PORTLAND, Ore. — Six new air pollution monitors have gone in around Southeast Portland.
The company funding them? Bullseye Glass. The glass company was the center of a lawsuit filed by neighbors in 2016 after high levels of toxins were detected around the plant.
The monitors look sort of like a food cart with a bunch of antennas on the top. But they are actually tracking the levels of several toxic pollutants.
As part of a $6.5 million settlement with nearby neighbors back in 2016, Bullseye Glass agreed to pay $1 million to install the air pollution monitors.
Two are located at outside the Southeast Portland factory. Another four are scattered around the neighborhood. They are monitoring not only toxic metals but also diesel pollution, as requested by Bullseye Glass.
"It's not coming from us, but we thought it would be a good idea...and good for the neighborhood and community, to know if there are any other pollutants in the neighborhood," said the company's vice president, Jim Jones.
Neighbors, like Alicia Cohen, hope the monitors will help them better understand what is in the air they are breathing.
Cohen knows the glass company has taken steps to reduce its emissions, such as installing a filtration system, but she also wants to see the data that proves that filtration system is actually doing its job.
"What we need to know is, is it functioning, is it working like it's supposed to?" said Cohen. "And what is escaping? Because nothing is 100% perfect."
According to Bullseye Glass, five of the air pollution monitors are already working and the last one will soon.
The monitors will be in place for two years. After that, Bullseye Glass plans to donate them to a local university.
Editor's Note: A previous version of this story stated that the monitors were owned and installed by Bullseye Glass. That is incorrect. The monitors are owned by a court-approved independent engineering firm, Weston Solutions.