye begins...

Bullseye Glass Co. begins making colored art glass from recycled bottles in an industrial zone of southeast Portland. Owners are three recent art school graduates assisted by a dog named Jake. Two furnaces, $50K annual sales.


Documentary video: Jake's Gate

Kentucky Educational TV (KET) tells story of recycling mission at the heart of the young Bullseye factory. Watch the video on YouTube.


Glass patent

Bullseye receives US patent for opalizing recycled glass. Read about the patent.


First permit

Bullseye receives first Air Contaminant Discharge Permit. Applies for and receives permit every 5 years subsequent to first one.

1986, August

Water recycling award

Bullseye installs water recirculating system, reduces water usage by 60%, receives BEST award from Portland’s Office of Sustainable Development. About the award.

2004, April

Oxygen system reduces emissions

Bullseye Installs Liquid Oxygen System reducing carbon emissions by ~40% and nitrous oxide emissions by ~90%. The installation team.

2005, November 5

Small factory designation

DEQ informs Bullseye of new proposed EPA regulations aimed at large glass manufacturers. Advises Bullseye to contact EPA and make them aware of Bullseye’s size and glassmaking methods. EPA determines that its regulations, known as National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (or NESHAP 6S), is not meant to apply to glassmakers like Bullseye, and grants exemption to the company and other US colored art glass manufacturers.


USFS moss experiment

DEQ collaborates with U.S. Forest Service to study presence of heavy metals in moss on trees in Portland.

2013, December - 2014, June

DEQ fails to communicate

DEQ and US Forest Service suspect that Bullseye may be a source of cadmium and arsenic. However, they did not inform Bullseye or the public.

2015, June

Earth moving at railyards

Massive construction project underway including moving hundreds of tons of soil in Brooklyn Railyards of Union Pacific.

2015, Summer/Fall

DEQ air sampling plans

DEQ notifies Bullseye of its intent to conduct air sampling at SE 22nd Ave & Powell Blvd, says that it is not related to any compliance issues.

2015, September 17

Forest Service collects soil samples

The US Forest Service collects soil samples below moss-bearing trees.

2015, October

Air sampling underway

DEQ conducts 18 days of air sampling at SE 22nd Ave & Powell Blvd. The data.

2015, October 6 - November 2

Study leaks

DEQ air official and one of the U.S. Forest Service officials involved in the moss study begin communicating with Portland news media about “the cadmium issue”. They provide no information to Bullseye.

2015, No later than November 24

DEQ silent

DEQ receives results from the air tests. However, does not inform Bullseye or the public.

2016, January 20

Soil tests normal

U.S. Forest Service shares results of soil tests taken directly below moss-bearing trees with DEQ. Results show that average arsenic and cadmium levels in the soil around Bullseye show no environmental contamination attributable to Bullseye at the same place as the moss samples.

2016, Between January 21-24

October results leaked

An individual acting on behalf of the State of Oregon leaks results of the October 2015 air monitor readings to the press but does not disclose the results of the soil samples.

2016, On or before February 1

Still in compliance

Two DEQ officials visit the Bullseye facility, provide a copy of the air monitor readings. They assure Bullseye managers that it is fully in compliance with its air emissions permit. They also inform Bullseye that the information was leaked to the press. Moments later Bullseye is contacted by the media asking for comments on a situation it has only learned about moments before.

2016, February 1

Voluntary action

Bullseye announces it will suspend use of cadmium and arsenic, and hires an environmental consultant: Bullseye announcement.

2016, February 2


Following leak to press, OHA and DEQ issue statement that they are investigating metal pollutants in SE Portland air. DEQ/OHA statement.

2016, February 3

Public meeting

Multnomah County Health Department organizes community meeting at Cleveland High School. DEQ, OHA, USFS officials in attendance display map purporting to show Bullseye and another colored glass manufacturer as the sources of all cadmium moss concentration in Portland. Estimated 500-800 people attend. OPB article and PPS video on YouTube. Photo credit: Beth Nakamura/the Oregonian

2016, February 9

Misleading map

Multnomah County Health Department releases map of estimated cadmium concentrations that suggests two glass factories (Bullseye and Uroboros) are the only sources in the city of Portland. OHA risk assessment.

2016, February 11

Chromium use suspended

Bullseye agrees to stop using chromium in its operations.

2016, February 11

Garden vegetables warning

DEQ/Multnomah County/OHA tell residents within ½ mile of Bullseye not to eat vegetables from their gardens. Oregonian coverage.

2016, February 15

Demonstration at Bullseye Glass Co.

Approximately 80 angry protestors converge on Bullseye facility. Photo credit: Mark Colman

2016, February 16

Meeting at Abernethy

Neighborhood meeting at Abernethy Elementary School. Panel includes class action lawyer who encourages audience to sue Bullseye, not DEQ. Watch on YouTube.

