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Forest Grove resident Dale Feik has filed a petition for judicial review of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s issuance of an Air Contaminant Discharge Permit (ACDP) to Intel Corporation.


His petition, filed Feb. 25 in Multnomah County Circuit Court and signed by 37 residents of Hillsboro, Beaverton and Forest Grove, lists DEQ Director Dick Pedersen as the respondent.

“Petitioner ... and the public who he represents, will be adversely affected by the permit that DEQ issued to Intel ...,” the petition reads.

Intel’s air permit was granted in January with no modifications — and after multiple public hearings over a two-year period. The permit doubles, and in some cases triples, the amounts of nine hazardous air pollutants — including carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxides and large and small particulate matter — its Ronler Acres and Aloha manufacturing plants are allowed to emit each year.

“DEQ should have rejected or at least modified the permit,” Feik said Tuesday.

“We are aware of the case, are looking into it, and are talking with the Oregon Department of Justice on how to proceed,” DEQ spokeswoman Marcia Danab wrote in an email Wednesday.

“This is just as hot an issue” as the elevated levels of cadmium and arsenic detected in the air in Southeast Portland, Feik said. DEQ has come under fire in recent weeks for failing to properly regulate polluters.

Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday afternoon Pedersen will step down in mid-March as DEQ’s director, citing personal health concerns. DEQ’s deputy director Joni Hammond will serve as interim director, Brown said.

According to Danab, the permit writer is also the inspector who ensures companies are complying with their permit.

The 10 permit writers/inspectors in DEQ’s Northwest Region have a caseload of about 1,100 permits, Danab said. Of those, about 1,035 are air contaminant discharge permits, which require an inspection once every three to five years. The 35 Title V permit holders are inspected every two years, Danab said.

“The purpose of the inspection is to determine whether the facility is complying with all conditions of the permit,” Danab wrote in an email. “This includes a review of a facilities records, inspecting process equipment and control devices, etc.”

“Industry in essence has written the rules. Regulatory agencies are not protecting the public health,” Feik claims. “This is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Feik provided testimony to DEQ during the permitting process and sat on the negotiating team for a Good Neighbor Agreement reached in December 2015 between Intel, Neighbors for Clean Air and the Northwest Environmental Defense Center. In the agreement, Intel commits to publicly reporting emissions from its regular smokestack testing, as well as work to “improve livability and safety in Hillsboro and Washington County.”

“I was really displeased with that whole agreement,” Feik said, adding the only negotiable emissions the group addressed were fluoride and greenhouse gases.

Intel’s quarterly emissions reports are available at ExploreIntel.com.

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