What Intel has done and is doing.  What Intel must do

 

Intel should not have been permitted to build what would become the world's largest semiconductor plant within several hundred yards of established residential areas.  Our air pollution problem in these areas began when Intel did its first major expansion in the early 1990s.  Before that time, Corrales and other adjacent communities had the pure air that would be expected in a rural community. 

We don't expect Intel to abandon its multi-billion dollar investment in its Rio Rancho facility, but we do expect them to use the best existing technology to minimize its toxic emissions.  Unfortunately, Intel had done the opposite by requesting (and receiving) a minor-source permit from the NMED (New Mexico Environment Department).  This permit, which has been called a "sham" by the former NMED permit-writing team leader, exempts Intel from using the best available pollution-control technology that would apply to them as a major source. 

One big step Intel could take in the right direction would be to adopt the new supercritical carbon dioxide (SCORR) process developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory.  This process would replace most of the toxic solvents Intel now uses with benign carbon dioxide.  It could also reduce Intel's current daily water consumption of four million gallons, by as much as 90%, which is a major bonus in the drought currently affecting New Mexico.  Intel has failed to meet with the developer of this process in spite of many requests to do so.

Intel's claim that this process is not yet commercially available is not true, as we have directed them to a commercial supplier of SCORR systems.  The price of $2 million may seem like a lot of money, but it represents only 0.1% of what Intel just spent to build its new FAB 11X facility.