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Breaking News: EPA Takes Control of Clean Air Permit
The Austin Chronicle ^ | 5/28/2010 | KATHERINE GREGOR

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."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; US: Texas
KEYWORDS:
This is a few days old, but looks like it slipped under the radar. This is kind of a big deal. This has never happened before!

Look who they are going after!

Exxon, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and Dow.

1 posted on 06/02/2010 5:11:58 PM PDT by EBH
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To: EBH

HAH - why dont they go clean up the mess in the Gulf of Mexico


2 posted on 06/02/2010 5:13:08 PM PDT by BloodnGuts
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To: EBH

Let’s see if the ball-less wonder in Texas can grow a pair.


3 posted on 06/02/2010 5:13:17 PM PDT by pissant (THE Conservative party: www.falconparty.com)
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To: EBH

Hugo!!!


4 posted on 06/02/2010 5:13:18 PM PDT by elpinta (Jer. 10:23)
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To: EBH

Trying to sieze as much control as possible before November.


5 posted on 06/02/2010 5:14:32 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: EBH

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.


6 posted on 06/02/2010 5:14:42 PM PDT by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: EBH

Knowing Austin, the folks there probably favor the action. This paper isn’t The Statesman, is it?


7 posted on 06/02/2010 5:15:15 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Build a man a fire; he'll be warm for a night. Set a man on fire; he'll be warm the rest of his life)
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To: EBH

God let this be a Fort Sumter moment ...


8 posted on 06/02/2010 5:15:29 PM PDT by j.argese (Liberal thought process = oxymoron)
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To: EBH
Just thinking of the great job EPA and the rest of the federal establishment are doing with that oil well Obama's letting leak all over the place in the middle of the gulf.

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.

9 posted on 06/02/2010 5:15:50 PM PDT by muawiyah ("Git Out The Way")
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To: EBH
Look who they are going after! Exxon, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and Dow.

LOL, but not BP?

10 posted on 06/02/2010 5:16:04 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (The environment is too complex and too important to manage by central planning.)
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To: Lurker

I want YOU as the governor of TX!


11 posted on 06/02/2010 5:16:05 PM PDT by Fantasywriter
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To: EBH

“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.


12 posted on 06/02/2010 5:16:20 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: cripplecreek

Yup.


13 posted on 06/02/2010 5:17:24 PM PDT by Oceander (The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance -- Thos. Jefferson)
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To: tet68

“The time for delay and for partnership and for compromise is very quickly coming to an end,” Armendariz said.”

You got that right, chief...


14 posted on 06/02/2010 5:18:44 PM PDT by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
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To: muawiyah

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.


15 posted on 06/02/2010 5:20:03 PM PDT by EBH (Our First Right...."it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,")
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To: EBH

“EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz”

Anbody check his papers?


16 posted on 06/02/2010 5:21:09 PM PDT by 724th (The question is not how far, but rather, do you possess the constitution?)
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To: Lurker

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.


17 posted on 06/02/2010 5:22:36 PM PDT by Kartographer (".. we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.")
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To: cripplecreek

‘fraid so.


18 posted on 06/02/2010 5:28:14 PM PDT by FourPeas (What do you call a peaceful Hamas protester? Deceased.)
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To: Lurker

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 EPA’s 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 government—after failing to act on our rules for some 15 years—has 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.

http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/comm_exec/communication/media/5-10flinthillsreact


19 posted on 06/02/2010 5:29:16 PM PDT by EBH (Our First Right...."it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,")
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To: EBH
Worth highlighting: Instead, the federal government is more interested in a blatant power grab.”
20 posted on 06/02/2010 5:31:21 PM PDT by EBH (Our First Right...."it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,")
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To: steelyourfaith

I thought you might be interested in this.


21 posted on 06/02/2010 5:33:27 PM PDT by EBH (Our First Right...."it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,")
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To: EBH

They should tell the EPA to go to hell, destroy both the blueprints of their equipment and the equipment,tell their help[employees] that their services are no longer needed and pay them in full, then go out of business.

Let the obama worshipping bastards go back to living in the stone age.


