Earlier this week, Oregon-based Intel pledged to adopt a broad regime of air quality monitoring and public reporting of atmospheric pollutants. This is in attempt to settle with environmental groups that have been threatening to sue over the failure of Intel to disclose fluoride emissions at its Washington County computer chip factories.
Last month, the company was issued a $143,000 fine by state environmental regulators for failing to report its fluoride emissions for decades. The two groups threatening to sue are the Neighbors for Clean Air and the Northwest Environmental Defense Center. The agreement commits the company to spending $150,000 on air quality monitoring at its two computer chip manufacturing plants in Hillsboro and Aloha, and completing a health risk assessment for the surrounding community.
Mary Peveto, president of Neighbors for Clean Air, said the company’s commitment goes beyond the requirements of Oregon law to ensure the health and safety of the communities surrounding Intel’s facilities. “These are huge industrial facilities with very close residential neighbors,” she said. “What the community was most interested in was ensuring that public health would be protected from any potential air emissions from Intel’s facilities.
Intel Communication Manager Chelsea Hossaini said the agreement “represents Intel’s ongoing commitment to the community and to improving our environmental performance.” According to the Washington County Board of Commissioners, if the risk assessment test Intel takes using the California’s stiffer standards shows their emissions cause more than 25 additional cancers per 1 million people, they will take further action.