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AMD, Malta hammer out details

Advanced Microchip Devices and the Town of Malta have crossed another bridge with decisions made on development legislation in a meeting that stretched into the night of Tuesday, July 29.

Major and minor issues were discussed by the Town Board and AMD representatives as they sought to finalize the planned development district document, legislation that would govern a host of matters pertaining to development of the Luther Forest Technology Campus. Environmental concerns topped that list, and a number of longstanding issues were wrapped up on Tuesday.

The company and Malta have long been at odds regarding environmental monitoring of the proposed facility, or Fab 4X. The town wanted a summary of the third-party internal audit AMD already undergoes every three years. AMD has said that submitting copies of all reports it files with state and federal regulators should be sufficient, and has stated that's more than most companies would be willing to do.

The two agreed on going with AMD's plan. In addition, the chipmaker will enter the burgeoning Environmental Leaders program, offered through the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Though still in its infancy, the voluntary program encourages participators to go above and beyond the minimum environmental standards. The program also has provisions for regular DEC audits.

The decision came after a hearty bout of discussion among board members, some of whom felt the town would be backing away from promises to demand more of the company.

Councilwoman Sue Nolen, who has often stated additional audits of AMD would be unnecessary, said we don't ask every business that comes in to monitor this and monitor that.

Deputy Supervisor Glenn Rockwood cautioned the board. "We can't tell our citizens we're watching what [AMD's] doing," he said.

Language will be inserted into the legislation to remove any trade secrets that might come back to the town in any reports.

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