Skip to comments.Breaking News: EPA Takes Control of Clean Air Permit
Posted on 06/02/2010 5:11:58 PM PDT by EBH
On Tuesday, for the first time in any state, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency seized control of Texas' jurisdiction over granting a clean air permit.
The takeover affects one key operating permit governing Flint Hills Resources' crude oil refinery in the Corpus Christi area (to which the EPA formally objected in December), but it sends a powerful message that Texas must comply with federal law.
EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz said the EPA is prepared to take control of Texas' entire air-permitting system because it violates the Clean Air Act, if TCEQ doesn't immediately begin requiring Texas air-quality permits that are federally sufficient.
"If the state agency is unwilling or unable to issue those permits, the EPA must and will do so," he told The Dallas Morning News on Tuesday. Armendariz says the EPA will begin issuing its own permits for several plants for which it has filed formal objections; those include facilities owned by Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and Dow Chemical Co.
"The time for delay and for partnership and for compromise is very quickly coming to an end," Armendariz said. "We have to get the Clean Air Act implemented in the state of Texas."
Look who they are going after!
Exxon, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and Dow.
HAH - why dont they go clean up the mess in the Gulf of Mexico
Let’s see if the ball-less wonder in Texas can grow a pair.
Trying to sieze as much control as possible before November.
I’d send some Texas Rangers after this EPA idiot and toss his ass into a Texas prison and dare Obama to send US Marshalls to get him.
Knowing Austin, the folks there probably favor the action. This paper isn’t The Statesman, is it?
God let this be a Fort Sumter moment ...
Can you imagine what Texas air is going to be like when the EPA people screw it up.
Good grief, certainly there are no more federal employees who actually think they are competent enough to do the jobs they are sent out to do (other than the Marine Corps and Postal Service).
If this were Japan and that oil well thing was going on in Tokyo Bay there'd be mass suicides in every agency of the government. We are long overdue for that.
LOL, but not BP?
I want YOU as the governor of TX!
“The time for delay and for partnership and for compromise is very quickly coming to an end,” Armendariz said.
Federal oppression coming soon.
We are seeing the overbearing socialist state
flexing it’s muscles.
The time for delay and for partnership and for compromise is very quickly coming to an end, Armendariz said.”
You got that right, chief...
The thing is, if the State of Texas has the balls...they need to fight them in court. Make them prove the TCEQ is insufficient.
“EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz”
Anbody check his papers?
States rights! hmmmm..where have I heard this before. Its a shame, but I guess we won’t be able to wear gray uniforms this time.
TCEQ Reacts to EPA Action on Flint Hills Refinery
Wednesday, May 26, 2010— EPA’s Actions Won’t Result in Cleaner Air, Will Result in Higher Consumer Costs
The EPAs announcement yesterday that it is requiring Flint Hills Refinery in Corpus Christi to submit a new air permit application is at odds with past EPA decisions and directions concerning the refinery.
The refinery was issued its flexible permit in 1995. At that time, the refinery demonstrated to the TCEQ and EPA that it met state and federal requirements and that the permit would be protective of public health.
In 2002, Flint Hills amended its permit and EPA had no comment.
The refinery received its initial Title V permit in January 2007. Again EPA was afforded the opportunity to comment but did not reply.
The TCEQ maintains that if industrial facilities operating under flexible permits are required to apply for new permits, it will not result in cleaner air. It will result in very substantial costs to industry in submitting these permits, and those costs will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher costs for fuel, electricity, and many other everyday products.
“The TCEQ strongly disagrees that Texas air permits violate the Clean Air Act. For the past 16 years the state of Texas has successfully implemented innovative air permitting programs that have resulted in significant air quality improvement throughout the state, said TCEQ Chairman Bryan W. Shaw, Ph.D. Our flexible permits, which are similar to the federal government’s PAL (Plant-wide Applicability Limits) program in that they allow site-wide caps, are protective because they are based on modeling analysis that reflect worst case scenarios. The EPA cannot deny that Texas programs work. Instead, the federal government is more interested in a blatant power grab.”
I am frustrated by Dr. Armendariz assertion that the time for partnership and for compromise is quickly coming to an end. We should be partners; unfortunately, the federal governmentafter failing to act on our rules for some 15 yearshas decided that instead of working with us they would just tell us how to run our state-delegated program, or else, said TCEQ Commissioner Buddy Garcia. No one can dispute the fact that Texas air quality has seen tremendous improvements over the last 15 years. Much of that is due to the fact that the Texas permitting programs are essential and extremely effective. The fact that they feel the need to take over only proves my theory all along, they are not about results but merely interested in the process.”
TCEQ Commissioner Carlos Rubinstein said, “Based on Dr. Armendariz’s statements and EPA actions, I do not believe the EPA is interested in serious negotiations to settle their objections to our permit program. EPA has not bothered to respond to letters and even stated they may not review proposed rules. It seems to me the outcome is predestined, regardless of any actions taken by the TCEQ. I have been involved in successful negotiations in the past. The process followed thus far by EPA is not one that allows for that. The time has come to end the double talk about our partnerships. Come to the table and negotiate in earnest.”
The TCEQ has provided EPA several draft or final responses to flexible permit objection letters; however, EPA has not provided responses.
The TCEQ has had ongoing discussions with EPA and is working diligently to address issues and reach resolution on outstanding issues. The TCEQ will continue those discussions.