IBM, Semiconductor Manufacturing Facility
IBM Essex Junction, Vermont is a semiconductor facility located near Burlington, Vermont. The facility manufactures and tests semiconductor memory and logic devices through a complex, multi-step manufacturing process. IBM Burlington (the Company) recently introduced a new, innovative copper metallization step into the semiconductor chip manufacturing process that uses a copper plating process to deposit a layer of metal on the a wafer. Prior to April of 1998, the copper plating rinsewaters were collected and drummed. Beginning in April, the volume of rinsewater generated from the process (approximately 250 gallons per day) made it an operational necessity to mix the copper plating process rinsewaters with the general wastestream and classify all the wastewater treatment sludge (3 tons per day) as a F006 hazardous waste even though there is a negligible change in any pollutant concentrations in the sludge. This project seeks a specific process delisting from the F006 listing for the copper plating process rinsewater.
IBM believes their Project XL proposal will also allow them to reduce their process energy consumption by 30-40% by converting to the copper plating process from their previous process, reduce the toxicity of the chemicals used in the manufacturing process, reduce administrative burden, reduce costs through pollution prevention, and reinvest those savings in environmental improvements.