Fluoride Action Network

Intel Ireland Seeks Less Stringent Fluoride Regulations

Source: Leinster Leader | November 8th, 2001 | by Henry Bauress
Location: Ireland

INTEL Ireland is seeking changes in nine conditions proposed by the Environment Protection Agency in its proposed pollution control licence for FAB 24 plant at Leixlip.

In most some cases the company wants to raise permissible limits being proposed by the EPA which wants more conditions on the company than existed for its previous licence.

The EPA has proposed that the emission limits for total acids from Intel acid gas scrubbers be reduced from 5mg/Nm3 in its previous licence to 3mg/Nm3 in the current one. It is doing this, said the company in a formal objection, despite evidence demonstrating that ambient air quality resulting from emissions at the previous limit was predicted to be well within ambient air quality limits.

The company would like a limit of 4mg/Nm3.

The company has also sought a change in respect of emissions of volatile organic compounds for the FAB 14 solvent exhaust.

It also wants to adjust the proposed limits of total fluoride emissions allowed.

The objection document includes a report from Professor Davison of Newcastle University, who co-authored the 1984 World Health Organisation report on ambient fluoride impacts and recommended safe levels that Intel operates within, it said.

The company argues that Òconcentration limits for total fluoride are at, or even beyond the limits of current abatement technology and is not considered achievable on a consistent basis.

ÒThis is despite improvements that will be introduced to optimise the performance of the acid gas scrubbers and minimise discharges of fluoride including the introduction of alkaline dosing to the scrubber units.Ó

It said its objection did not diminish its commitment to reducing fluoride emissions.

The EPA wants the company to test its emergency on site generators no more than once every two months.

But Intel Ireland said its advice to it suggests it should be allowed to do so at least once every two weeks.

It has also objected to the EPA proposal for the monitoring of nitrogen dioxide, hydrogen fluoride, total fluorides and total acidity in order to assess their impact on air quality in areas beyond the Intel site itself.

Intel wants to be excluded from this mainly on the grounds that current monitoring is sufficient but it is also concerned that access to land owned by third parties could not be guaranteed, the electrical systems needed to power equipment would not be practicable for many potential locations and monitoring stations could be prone to vandalism or interference.