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Governor Kitzhaber: Hold Intel Accountable for 30 Years of failing to report Pollution

This petition had 2,779 supporters

Intel failed to report accurate emissions for 30 years, violating federal law, and allowing the company to construct a $3Billion expansion without the necessary air emissions permits.  These permits are important to protecting the public and the environment from the effects of air pollution. Oregon must require that Intel meets the strictest standard of pollution controls.

A young couple living near Intel want to start a family, but worry the air won’t be safe for a baby. Folks at Orenco Station gaze up at bright, giant cranes wondering what will soon spew from those huge plants. Employees, construction workers, and neighbors gossip about  “Intel snow” that sometimes coats everything.  What is that stuff? Is it safe?  The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)--now reviewing Intel’s new air emissions permit-has no answers.

This region invests millions building  healthy, livable, pedestrian- and transit-friendly communities where people live and work without long commutes and can enjoy nearby countrysides. Automobile emissions are down, but a staggering onslaught of industrial pollution literally “clouds” our efforts.

Intel's Permit (34-2681), for Ronler Acres and Aloha plants, allows each year 819,000 tons of greenhouse gases, 178 tons of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs),  99 tons of carbon monoxide, 43 tons of nitrogen oxides, 39 tons of sulfur dioxide, 28 tons of particulates, and 6.4 tons of fluorides. Of  Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs), almost 20 tons per year include hydrogen chloride (8.7), bromoform (3.7), hydrogen fluoride (1.8), and hexane (1.7).

Intel estimates what they’ll emit, and report calculated emissions twice-yearly.  Nobody measures actual outputs. For 30+ years our Intel plants emitted dangerous fluorides not listed on permit applications.  DEQ missed that “error.”

DEQ says Intel’s permit estimates come from New Mexico plant calculations.  Today, incidence of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) among Intel's NM neighbors is 25 times higher than expected, and of pulmonary fibrosis nine times higher. Is that the future for Intel's Oregon neighbors?

Oregonians can't trust industry's self-reported data and generic emissions limits anymore. We need robust oversight by regulators. We need real information about actual emissions. And we deserve evidence that Intel is meeting the strictest most protective emissions control standards available.

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