2016, February 17


Bullseye is served a $1.2 billion class action lawsuit, largely focused on people afraid to eat vegetables from their gardens, filed by lawyer who suggested the suit to the audience at Feb 17 community meeting.

2016, March 3

Bullseye proposes building baghouse

Bullseye files Notice of Intent to Construct (NOC) with the DEQ for the installation of a pollution control device known as a baghouse on one existing glass melting furnace.

2016, March 4

DEQ requests temporary glass rules

DEQ Deputy Director Joni Hammond informs Bullseye that she is asking Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) to draft temporary rules for Colored Art Glass Manufacturers (CAGM).

2016, March 8

Safe to eat produce

DEQ releases results of extensive soil sampling conducted around Bullseye in February. Concludes that cumulative effect of Bullseye’s operations on the surrounding area presents “no excess risk” to its neighbors. States at same time that it is safe to eat produce from gardens around Bullseye.

2016, March 9

Retroactive regulations

Unknown to Bullseye, DEQ’s Hammond contacts EPA asking it to reinterpret and retroactively apply regulations, recategorizing Bullseye’s furnaces contrary to established glass industry definitions (Title V, NESHAP 6S). DEQ and EPA had for ten years told Bullseye they were exempt from these regulations.

2016, March 9

Baghouse commitment

Bullseye meets with Hammond, follows with email confirming that they will complete baghouse installation by Sept 1. Bullseye asks that EQC not move forward with temporary rules that will permanently tarnish company’s reputation, but focus instead on working with the legislature to establish air toxic standards for all small businesses that use Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs).

2016, March 21

New screening levels, no notice, no comment

DEQ and OHA establish new screening level for daily lead emissions. This was not an emissions limit, which would have required notice, comment and rulemaking.

2016, March 24

Pilot baghouse complete

Bullseye completes installation of the pilot baghouse (filtration system).

2016, March 28

Limited cadmium production

Bullseye starts reduced production of cadmium glasses in a 1500 lb tank connected to the pilot baghouse. This only allows for 50% of products needed to meet customer demand.

2016, April 4

New definitions

DEQ informs Bullseye that it is now subject to NESHAP 6S based on a definition of their furnaces (“continuous” rather than “periodic”), contrary to the one they had applied for 10 years.

2016, April 13

DEQ threats

DEQ threatens enforcement action against Bullseye for failing to comply with NESHAP 6S. Fines threatened could have been as much as $1.5M.

2016, April 25

Invalid tests

DEQ agent visits Bullseye facility, takes invalid opacity reading on Bullseye stacks. DEQ issues pre-enforcement notice and press release, further damaging Bullseye’s reputation.

2016, April 28

Lead readings

Two elevated lead readings are picked up on air monitors near Bullseye. These readings did not exceed federal air quality standards. According to the director of the Toxicology Information Center at OHSU, “any air concentration that would produce toxicity within 24 hours would be…many thousands of times higher” than 150 ng.

2016, May 8-9

False claims

Falsely claiming the May 8 and 9 lead readings exceeded federal air quality standards, Governor Kate Brown issues a Cease and Desist Order against Bullseye on request of DEQ and OHA. Production is reduced by 80%.

2016, May 19

Bullseye responds to C&D

Bullseye responds to the Cease and Desist order. Read the response.

2016, May 20

Proposed production limits

Bullseye proposes new production limits to DEQ.

2016, May 25

DOJ MAO threat

Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) sends Bullseye a Mutual Agreement and Final Order (MAO), and threatens to extend the Cease and Desist Order if the company does not sign. As written, Bullseye cannot sign.

2016, May 26

No seat at the table for Bullseye

DEQ holds meeting to discuss economic impact on CAGMs. Refuses to seat Bullseye owner. DEQ extends Cease & Desist Order for another ten days. OPB article.

2016, May 27

Bullseye's hand is forced

Bullseye is operating in compliance with Oregon’s new Temporary Rules, but when faced with closure and under duress, Bullseye submits to DEQ’s stance on Regulation 6S.

2016, June 6

The complete study

U.S. Forest Service releases full moss study showing the presence of metals in nearly all the moss samples throughout the city.
The Study
OPB article on full data set.
Interactive map of all areas where 346 samples gathered.

2016, June 8

Unauthorized premature disclosure

U.S. Forest Service issues press release stating that moss study data had been “subject to an unauthorized premature disclosure“, in effect distancing itself from the many false and misleading maps disseminated by various state agencies and media.

2016, July 10

Eighteen furnaces on baghouses

Baghouses serving eighteen of 20 furnaces go online at Bullseye.

2016, August 22

Permission to comment refused

EQC passes the Permanent Rules for Colored Art Glass Manufacturers. Bullseye is refused permission to comment on changes made to the rule since the last comment period closed.

2016, October 3

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