EPA Proposes Approval of Public Participation Rules in Texas’ Clean-Air Plan
(DALLAS – November 30, 2012) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed to approve the Texas clean-air plan that covers public notification requirements for facilities applying for air permits. The proposed approval applies to existing facilities that plan to make major changes as well as new projects.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) clarified the clean-air plan’s procedures for citizens to submit comments on permit applications, as well as how TCEQ is to respond to comments. The revised rules give citizens two opportunities to provide comments on air permits. The first notice occurs when a facility applies for a permit, and the second notice occurs when the TCEQ submits a proposed permit. The second notice will also include expanded technical documents to ensure citizens and interested groups have as much information as possible on pending permits.
“Robust public participation is an essential element of the Clean Air Act,” said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “The revised rules assure that Texas has all the relevant information and public input to make their permitting process as transparent and effective as possible.”
After extensive cooperation and dialog between TCEQ and the EPA, the State revised the public participation rules to apply to new and existing facilities that are classified as major or minor sources of pollution and submitted a State Implementation Plan for EPA action.
The proposed action will be published in the Federal Register in 7 to 10 days and be available for a 60 day public comment period. After careful consideration of any comments received from the public, the EPA will publish a final decision.
The Federal Register Notice is available at http://www.epa.gov/region6/newsevents/index.html
More information about the Clean Air Act is available at http://www.epa.gov/air/caa/peg/
More about activities in EPA Region 6 is available at http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.html