Intel plant results in mud-slinging

Intel’s new D1X plant is causing a huge mess for Washington County.

Chipzilla has insisted that the plant be constructed to extremely tight deadlines and this has meant that the builders have had problems getting rid of the hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of earth which have been dug up.

Apparently some dirt was dumped in wetlands, and resulted in the county having to revoke Intel’s fill permit.

Part of the problem is that  the fill contained extensive amounts of construction fabric, large rocks and other materials not allowed under county standards. Farmers were miffed that Chipzilla’s dirt was smothering prime agricultural sites.

Many farmers think that the local government was too keen to get the new research factory to boost the local economy by 8,000 jobs – and not enough thought was given to the effect the plant would have.

It has involved enlarging the footprint at Intel’s Ronler Acres campus near Hillsboro Stadium and shifting 780,000 cubic yards of soil.

When the digging began huge quantities of earth rapidly started filling Washington County farmland.

Oregon Live quoted local farmer Bob Vanderzanden as being stunned when truckload after truckload dumped as much as 150,000 cubic yards of excavated spoils.

It was supposed to “enhance agricultural production capability” when it fact it blocked a drainage ditch and created a mountain of moving earth.

Intel says that it is nothing to do with it. That was left to a subcontractor responsible for excavation and the “off haul” process of delivering materials to fill sites permitted by Washington County.

County planners insist that Intel fill permits were not “fast-tracked” to fit Chipzilla’s deadlines.

However County board Chairman Andy Duyck has also said that the Intel expansion was important enough that it would do everything possible, including fast-tracking permits, to support it.