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Intel reaches accord with critics of its air emissions in Hillsboro

Representatives from Neighbors for Clean Air (NCA), Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC) and Intel announced May 29 that the parties have reached a settlement agreement. The deal is geared to resolve claims the company failed to obtain the proper air emissions permit for its new D1X expansion, currently under construction.

The agreement will require the company to comprehensively evaluate the impact on the community from manufacturing activities at Intel's Ronler Acres and Aloha campuses.

“The community needs Intel to demonstrate not just compliance with regulations, but an ongoing commitment to practices and technology that protect public health,” said Linda Peters, NCA member, chairwoman of Washington County Citizen Action Network and former chair of the Washington County Board of Commissioners.

“This settlement agreement represents measures that can rebuild public trust in Intel’s diligence and integrity as a corporate neighbor in Washington County, including studies, reports, follow-up actions and ongoing communications.” 

While Intel did not admit the company’s permits were in violation of federal law, the agreement, negotiated on behalf of the community groups by Earthrise Law Center, commits Intel to:

n Establishing an Air Quality Advisory Committee (AQAC). The AQAC will oversee the implementation of conditions of the settlement agreement and will negotiate the terms of a "good neighbor agreement" with Intel;

n Complete a risk assessment based on California’s risk assessment rules. This will require Intel to complete an emissions inventory, including stack testing above and beyond what is being required by DEQ, as well as modeling to determine impacts on the community from Intel’s facilities;

n If the risk assessment indicates Intel presents an unacceptable risk (more than 25 excess cancers in every 1 million people), Intel will take further action to reduce pollution; and

n Commit $150,000 for third party ambient air monitoring in the community.

“Environmental compliance represents more than a set of policies and procedures; it is the foundation of trust between businesses and the neighboring communities," said NCA staff attorney John Krallman.

Currently, Oregon does not require large facilities to assess health risk to the public.

“Intel’s commitment to meeting this stricter, more health-protective standard — in effect, going beyond the law in Oregon — underscores how under-protective the air emissions laws are in our state,” said Mark Riskedahl of NEDC. “This was a critical condition of the agreement.”

For more information, visit whatsinourair.org/Intel.