Community Environmental Working Group

Striving for continuous environmental improvement at Intel


Next Meeting:

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Corrales Senior Center

5:15 - 7:00 PM

Established in 2004, the Community Environmental Working Group advocates continuous environmental improvements at the Intel New Mexico plant, including reduction of Intel's chemical emissions. The Group also promotes constructive dialogue on all issues related to its mission. 

The Group has no formal control over Intel. Therefore the improvements made come by building the breadth and depth of information exchanged and the weight of evidence it can muster on all issues related to its mission.

 The Working Group includes longtime "green" activists, local critics of Intel, other community voices, and a representative from Intel. 

The Working Group held its first meeting on August 25, 2004 and has met monthly since. The public is invited and encouraged to attend. The Group meets every third Wednesday from 5:15-7 p.m. at:

Corrales Senior Center
4324 Corrales Rd.
Corrales, NM

The acting chair for the Working Group, and for New Mexico Citizens for Clean Air & Water, is John Bartlit, a long-time environmental activist. For more information about the Working Group or upcoming meetings, please e-mail the facilitator, Jessie Lawrence, at 

CEWG Informational Flyer


CEWG Accomplishments: 2004 - 2018

The Community Environmental Working Group, which began in August, 2004, is a volunteer organization that meets monthly to pursue its mission of continuous environmental improvement and improved community dialogue on environmental issues related to Intel New Mexico.  The Group explores and discusses concerns and ideas from all relevant interest groups, including Intel and the surrounding community.

Many of the changes listed below are beyond what can be accomplished by regulatory agencies under current law.  Actual accomplishments always fall short of what might be desired, yet they still add to useful progress. Although CEWG discussions were an impetus for these improvements, the Group cannot take full credit. They are attributable as well to various members of the public, public agencies, and Intel management and engineers.  

2004 – 2006

1. Intel formed a team that made changes that reduced the amount of isopropyl alcohol emitted.

2. Intel compressed the preventative maintenance schedule for the oxidizers, cutting unabated downtime emissions 70%.

3. Intel changed the preventative maintenance schedule to avoid downtimes during the months when air dispersion is restricted, thereby reducing the impact of unabated emissions on surrounding communities.

4. Coordination between Intel and emergency responders improved, and the emergency response program was tested in full-scale drills and real events.

5. Intel donated $10,000 to Corrales for additional fire department training.

6. Intel established an Odor Team to investigate reported odors, which led to improvements in cooling tower sampling and filtration to monitor bacteria and pH. By improved monitoring, Biocide use in the north cooling towers was reduced 70-80 % with the potential of reducing odors. 

7. Intel created a quadrant map to better identify the location of reported odors.

8. Intel improved the methanol abatement process and reduced emissions from 40% to 4%.

9. Intel moved the shipping and storage containers away from the weather tower so as not to interfere with weather data.

2006 – 2007

10. The CEWG developed a Citizen Protocol to establish trustworthy ways to contract, analyze, and report testing data. 

2007 – 2008 

11. Sandoval County purchased an automated system for public emergency notification meeting national standards. The CEWG publicized it.

12. Intel increased RTO stack height from 23.2 meters to 30 meters from the ground.

13. Intel automated its biocide use.

2008 - 2009

14. Intel removed rain caps from boiler stacks, increasing exit velocity and effective height of stack flow, reducing resultant particulate concentrations on the ground by 37% and carbon monoxide by 69% on an 8-hour average.

15. Intel reduced usage of HMDS, a chemical that produces silica when burned in the thermal oxidizers by a factor of 3 since 2005 and a factor of 8 since 1994.

2009 - 2010

16. Intel increased the pH in the scrubbers to eliminate odor stemming from 1-heptanethiol.

2010 - 2011

17.  Intel replaced old Durr oxidizers with four new Munters units for better reliability and less downtime. These are arranged so that they are not clustered, which further reduces ground-level concentrations.

18.  Intel installed redundant oxidizer units that significantly reduced downtime.

19.  Intel increased the RTO stack height from 30 meters to 40 to reduce the maximum ground-level concentrations of pollutants.

20.  Intel and the CEWG conducted a test (over four days and four nights) for crystalline silica emissions, coordinated by a community-based Silica Testing Task Force (STTF), observed by community representatives, and analyzed by NIOSH (the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health).  Report indicated no significant levels of crystalline silica in emissions during the four test dates.

21.  Intel created a website at to report real-time data to the public.

2012 - 2014

22.  Modeled short-term peak concentrations of hydrogen fluoride ("spikes") in the community and compared results to screening levels to examine potential risk. The modeling was extended for HCl and Cl2.

23.  Encouraged improved emergency plans and training of emergency responders at Intel, between Intel and local emergency responders, and the community.

24.  Pursued regulatory engineering projects that offer alternative approaches to environmental improvement. An initial example can be seen at View Live Abatement. Intel developed improvements to the website to provide more real time operational information about plant functioning and emission control systems.

25.  Reviewed the status of using supercritical CO2 for cleaning chips to reduce water use. Reviewed the status of using supercritical C02 to substantially reduce both water usage and toxic air emissions. 

26.  Prepared for the release of the report by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) regarding community health concerns, developing questions to clarify study methods and assess findings on local health issues. 

27.  Discussed the possibility of adding condensation and/or other processes to enhance emission control at Intel. 


28.  Please see final annual reports under "short reports to the community."



A Message From Acting Chair John Bartlit

Work on Intel Air Issues Brings Good Results

Public demonstrations in Rio Rancho on occasional Saturdays aim to focus on Intel issues ranging from tax rates to the environment.

Some environmental advocates have worked in a very different forum on air and water issues of Intel since 2004 -- the Community Environmental Working Group (CEWG). The CEWG meets in public the third Wednesday of every month at the Corrales Senior Center, 5 to 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome to observe and participate.   

Persistent work in the CEWG forum, in combination with the efforts of others, has gained major environmental improvements at Intel and more will come. The achievements are described in our one-page annual short reports to the community.

The largest achievements this year are:

■ Stacks (chimneys) were raised higher to reduce the maximum ground level concentrations of pollutants.

■ Redundant (backup) units were added to the thermal oxidizer pollution controls.

■ Community-controlled testing for crystalline silica was done on Intel's stack emissions; federal test results found no significant crystalline silica. 

The CEWG also takes into account findings about Intel's emissions from the tax-funded work of many state and federal agencies, namely:

   * the Air Quality Bureau of the New Mexico Environment Department

   * U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (on-site inspection report, fall 2010) 

   * U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (public health consultation, report 2009) 

   * National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (analytical results for silica emissions, report 2011)

   * New Mexico Department of Health (analysis of Corrales health data, report spring 2011) 

The named reports can be found in various sections of this website.

The CEWG welcomes inquiries and involvement in its work methods and continued environmental gains.