Boiling Frogs-Intel vs. the Village

"Boiling Frogs - Intel vs. the Village" recounts the story of Intel Rio Rancho's impact on the air and water in the Village of Corrales from the mid-1980s to the present day. Updates to this ongoing saga will be posted here.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Residents React to the New "Special Sauce"

In a PBS newscast on May 7, 2007. Intel's President/CEO Paul Otellini described a new process that will be used to manufacture Intel's new computer chip: "We've gone from silicon to hafnium. We've also put in some other secret sauce that we're not talking about yet that allows us to do this (breakthrough)."

This email from a resident who lives downwind from the Intel plant came in shortly after the newscast:

"Thanks for sending this (transcript of the PBS newscast). Hafnium, huh. Whatever they've been cooking at Intel lately has left me coughing all night, every night, even to the point of gagging. I'm getting a respite for a couple of days here in Santa Fe, and the difference is marked. I'm not coughing up gunk all night and all day, I don't have a hoarse throat. When I talk to people on the phone, they don't ask me if I've got bronchitis. Last Friday night in Corrales it smelled like they were burning tires up there: maybe they burned the "sauce."

"In a reasonable, honest world, the company would be required to obtain permission BEFORE installing new equipment that would produce different emissions that could be harmful. We know the toxic chemicals they release now have a serious impact on our health, and yet the regulators give them a pass."

A Corrales Residents for Clean Air and Water (CRCAW) member asked a New Mexico Environment Department official about the new 45 nanometer process being brought up at Intel: "I was wondering if Intel has provided any information regarding the new emissions that might be generated by this process. His response was that Intel is only required to report emission changes once a year. In other words, Intel could bring up a new process and not have to report the emission changes until the following year. We also discussed the fact that in the process of bringing up a new line, Intel often has to do a lot of tuning to match in the process emissions to the local equipment including the abatement equipment. He agreed that during this process there maybe lots of emissions that are out of the norm."


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