The EPA and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality have reached a conditional agreement on parts of the Texas clean air plan.
The state permits offer some operating flexibility to major sources including oil refineries, the AP reports. The flex program allows TCEQ to issue one permit for multiple sources of pollution, at lower cost, Texas Public Radio says.
The state and feds have disagreed on the Texas rules for years: almost four years ago, the EPA overturned Texas flexible permitting rules, saying they did not meet federal requirements. Many major industries then had to work directly with the EPA instead of with the state.
In 2012, a divided 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled that the EPA’s rejection violated the Clean Air Act.
The TCEQ’s governing commission will meet February 12, to consider rules meeting the requirements of the new agreement.
Takeaway: An agreement between the EPA and the state of Texas will help the parties move beyond years of bickering on clean air permitting.
Tamar Wilner is Senior Editor at Environmental Leader PRO.
Picture credit: Jack via Flickr