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Past stack emissions result in hazardous accumulations in drywell; limited off site accumulations also detected in latest DEQ soil sampling
Portland, OR—Bullseye Glass has signed an agreement with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to immediately clean up metals found in drywell sediments used to dispose of stormwater runoff from part of the building roof where the facility's furnace vents are located. Initial cleanout of the hazardous sediments and accumulated water in the drywell is now complete and further testing is underway.

These actions come after DEQ-required testing found high levels of heavy metals in one of its two stormwater drywells. Drywells are underground vaults that percolate stormwater into the ground. DEQ directed Bullseye Glass to collect and analyze sediment and stormwater from this drywell for several hazardous metals including arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, hexavalent chromium, lead, nickel, and selenium.

The results of the investigation found approximately two feet of sediment at the bottom of the drywell that contained highly elevated levels of these metals. The Oregon Health Authority confirms there is no immediate health risk to neighbors of the facility from elevated levels of metals found in the drywells and offsite.

The hazardous sediments were removed and the stormwater pipes and vaults thoroughly cleaned on Tuesday, Oct. 4. A licensed environmental contractor managed the cleanup, including removing and transporting the water and sediments to a hazardous waste disposal facility for final treatment.

Keith Johnson, DEQ's regional cleanup manager notes, “The good news is the contaminated sediments were found and safely removed. But we need to now understand if the impacts go beyond these vaults.”

Agreement holds company responsible for cleanup of any potential contamination

As required by the agreement signed today, Bullseye will investigate if the accumulated metals have impacted surrounding soils and groundwater near the drywell. Bullseye Glass is responsible for cleanup costs including DEQ's staff time to evaluate, review and approve all work performed. View the agreement under “Reference Material,” at

Bullseye continues to collect and test samples to better understand impacts to surrounding soils and to groundwater near the drywell vaults. Results will be available pending analysis. If contamination is found, additional cleanup may be needed.

Results from the drywell DEQ tested earlier this summer on the most northern part of their facility did not show any contamination. The second stormwater drywell is at the southern part of the roof where the exhaust stacks are located and it is this drywell that has the contaminated sediment.

New results show no acute health risks from neighborhood soil

In a related effort, DEQ has also published results of its follow-up, second soil sampling event. This follow-up on round of soil sampling was completed in August of 2016, and focused on areas directly to the north and south of the Bullseye facility that were not sampled as part of DEQ's February sampling event. By sampling these areas to the north and south of the facility, DEQ was able to more fully assess soil impacts in coordination with wind patterns, and understand if emissions from the facility have impacted adjacent soils in these directions.

Toxicologists at the Oregon Health Authority conclude no immediate health risks exist to neighbors of the facility from elevated levels of metals found in these sampled areas offsite. In-depth review of the data by DEQ and OHA staff conclude certain metals (manganese, cobalt, and to a lesser extent, cadmium) are present in soils adjacent to the facility, indicating that Bullseye may be the source. However, the levels detected do not pose health risks. Other detected metals do not exceed unsafe levels and do not appear solely related to past facility emissions. OHA will consider these new results when conducting a Public Health Assessment that will also determine any potential long term risks from past emissions.

A full report on Bullseye Glass Area-Wide Soil Sampling Report, Phase 2, is available under “Reference Material,” at

For previous soil sampling reports, visit,

Any community members who are interested in free metals testing of garden soils are encouraged to bring a small, dry sample to the OHA SoilSHOP event being held on Saturday, Oct. 15 at the East Portland Community Center, 740 SE 106th Avenue. Additional details can be found at, , under “news”.

Next steps:
Initial cleaning has been completed and options are being evaluated for managing future stormwater runoff from this part of the roof. DEQ will be overseeing Bullseye's work to cleanup future discharges and ensure all stormwater is managed safely. Because Bullseye is in compliance with DEQ's new rules for colored art glass manufacturers, current and future emissions should not continue to impact roof runoff.

Jennifer Flynt, DEQ, 503-730-5924,
Jonathan Modie, OHA, 971-246-9139,


Environment & Energy