Texas groups petition feds over alleged coal exemptions

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Environmental groups in Texas want to overturn a state action they say exempted large coal-fired power plants from federal limits on particulates and other pollutants during startup, shutdown and maintenance at 19 power plants.

A release from the Environmental Integrity Project on Wednesday says the exemptions made by the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality between 2010 and 2013 show a "chronic disregard of federal Clean Air Act standards."

TCEQ spokesman Terry Clawson said in an email response that the agency followed the rules and did not relax any federal requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The groups allege public records show the state conspired with industry to illegally exempt 35 units at the 19 plants from federal particulate limits during the three stages of operation.

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