30 December 2010 23:39 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--The state of Texas on Thursday filed a new legal challenge of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) takeover of the state’s air permit programme including the regulation of greenhouse gases.
The filing with the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit came after a federal court in New Orleans on Wednesday blocked the state’s request to issue a stay of the EPA’s implementation of greenhouse-gas permits starting 2 January.
Texas state officials have baulked at the regulations.
“Once again the federal government is overreaching and improperly intruding upon the state of Texas and its legal rights,” said Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. “With today’s new regulations, the EPA is both unlawfully commandeering Texas’ environmental enforcement programme and violating federal laws that give the state and its residents the opportunity to fully participate in the regulatory process.”
The state attorney general’s office said Texas was among several states that did not deem greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide to be pollutants.
However, the EPA singled out Texas in attempting to take over its air permitting programme, the attorney general’s office said.
On 23 December, the EPA said it would take authority in January in Texas and seven other states that were unable or unwilling to implement the agency’s new greenhouse gases restrictions on new plant construction and modifications.
The EPA said it would provide greenhouse gas permits in seven of those states until their legislatures can modify the respective state laws to allow regulation of greenhouse gases.
For Texas, however, the EPA said it would void part of the state’s environmental permitting programme and take over permitting for greenhouse gases there as well.
The state asked the court on Thursday to immediately halt the EPA’s efforts.
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