Wednesday, September 1, 2010

TCEQ New Source Review Program Rejected By EPA

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued formal disapproval of aspects of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ) air emission permitting program that do not meet federal Clean Air Act requirements. EPA sought public comment on its proposed disapproval of New Source Review (NSR) program which was published in the Federal Register in September 2009 and considered comments in reaching its final decision.

EPA determined the revisions proposed by TCEQ’s New Source Review program did not meet federal Clean Air Act requirements. One example is the Pollution Control Project Standard Permit revision offered by TCEQ. The permit is designed to streamline permitting of changes within a plant but according to EPA lacked adequate review of impacts on total air pollution levels should the changes be approved.

In July 2009, the EPA and the Business Coalition for Clean Air (BCCA) Appeal Group, the Texas Association of Business, and the Texas Oil and Gas Association reached an agreement regarding the timing of federal review of regulatory changes to Texas’ air permitting program. EPA’s action is the latest in a series of actions under that agreement.

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