Fluoride Action Network

Intel’s air quality permit: DEQ could require fluoride testing, about 55 comments submitted

Source: The Oregonian | October 16th, 2013 | By Katherine Driessen
Location: United States, Oregon

Intel could be required to perform stack testing specifically for fluoride, an emission it failed to report for years, under a pending state air quality permit for its Hillsboro and Aloha campuses.

The public comment period wrapped up Monday for that permit, generating about 55 responses, the Department of Environmental Quality’s George Davis said. The agency is taking the comments “very seriously,” Davis said.

The general tenor? People want more monitoring of Intel’s emissions, Davis said. DEQ officials are considering changing the permit to require stack testing for fluoride. It’s one option the agency has to better monitor what’s coming out of Intel’s stacks, though DEQ does not have the power to actually reduce the emissions limits.

In the process of applying for a new permit for its $3 billion D1X expansion, the company said it realized it had failed to report its fluoride emissions to the DEQ. Intel has since called the omission both “inadvertent” and “embarrassing,” and DEQ has said it will try to get a better grasp on the scale of previous emissions.

The company has also signaled it will address residents’ concerns about pollution in the area.

Davis said he couldn’t give a firm timeline on how long it will take to turn the permit around, which will then go the Environmental Protection Agency for final approval. It could take several weeks or longer.