Intel manufactures semiconductor devices at plants in Aloha and Hillsboro. DEQ issued these facilities a single air contaminant discharge permit in December 2007. DEQ now requires these facilities to apply for a federal Title V air operating permit, which will replace the current permit. DEQ proposes to establish new plant site emission limits for particulate matter, fine particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter referred to as PM2.5, fluorides and greenhouse gases. DEQ also is proposing to increase emission limits for volatile organic compounds. Intel’s manufacturing processes and boilers emit air pollutants, including greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases became regulated air pollutants in 2010. DEQ is proposing increased plant site emission limits for volatile organic compounds, fluorides and greenhouse gases due to a large expansion currently under way at Intel.
Update, December 2013
In December, 2010, DEQ granted approval for Intel to expand their manufacturing operations. The expansion includes construction of a new manufacturing facility known as D1X. DEQ’s approval was granted on the condition that no plant site emission limits would increase for the D1X expansion. However, at the time, fluorides were not included in Intel’s permit. Neither Intel nor DEQ was aware that Intel was emitting fluorides at levels that should have been included in Intel’s permit. In 2012, Intel applied for a Title V permit. In the permit application, Intel informed DEQ about fluorides and requested a plant site emission limit of 6.4 tons per year for fluorides. Intel also requested an increase in the plant site emission limit for volatile organic compounds from 99 tons per year to 178 tons per year. DEQ held an information meeting on Sept. 10, 2013 and a public hearing on Sept. 16, 2013 about the draft Title V permit and accepted comments on the draft permit through 5 p.m., Oct. 14, 2013. DEQ received approximately 88 comments. DEQ is in the process of compiling and reviewing the comments. Many of the comments raise concerns about the fluorides emitted by Intel. Other comments raised questions about whether DEQ followed the correct approval procedure for the D1X expansion.
D1X approval procedure
DEQ is aware that Neighbors for Clean Air, Earthrise and Northwest Environmental Defense Center sent a 60 day notice of intent to sue Intel for an alleged violation pertaining to the construction approval for Intel’s D1X expansion. DEQ also is reviewing the 2010 approval to determine how our rules should have been applied and what different procedure should have been followed. DEQ has not reached a final conclusion yet.