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Ohio EPA approves Intel's air permit to install four chip manufacturing facilities

Intel Groundbreak.jpg
Tyler Thompson
/
WOSU
Intel hosted local, state and federal leaders for a ceremonial groundbreaking at its construction site in September.

The Ohio EPA approved Intel’s air permit Tuesday to build four semiconductor facilities in two buildings. Nearby residents in Licking County had raised concerns about the pollutants in the permit.

The permit lists at least eight different toxins and other particulate matter like dust or smoke. Some of those could cause respiratory issues if emissions exceeded air quality standards.

Intel’s consultants with Environmental Resources Management performed air modeling that was verified by the Ohio EPA.

They found that emissions will not exceed federal air quality standards.

Some residents asked the EPA to require that Intel go beyond what is required by law to control emissions. The EPA can’t do that but says Intel will install equipment that should keep levels lower than expected.

Others felt that two regulatory inspections per year are not enough to ensure compliance. But the Ohio EPA says that is the most frequent number of inspections it can schedule. It also requires emissions testing every two years and expects to be heavily involved in those processes.

Residents submitted public comments before the permit was issued. Those can be found here.

Intel will have to install “state-of-the-art” equipment to ensure air quality standards are met after the facilities are built. The company has stated that it will use green energy sources to power the plants.

Intel intends to build eight total semiconductor facilities by 2030. It will have to apply for another air permit for future construction.

Tyler Thompson is a reporter and on-air host for 89.7 NPR News. Thompson, originally from northeast Ohio, has spent the last three years working as a Morning Edition host and reporter at NPR member station KDLG Public Radio and reporter at the Bristol Bay Times Newspaper in Dillingham, Alaska.