22 posted on 06/02/2010 5:34:02 PM PDT by sport
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To: EBH

History is filled with countless episodes of people not knowing when tyranny was creeping in that tyranny is what it was.


23 posted on 06/02/2010 5:35:45 PM PDT by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (Prepare for survival.)
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To: EBH

Guess the initial, unprecedented take over of a State Agency by the FEDs isn’t important.

Sorry Mods. I disagree with your point of view on this.


24 posted on 06/02/2010 5:42:21 PM PDT by EBH (Our First Right...."it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,")
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To: EBH
"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." are going to war."
25 posted on 06/02/2010 5:47:52 PM PDT by sionnsar (IranAzadi|5yst3m 0wn3d-it's N0t Y0ur5:SONY|Remember Neda Agha-Soltan|TV--it's NOT news you can trust)
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To: EBH; Thunder90; Dr. Bogus Pachysandra; Entrepreneur; Darnright; Nipfan; Defendingliberty; ...
Thanx !

 


Beam me to Planet Gore !

26 posted on 06/02/2010 5:54:33 PM PDT by steelyourfaith (America should take a mulligan on the 2008 presidential election.)
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To: EBH
All of the environmental training I get from my corporation states that:

1. All federal laws will be complied with.
2. Any state laws that are more stringent than the federal laws will be complied with.
3. Any corporate policies that are more stringent than the state laws will be complied with.

So for quite some time it seems that states can regulate in certain areas, but only if they are more stringent than the federal government.

This may not be right, but it is not new.

27 posted on 06/02/2010 6:06:14 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear (These fragments I have shored against my ruins)
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To: All

This EPA business has Obama’s fingerprints all over it. Pure and simple, Obama’s targeting Texas for it’s support of Republicans.

This program that the EPA is going after was started by Ann Richards (D) when she was Governor. The EPA never had a problem with it, until now. This is a purely political move and has nothing to do with the Clean Air Act.


28 posted on 06/02/2010 6:15:21 PM PDT by unbiasedtruth
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To: sport

The EPA can go to hell: http://texas.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2010/05/the-epa-can-go-to-hell-and-i-will-go-to-texas/


29 posted on 06/02/2010 6:36:14 PM PDT by Pantera
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To: EBH

Someone who lives in this Texas County, please go to SheriffMack.com and buy the book by Sheriff Mack explaining that THE SHERIFF is THE ULTIMATE AUTHORITY in his County. Sheriff Mack will mail it to the Sheriff’s Office if you give them the address. Buy yourself a copy, read it and then make an appointment to talk to your Sheriff.

If he’s read the book, he’ll see that HE has more authority in his County than ANYone, even the EPA or the FBI or the President.

He can ACTUALLY ARREST any Federal Agent, including the President, if he’s willing.

It would be soooooo cool to have a Sheriff arrest Obama and then refuse to release him until he shows his birth certificate to verify his citizenship.

EVERYONE who reads this . . . get your County Sheriff a copy of Sheriff Mack’s book.

And please join Oath Keepers. Oath Keepers is for EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. It’s not connected to any other activity. Oath Keepers uses resources like Sheriff Mack’s book and pamphlets to teach the local teachers and police and sheriff’s officers.


30 posted on 06/02/2010 6:53:46 PM PDT by HighlyOpinionated (SPEAK UP REPUBLICANS, WE CAN'T HEAR YOU YET! IMPEACH OBAMA!)
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To: Kartographer

>>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.<<

Why not? The Yankee Army of Suppression wears blue.


31 posted on 06/03/2010 1:01:47 AM PDT by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners)
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To: who_would_fardels_bear

That is correct, but this is the first time the Fed. EPA has taken over a State program.

Texas needs to make them prove the allegations of insufficiency.

The danger in this move by the Fed. EPA is that it can deem ANY state agency insufficient.

The Fed. needs to show where the Texas Air Pollution Regulations don’t at least meet Fed. requirements.


