Fluoride Action Network

Intel’s air-quality permit, which requests increased emissions, the subject of DEQ meeting in Hillsboro

Source: The Oregonian | February 18th, 2015 | By Luke Hammill
Location: United States, Oregon
Industry type: Electronics Industry

The state Department of Environmental Quality is holding an informational meeting tomorrow evening (Thursday, Feb. 19) in Hillsboro about Intel’s recently submitted air-quality permit application.

In the permit filed Dec. 31, the company is asking to increase the permissible carbon-dioxide equivalent at its Aloha and Ronler Acres locations from about 300,000 tons per year to over 800,000. The semiconductor manufacturer also anticipates that emissions of particulate matter (PM) could increase from the current level of 14 tons per year to 38.

Intel officials said last month that the numbers are so much higher than current levels because technology has changed so rapidly since the company’s current emissions limits were established.

The requested increase is also due to the permit’s requirement that Intel account for any potential future emissions at its multibillion-dollar D1X facility under construction in Hillsboro – even if the chipmaker hasn’t planned for those emissions yet.

Intel had to submit a new construction permit for D1X after revelations in 2013 that the company had failed to disclose fluoride emissions at its Washington County factories for years. The DEQ found that Intel had initially submitted the wrong permit for D1X and fined the business $143,000, though the agency allowed construction to continue.

The fluoride disclosures required a stricter permit than the one Intel originally sought. In the new application, Intel projects that its fluoride emissions could increase from the current level of 3.4 tons per year to 6.4 tons per year.

The DEQ meeting begins Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Hillsboro Civic Center, 150 E. Main St. The public is invited to attend. More information about the meeting and Intel’s permit – including a table showing Intel’s proposed emissions increases – is available at the DEQ’s website.