Bullseye Glass, the company at the center of Portland’s toxic air scare last year, said Tuesday it has sued Gov. Kate Brown and other state and local officials and agencies for $30 million, accusing them of unfair and damaging treatment in their enforcement of air quality regulations.
The company shared an 88-page federal complaint that asserts that officials and state and local agencies responded to reports of emissions issues at Bullseye “by taking arbitrary, capricious, and irrational actions.”
In the suit, Bullseye portrays itself as having faithfully complied with regulations for years, even as the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality allowed industries to turn Portland’s air into “a toxic soup of auto and truck exhaust, wood smoke, diesel exhaust, and industrial pollutants.”
And yet, the suit alleges, “Bullseye was shut down, and its goodwill and good name were irreparably damaged, by Defendants’ actions. Meanwhile, Oregon’s major polluters continue — to this day — to spew tons of pollutants and toxins into Oregon’s air.”
The suit names Gov. Brown, DEQ Director Richard Whitman and Patrick Allen, acting director of the Oregon Health Authority, as well as the Multnomah County Health Department.
A spokeswoman for the DEQ said the agency was not in a position to comment because it had not been served with the complaint.
Potential problems at Bullseye had come to the DEQ’s attention after a U.S. Forest Service study on metal concentrations in moss in Portland revealed higher-than-expected levels of arsenic and cadmium.
In early February 2016, the agency said publicly that it believed Bullseye was the source. In May, the state said air monitoring near Bullseye measured “potentially dangerous levels of lead.” That led to a cease-and-desist order from the governor from May 20 to June 6, when the company and DEQ reached an agreement on Bullseye’s use of toxic material.
Bullseye remains in business, but in the lawsuit it said retail sales at its Portland store have dropped 15 percent and overall sales are off by 10 percent.