Discussion Paper

Intel's XL Permit: A Framework for Evaluation

Jan 1, 1998 | James W. Boyd, Alan J. Krupnick, Janice Mazurek


The paper develops a framework to evaluate permits granted to firms under the Environmental Protection Agency's Project XL &#151 with emphasis on the novel air permit granted to the Intel Corporation. We describe the permit, the process that created it, and the types of costs and benefits likely to arise from this type of "facility-specific" regulatory arrangement. Among other things, the paper describes the permit's impact on environmental quality, production costs, transaction costs, and Intel's strategic market position. The paper also considers how an estimate of the costs and benefits &#151 both to Intel and society &#151 might be estimated. While facility-specific regulation typically conjures images of production cost savings as processes are re-engineered and low-cost abatement strategies pursued, the Intel case highlights perhaps a more important source of benefit: flexibility in the form of streamlined permitting. Flexibility in this form allows for accelerated product introductions, with potentially significant benefits to the firm and possibly to society.