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Intel should apply for toxic-emissions permit

DALE FEIKThis is an open letter to Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel.

I read many kind and sometimes critical remembrances of Andy Grove‘s leadership of Intel. Grove’s book, "Only the Paranoid Survive," is about his self-described paranoia and worry about winning. He wanted to put a silver bullet into Intel’s competitors. My concern is that Grove's success did not take into account protection of the air, water and land for current and future generations. Winning isn't everything.

In my Feb 13, 2015 certified letter to you, I requested: “May I have your word that you will look out for me and my family’s health interests? ... I am sure that we have a lot of basic values in common ... Will you work hard to make happen what Thomas R. Wood [your Intel-hired attorney] said in his November 4, 2013, letter to Dave Monro, who was DEQ’s Air Permit Manager, that Intel would do?”

Wood reported that Intel would submit a Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Air Quality Permit, the strictest permit available from among Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) permits. Such a permit requires Intel to be classified as a Federal Major Source of toxic emissions. Wood also stated that “Intel is willing to go beyond what is required by the Department’s regulations in order to assure its neighbors that the company is not making their air unsafe to breathe.” But in a follow-up letter to DEQ dated July 21, 2014, Wood stated that it would cost Intel too much money to apply for a PSD Federal Major Source permit. Wood requested that DEQ propose a Temporary Rule for six months without public comment so that Intel would not have to apply for the more protective of public health air permit. Sadly, DEQ followed Wood’s advice.

Mr. Krzanich, in your March 18, 2015, letter to me you stated that “Intel is committed to the highest standards of environmental, health and safety in our manufacturing operations. So the materials you sent me were forwarded to a team within Intel tasked with working with the community around our Ronler Acres manufacturing site to resolve concerns and our past air permitting issues.” You acknowledged that I served on the Air Quality Advisory Committee (AQAC), the committee that was formed because Intel broke three major DEQ rules and was fined $143,000 by DEQ. I reluctantly agreed to serve on the AQAC because I was afraid that we would not be able to address the permitting issues that Wood promised that Intel would do.

At the last AQAC meeting I realized that the Good Neighbor Agreement did not address the air permitting issues. Therefore, as a spokesperson for the 750 members of Portland Clean Air (PCA), I stated that “We oppose the Intel Good Neighbor Agreement (GNA). The Settlement Agreement was a good first step. PCA thinks that the GNA does not address toxic Air Permit Limits that may be allowed by DEQ. This GNA as written prohibits negotiating toxic air emissions limits.” In addition, PCA stated that "Intel has doubled and in some cases tripled the amount of toxic emissions that they want to emit from their initial 2013 application for an Air Quality Permit.”

Mr. Krzanich, PCA does not want Oregon to be like New Mexico as described in the books "Boiling Frogs Intel vs. the Village" and "Intel Inside, A Case Study of Environmental and Social Injustice." Please, as a leader of Intel, do what Wood, your attorney, said Intel will do — apply for a PSD Title V Federal Major Source permit from DEQ — it is due July 22, 2016.

Dale Feik of Forest Grove is spokesperson for Hillsboro Air & Water and Portland Clean Air.