32 posted on 06/03/2010 3:44:15 AM PDT by EBH (Our First Right...."it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,")
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To: EBH
http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/story?oid=oid%3A1037383

In the simmering battle between the Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz told the Chronicle this week that if the state doesn't start issuing federally consistent air permits by June 30, he is prepared to take over the job. Armendariz called from the Gulf Coast, where he's working the BP oil spill, about his plans to make Texas comply with the federal Clean Air Act. (See "Environmental Cage Match," May 28.)

...

33 posted on 06/03/2010 3:57:45 AM PDT by palmer (Cooperating with Obama = helping him extend the depression and implement socialism.)
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To: palmer

Please, Texas, tell Al what Daley from Chicago told the EPA when they directed Chicago to clean up the Chicago River so people could swim in it (as though we don’t have a huge lake right on our door step): “Go swim in the Potomac.”


34 posted on 06/03/2010 3:59:49 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: EBH
Can anyone decipher the legaleze in the attachment to this memo?

http://www.epa.gov/region6/6pd/air/pd-r/objectionletters/flint_hills032610-o1272.pdf

35 posted on 06/03/2010 4:11:54 AM PDT by palmer (Cooperating with Obama = helping him extend the depression and implement socialism.)
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To: aruanan

The simple fact is that TX is complying. What the EPA is trying to do is backdoor the climate change crap by throwing up technicalities on the permitting process. If challenged on the CAA they would lose because the CAA doesn’t allow them to shut down a refinery for CO2 without also shutting down thousands of other TX businesses that emit smaller amounts of CO2. The application of CO2 permitting to only large emitters is completely fabricated.


36 posted on 06/03/2010 4:15:36 AM PDT by palmer (Cooperating with Obama = helping him extend the depression and implement socialism.)
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To: palmer
Here's the reference for the memo attachment legaleze section: http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40cfr63_main_02.tpl
This is basically all the technicalities of what to permit, how to permit, how to grandfather, etc. None of this that I can see applies to CO2 climate change crap. It is all for normal clean air act pollutants such as volatile organic chemicals, etc. Also click on subpart E and search for Texas and you can see that everything is basically delegated to TCEQ.
37 posted on 06/03/2010 4:42:33 AM PDT by palmer (Cooperating with Obama = helping him extend the depression and implement socialism.)
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To: palmer

Objection 1: The Fed is objecting to the incorporation of a flexible permit to the Title V application. The State Issued permit needs to prove it meets Fed. regulations to be included or the entire Title V permit will be denied. (Business must stop operating until permit is approved).

Objection 2: Looks to be a documentation issue in the permit application. They are also claiming a major source permit is inserted in this section of the permit and should be documented elsewhere in the Title V permit application.

Objection 3: Looks to be a minor source on the permit that has had a revision way back in 1998. EPA is claiming the permit is now not good enough without further documentation.

Objection 4: Again it appears that documentation is missing. For a Title V permit one must present all documentation proving compliance. This may need to be actual testing, pollution control devices installed, etc. There is a certification statement at the end of the section that must be signed by an officer of the company.

Objection 5: Is dealing with point sources on the facility that have been exempt under pollution control standards. This is kind of tricky in that units like these can suddenly be required to have pollution controls mandated under a Title V permit. ALL sources must be accounted for and again, this is a documentation issue that the Feds. will require testing to prove exemption status on a Title V permit.

Objection 6: This is again a failure to properly document which emission sources fall under the regulations stated in the permit application. DETAILS! DETAILS! DETAILS!

Objection 7: More of the same as objection 6, just a different area of the permit application.


I’ve done Title V permits in my career. There is the notice in the front of the letter demanding they submit this information in less than the 90 day compliance time to submit the documentation. This is unreasonable and appears to be excessive. The applicant has the right to take the full 90 days to submit the documentation. The Fed. EPA has no authority to demand it sooner than the law allows.


38 posted on 06/03/2010 4:45:58 AM PDT by EBH (Our First Right...."it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,")
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To: EBH

I had the epa inspection of the water plant I operate yesterday. PITA!


