13 August 2012 23:08 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--A US appeals court on Monday issued a ruling in favour of the state of Texas in its fight against the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over air quality permits for chemical plants, refineries and other facilities.
The US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled against the EPA’s efforts to overthrow the state’s flexible permit programme. The EPA maintained that the programme, as administered by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), did not meet several US Clean Air Act requirements.
The court said the EPA’s disapproval of the state programme in 2010 was “sixteen years tardy”, noting that the flexible permit system was put in place in 1994.
The court continued: “The untimely disapproval unravelled approximately 140 permits issued by Texas under the revision’s terms and now requires regulated entities to qualify for pre-revision permits or risk federal sanctions.”
The EPA “based its disapproval on demands for language and programme features of the EPA’s choosing, without basis in the Clean Air Act or its implementing regulations” the court said.
The American Chemistry Council (ACC), the American Petroleum Institute and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) were among the groups who joined the state of Texas in its fight against the EPA.
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