Fluoride Action Network

Intel Fluoride Pollution in Ireland

Source: Leinster Leader | October 18th, 2001 | by Henry Bauress
Location: Ireland

INTEL Ireland has lodged an objection with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the terms of the proposed pollution control licence for its planned Fab 24 plant.

There were no objections from any other parties when the deadline for those closed on Wednesday, 3 October for the public and 10 October for the company.

A spokesperson for the EPA said the agency had until 10 February 2002 to make a final decision although it could be made sooner. The objection will be heard by a technical committee, a separate body from the EPA Inspector who drew up the proposed licence in the first place.

The agency confirmed its has received submissions on the proposed licence from former Leixlip Town Commissioner, John Colgan, but he did not lodge a legal objection to conditions of the licence.

The details of the objection by Intel will be available to the public at the Kildare County Council offices and those of the EPA but were not available to the Leader at the time of going to press.

In its proposed licence, the EPA opted to impose almost twice the number of pollution control conditions on Intel Ireland in relation to emissions to the atmosphere as contained in its current licence.

The Leixlip based company has applied for a new licence and the EPA made a proposals on 13 September last.

In 1997, the EPA laid down ten conditions in relation to monitoring emissions from the plant into the atmosphere in Integrated Pollution Control licence No. 207. These related to emissions into the air from Fab 10 and Fab 14 plants.

In the new licence, sought by the company to run the proposed Fab 24, the Agency proposed eighteen conditions, almost twice the number in the previous licence.

The proposed determination (IPC licence No. 589) comes following a number of years of controversy and concern over sulphur dioxide emissions in the Leixlip area, as measured by the area health board. Neither the EPA nor the Health Board has come to a publicly stated conclusion about the high levels, which have lowered more recently.

The company has defended itself publicly against former Leixlip Town Commissioner, John Colgan, who has drawn particular attention to fluoride emissions by the company, and others.

The new licences is different from the old in that the EPA is now requiring the company to submit a study of the feasability of continuous monitoring of fluoride emissions, both hydrogen fluoride and total fluoride, within six months of the licence being granted. “The study shall address the accuracy, reliability, running and capital costs of the equipment and take account of the use of such monitoring systems in other jurisdictions,” according to condition 5.17.

There are also more detailed proposals for the use and monitoring of diesel and on site boiler use in the proposed licence.

Also new is a requirement by the EPA that the company pay £24,800, the estimated capital cost of buy eight sample devices to measure total fluoride emissions.