39 posted on 06/03/2010 5:17:39 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: EBH
Thanks for the analysis (I have no clue). Looks like the TX Sierra Club is in on the act: http://texas.sierraclub.org/press/newsreleases/20100602b.asp
40 posted on 06/03/2010 5:39:02 AM PDT by palmer (Cooperating with Obama = helping him extend the depression and implement socialism.)
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To: palmer

They could very well be. Most Title V permits have an open period in which the public can submit questions and objections to the permit.

This is where I used to get crazy with the environmental groups as there was no amount of compliance that was sufficient for them. Even if you met the compliance regulations, they would still object.


41 posted on 06/03/2010 5:59:25 AM PDT by EBH (Our First Right...."it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,")
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To: EBH

Well it sounds to me like the EPA is using the “citizen petition” crap to deny the extension or fast permitting. The PDF just says “two citizen petitions filed with the EPA, dated August 28, 2009, and January 5, 2009.” I haven’t found those petitions on the EPA website and have no idea if they keep them there. What is interesting though is the Green groups bragging about how they are going to stop the refinery with this convoluted process. It is also interesting that the plant in question is owned by Koch which is accused by Greenpeace of climate denial funding. I think this is an intentional and deliberate first strike by Obama’s EPA goons to shut down CO2 via the back door, pretending that there are pollution point sources that pass Texas’ standards (they use facility-wide regulation). In reality they just want to shut it down by using Texas’ own logic that point sources don’t matter to climate change, just the totals.


42 posted on 06/03/2010 6:32:51 AM PDT by palmer (Cooperating with Obama = helping him extend the depression and implement socialism.)
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To: EBH

I agree. From what has been written the feds have been extremely non-communicative. From what the feds have told them, there is no way that Texas can respond to either defend their plan as is, or modify it to meet with federal guidelines ... if there are such things any more.


43 posted on 06/03/2010 9:08:49 AM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear (These fragments I have shored against my ruins)
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To: EBH

We need to get these thugs hanging from ropes, pronto.


44 posted on 06/03/2010 9:11:54 AM PDT by Sir Gawain
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To: EBH

The federal authority to do this is right there in Article MCXLVII of the Constitution!


45 posted on 06/03/2010 9:13:47 AM PDT by TChris ("Hello", the politician lied.)
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To: palmer

There are a couple things going on here.

First, I agree with you that the EPA is using this facility as a first strike. It is clear from all the reports they intend to use this facility as an example or to make the facility a bad example.

If this facility is required to have a Title V permit, I assume they have several Environmental Managers working for them. If I were them, I would be down right PO’d and have my environmental lawyers already on the line.

The EPA can order the refinery to stop working...shut it down. Now isn’t that a cute move and they will blame the TCEQ.

What is worse, that folks here seem to be missing, IS THEY INTEND TO MAKE THE TCEQ OBSOLETE. They are not just sticking their noses into this one facility, but the entire state agency is going to be shut down.

This is the first state to be threatened in this manner. I will bet we see more of this kind of stuff in the future. They will get their cap & tax any way they can.


46 posted on 06/03/2010 9:39:50 AM PDT by EBH (Our First Right...."it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,")
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To: palmer
One last point. If you think this is only happening in Texas...think again. Substantial Changes Needed in Implementation and Oversight of Title V Permits If Program Goals Are To Be Fully Realized : OIG Evaluation Report
47 posted on 06/03/2010 9:48:50 AM PDT by EBH (Our First Right...."it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,")
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To: EBH

I am totally new to this issue, but it sounds like the EPA is doing an end round to take over a state agency. Just a complete take over. WOW.

Interesting times indeed.

Do the state agency’s realize what they are up against?


48 posted on 06/03/2010 10:02:44 AM PDT by TruthConquers (Delendae sunt publicae scholae)
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To: EBH
Another back door EPA action: http://www.wkyt.com/blogs/neilsnotebook/89171837.html
49 posted on 06/03/2010 10:25:33 AM PDT by palmer (Cooperating with Obama = helping him extend the depression and implement socialism.)
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To: TruthConquers

Everybody is watching the big bill in Congress, but the EPA don’t need no stinkin’ bill.


50 posted on 06/03/2010 11:07:42 AM PDT by EBH (Our First Right...."it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,")
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