EPA approves Texas' Air Permitting Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Oct. 11 approved revisions to the Texas Air Permitting Program under the Clean Air Act (CAA)’s New Source Review program.

The revised plan from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) provides industry with operating flexibility by establishing site-wide emission caps known as “Plant-wide Applicability Limits,” or PALS, for existing sources. The PALS require continuous monitoring for each of the units included in the cap.

In 2010, EPA denied a flexible permit program the state had submitted for its clean air implementation plan, saying that it did not meet CAA requirements. An appeals court overturned the denial in August 2012, saying that EPA based its decision on language and program features of the agency’s choosing.

The final approval not only enhances the clarity and enforceability of state issued permits but also provides industry with flexibility to meet CAA requirements.

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