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Release Date: 11/21/96
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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol M. Browner today signed a five-year final Project XL agreement with Intel Corporation officials and community leaders. The new agreement is one of the most significant examples of progress in the Clinton Administration's efforts to reinvent the environmental regulatory system.
Speaking at Intel's new computer chip manufacturing plant in Chandler, Ariz., Browner said, "Today's agreement is one of the most significant results of Clinton Administration efforts to build a new generation of environmental protection to meet the challenges of the 21st century. This agreement with Intel is proof that we can make our environmental regulatory system as affordable as it is protective."

Project XL (for Excellence and Leadership) is a national pilot program that gives a limited number of regulated entities the flexibility to adopt alternative strategies to the current system of regulations on the condition that they produce greater environmental results. Under Intel's agreement, the company will adopt a five year Environmental Management Plan which outlines specific steps to meet tough standards of superior environmental performance. The agreement provides strong public health and environmental protections, while cutting red tape, increasing public information, and allowing Intel to compete in a fast-paced industry.

In exchange for meeting more stringent air pollution standards, Intel will receive an air pollution permit that eliminates the usual modification process each time Intel changes its manufacturing operations. Under the agreement, Intel will also be allowed to file a single, consolidated report for all pollution to Arizona's Department of Environmental Quality, instead of separate reports for air, water, and land pollution to several regulatory agencies.

"The results promise to be good for the health of this community, good for the environment, and good for business," Browner said. "As President Clinton has said, our philosophy of reinvention is simple: Protect people, not bureaucracy. Promote results, not rules. Get action, not rhetoric."

Dr. Craig Barrett, Intel's Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, said, "This historic agreement will allow Intel environmental engineers to concentrate on achieving even higher levels of environmental performance. As a result, the regulatory community, the public and Intel will all benefit."

Also as part of the Environmental Management Plan, Intel commits to go beyond the regulatory requirements at this plant by limiting air pollution through the use of cleaner manufacturing operations, reducing water use through recycling, and protecting groundwater by reducing stormwater runoff. Specifically, Intel's planned goals for the five-year project include:

    recycling up to 65 percent of the fresh water used at the facility;
    recycling up to 60 percent of the solid waste generated;
    recycling up to 70 percent of the non-hazardous chemical waste;
    reducing hazardous waste generated at the site according to appropriate milestones; and,
    establishing limits below existing requirements for air pollutants---carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, PM- 10 (particulate matter such as dust and soot) and toxic air pollutants.
Intel has agreed to cap the overall level of pollution -- no more than 50 tons annually for each criteria pollutant and 10 tons annually for organic and inorganic hazardous air pollutants. Intel also is required to model routine toxic air emissions and remain below Arizona's strict guideline for public and worker exposure. Since Intel is bringing new processes on line every two years, pollution prevention will be built into process designs. A 40 percent reduction in the emission of volatile organic compounds is expected from new processes employed by Intel.

The XL project also calls for specific risk-based limits and emission limits within the permit and for community benefits, such as Intel's agreement to provide a beneficial 1,000 foot environmental buffer zone between the manufacturing facility and nearby homes and schools.

In a letter to President Clinton, members of Intel's Arizona Community Advisory Panel said, "We believe that Intel's XL project will enhance environmental protection for our community and encourage Intel to achieve even higher levels of performance (at the Chandler plant)."

"Project XL provides a fresh look at overall environmental performance," said Jo Crumbaker of Maricopa County's Department of Environmental Services. "It includes commitment and reduces paperwork and other procedural burdens that do not provide value-added contributions to its aggressive environmental goals."

During the project development, community members were extensively involved. Information on the Intel project was made available to the public from EPA, state and local agencies and several public meetings were held during the development of the project. Throughout the five-year implementation period, updates and quarterly public meetings will be held.

Information will be made available on a regular basis on the Internet at XL/.

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