Q. WHERE IS CORRALES
A. Corrales is a small village located just outside
of the Albuquerque city limits. It is a rural community with horses, cows,
chickens and pigs. Coyotes run freely. Corrales runs parallel to the Rio
Grande River and is only within 1 mile of its banks.
Q. WHAT IS THE POPULATION OF CORRALES?
A. The population of Corrales is about 7300.
Q. HOW MANY OTHER COMMUNITIES ARE CLOSE TO CORRALES
THAT MAY ALSO BE AFFECTED BY INTEL’S AIR EMISSIONS?
A. Corrales is close to Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.
Q. HOW MANY PEOPLE IN CORRALES HAVE COMPLAINED OF AIR
POLLUTION RELATED ILLNESSES?
A. Nearly 600 people responded to a health survey
indicating they had been sickened by air-pollution.
Q. HAVE MEMBERS FROM OTHER COMMUNITIES COMPLAINED
ABOUT ODOR AND ILLNESSES?
A. Yes, dozens of residents in Rio Rancho and
Albuquerque have complained about odor and correlating illnesses.
Q. HAS A HEALTH SURVEY BEEN CONDUCTED?
A. Yes. The survey results are currently being
evaluated by an epidemiologist and will be available within three
Q. WHAT IS CRCAW (CORRALES RESIDENTS FOR CLEAN AIR
A. CRCAW is a group of citizens who believe the odors and illnesses
are caused by Intel's emissions. Although they attempted to seek out help and assistance from
local government agencies, their attempts were unsuccessful. CRCAW was
formed in an effort to find relief for the community and demand NMED
investigate citizen complaints and find resolution to the communities
concerns and poor health effects.
Q. WHEN WAS CRCAW FORMED?
A. Summer, 1993.
Q. WHAT HAVE THE CITIZENS DONE TO MAKE NMED AWARE OF
THE PROBLEMS WITH ILLNESSES AND ODORS THEY HAVE EXPERIENCED?
A. Citizens have documented their illnesses for
years, notified NMED, Intel and the Department of Health, all to no
avail. Since the citizens were not receiving any assistance from state
organizations, they raised $93,000 from private funds to purchase the
only community-owned FTIR monitor in the nation.
Q. HAVE THERE BEEN ANY ATTEMPTS BY THE STATE
ENVIRONMENT DEPARTMENT TO INVESTIGATE THE CITIZENS COMPLAINTS? IF SO,
WHAT ARE THEY?
A. Initially NMED (New Mexico Environment Department)
responded to the complaints by attending one meeting of CRCAW
and listening to citizen testimonials of illnesses and odors. NMED
ultimately responded by stating a ‘scientific health survey’ would
be required and that they were unable to conduct such a health survey.
Finally, after a decade and dozens of citizens
complaints of odors and illnesses related to Intel emissions, CRCAW was
able to raise the necessary funds to purchase an FTIR monitor to find
out what was actually in the air. At that time and only after the
purchase of the FTIR monitor did NMED begin to show interest in CRCAW
and their complaints.
Q. ARE THERE ANY ORGANIZATIONS OR GROUPS THAT
ASSOCIATE WITH CRCAW?
A. The Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) has been
instrumental in working with CRCAW in attempting to resolve the
complaints of illnesses, odor and noise from Intel.
Q. WHAT IS CRCAW’S ULTIMATE GOAL?
1. To require Intel to take reasonable measures to ensure
the toxic chemical emissions by Intel do not threatened the
health and or lives of residents and employees.
2. To require NMED to live up to their mission statement for protecting
the health and lives of the citizens of Corrales, surrounding
communities and ultimately the entire population of the State of New
3. And to encourage Intel to seek out alternative methods for
wafer processing which uses little to no toxic chemicals and reduces
Q. HOW DO TOXIC
CHEMICALS RELEASED FROM INTEL'S SEMICONDUCTOR FABRICATION PLANT END UP
IN CORRALES VILLAGE?
prevailing wind from Intel blows toward Corrales across Intel's large
buildings. When these winds reach the edge of the building, the
sharp drop-off creates a partial vacuum in the cavity just past the
building. This lower pressure region, caused by building downwash
(called Bernoulli effect in physics) draws the air and any toxic gases
it contains down toward ground level.
happens twice because the Intel plant is on a bluff above the Corrales
valley. And when the prevailing wind passes over the edge of the
escarpment, the lower elevation of Corrales draws the air down toward
ground level again.
Once the polluted
air is down in the lower elevation of Corrales, it is shielded from the
wind and is relatively stagnant. The fact that Intel's most toxic
emissions are generally much higher density than air causes them to
remain near ground level longer before they eventually dissipate.
which caused 80% of the poison gas fatalities in World War I is not only
extremely toxic, its high density (3.5 times that of air) causes it to
remain near ground level where it will cause the maximum number of
fatalities. Yet, Intel's current permit allows them to release 5.9
tons of this chemical warfare agent each year.
Q. WHAT HAS CRCAW (Corrales
Residents for Clean Air and Water) HAS DONE IN LAST 10 YEARS?
The following is a list of some of CRCAW's accomplishments during last
- Worked to inform residents of Corrales and Rio
Rancho about Intel's Air pollution which includes hundreds of tons
of federal-listed Hazardous Air Pollutants and state-listed Toxic
- Negotiated a "Good Neighbor"
agreement with Intel requiring installation and operation of
incinerators to reduce pollutants (the major provisions of which
were incorporated into the N.M. Environment Department's (NMED)
regulatory process but later nullified by Intel).
- Initiated a county emergency evacuation plan
for Intel hazardous-material releases.
- Worked for improvements to the NMED air-quality
- Testified at numerous NMED hearings on Intel's
air pollution permit modifications.
- Protested massive allocations of scarce water
resources to Intel that jeopardized Corrales homeowners' wells.
- Conducted a health survey to collect data about
the kinds and degree of medical problems associated with exposure to
- Arranged for bio-medical analysis for victims
of illnesses thought to be linked to Intel fumes.
- Advised Village government on water and air
- Collected testimonial letters from dozens of
Corrales residents who explained their medical problems and why they
believed those problems are linked to Intel's emissions.
- Initiated a U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency-funded Corrales Air Toxics Study.
- Purchased a community-owned Fourier Transform
Infrared (FTIR) spectrometer to continuously monitor and record air
pollution from the Intel facilities.