Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Texas agency skips EPA hearing

The most telling news coming out of a US Environmental Protection Agency hearing in Dallas was the absence of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). EPA’s Jan. 14 hearing concerned the federal takeover of permits for new or expanding Texas power plants, refineries and other industrial plants.

"The state's position on proposed greenhouse gas regulations has been clearly articulated to the EPA and well documented in several pending court cases,” TCEQ said in an email statement to OGJ.

“Our attempts to reason with EPA and efforts to have constructive discussions on our position and their authority under federal law have been ignored,” TCEQ said. “We look forward to pursuing our position in the court system, and we are confident that science and the law will prevail."

The EPA and Texas state officials disagree about whether EPA legally can regulate GHG emissions such as carbon dioxide, and whether EPA has a right to issue GHG-gas permits in Texas when the state refuses to do so.

Effective this year, permit applications for industrial plant expansions must outline plans to use “best available control technology” to reduce GHGs. That stems from a 2007 US Supreme Court decision saying that the Clean Air Act authorizes limits on GHG emissions.

State agencies in every state but Texas are issuing the permits or putting procedures in place to do so. But Texas refuses to take part, saying the EPA overstepped its authority by regulating GHG emissions.

Meanwhile, the battle continues in federal court. Separately, the EPA is taking written comments until Feb. 14.

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home