Posted in Coal, Energy, Global Warming, Good Government, Sunset, TCEQ, tagged Air permit, Air Quality, ASARCO, Barnett shale, Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, flex permits, permit application, Public Citizen, public citizen texas, Sunset, sunset commission, sunset review, TCEQ, Texas, Texas Sunset Advisory Commission on June 2, 2010 |
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The TCEQ granted a permit to re-open the ASARCO foundry over protests of staff, residents of El Paso, and local leaders. Luckily, the EPA intervened and stopped it.
You’ve probably heard by now. The TCEQ has failed to adhere to the federal Clean Air Act, jeopardizing our health, our safety, and the quality of our air. This is why, on Tuesday, May 25, the EPA took over the TCEQ’s authority to grant clean air permits for 40 facilities across the state of Texas, most notably the Flint Hills Resources’ crude oil refinery near Corpus Christi.
The TCEQ has failed to fulfill its promises to the federal government and the citizens of Texas, whom it is supposed to protect.
The Sunset Advisory Commission is a 12-member body appointed by the Lieutenant Governor and the speaker of the house to identify and eliminate waste, duplication, and inefficiency in government agencies. Every 12 years, over 150 government agencies are reviewed for potential changes and improvements in their responsibilities and operations. And since the review of Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the TCEQ, is quickly approaching, we’re getting organized! Will you join us for a call next Thursday, June 10th at 6pm CT?
From the Alliance for Clean Texas:
The Alliance for a Clean Texas (ACT) will launch its 2010-2011 TCEQ sunset campaign with a conference call next Thursday, June 10th at 6:30 p.m. All Texans committed to protecting our state’s environment and health are invited to participate in the call.
ACT is a coalition of organizations and individuals around the state working together to make this a milestone year for environmental protection in Texas. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is currently under review by the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission. Now is the time to turn our concerns about how TCEQ does and does not do its job of protecting our environment and our health into real, lasting reform.
In the last week, TCEQ has been at the center of two major stories about the Texas environment. The EPA has finally taken action to bring TCEQ air permitting back into compliance with the federal Clean Air Act–a move opposed by the TCEQ commissioners. And Fort Worth is reeling with the news that (more…)
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Posted in Coal, Global Warming, tagged coal plant, contested case hearing, EPA, fast track, grandfathered coal plants, hb 4012, house committee on environmental regulation, permit application, power plant on April 6, 2009 |
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On Wednesday, April 8th, the House Committee on Environmental Regulation will hear testimony on a bill to fast-track coal and other power plants. Issues with the HB 4012 include:
- It would eliminate the contested-case hearing process – the only significant opportunity the public has to challenge a power plant permit
- It would fast-track the permit application review process, resulting in lower-quality permits
- It could be deemed illegal by the EPA which mandates that the public have an opportunity to challenge a permit application
- It would erode public trust of regulatory institutions at a time when that trust is vanishing nationwide
Come testify in Capitol Extension E1.014 on Wednesday at 10:30am. Without the contested-case process, there could have been no public victory against 8 of the 11 proposed TXU coal plants.
Even when a power plant is permitted, it is almost always a better permit for having endured the contested-case hearing process. The process brings out weaknesses in the application and often helps identify opportunities to lower dangerous emissions from these plants.
Two years ago the state showed its disregard for public interest when Governor Perry attempted to grandfather coal plants and protect them from regulation. That attempt was defeated in court, but now the legislature is resurrecting tired arguments in favor of polluting technologies that hurt our health and our economy.
If you can’t make it in person, call in to the Environmental Regulation committee and voice your opposition to HB 4012!
Rep. Byron Cook (Chair) – 512-463-0646, Byron.Cook@house.state.tx.us
Rep. Warren Chisum (Vice-Chair) – 512-463-0736, Warren.Chisum@house.state.tx.us
Rep. Lon Burnam – 512-463-0740, Lon.Burnam@house.state.tx.us
Rep. Jim Dunnam – 512-463-0508, Jim.Dunnam@house.state.tx.us
Rep. Jessica Farrar – 512-463-0620, Jessica.Farrar@house.state.tx.us
Rep. Kelly Hancock – 512-463-0599, Kelly.Hancock@house.state.tx.us
Rep. Ken Legler – 512-463-0460, Ken.Legler@house.state.tx.us
Rep Marc Veasey – 512-463-0716, Marc.Veasey@house.state.tx.us
Rep. Randy Weber – 512-463-0707, Randy.Weber@house.state.tx.us (Rep. Weber authored the bill in question)
Removing contested case hearings, the public’s only opportunity to challenge power plants, without replacing it with some other mechanism to hear public input is completely ridiculous. Baby does not approve.
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Posted in Coal, Global Warming, tagged Bonanza, Carbon Dioxide, clean air act, Clean Water Action, co2, coal plant, environment texas, EPA, epa vs mass, Global Warming, greenhouse gasses, Karen Hadden, luke metzger, nrg limestone, permit application, Public Citizen, reenergize texas, SEED Coalition, soah, state office of administrative hearings, TCEQ, texas climate emergency campaign, Tom "Smitty" Smith on February 24, 2009 |
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Last Friday two administrative law judges refused to hear testimony on the impact of carbon dioxide emissions during the permitting process for the NRG Limestone coal-fired power plant. The contested case hearing for NRG’s air quality permit application will be going on all week long, but testimony on the proposed plant’s contribution to global warming will not be allowed. The judges decided that the TCEQ has adopted clear policies that they would not consider testimony on the issue, even though the Supreme Court ruled in 2007 (EPA vs Massachusetts) that the EPA had the authority to regulate CO2 as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. If built, the plant will emit 7.4 million tons of carbon dioxide every year.
NRG has acknowledged that climate change is a serious environmental issue, and has agreed to offset a portion of its greenhouse gas emissions from the proposed new plant. Yet, lawyers for the company maneuvered to strike all references to CO2 or climate change from the week-long hearing.
In protest, local environmentalists gathered for an 8:30 a.m. protest Monday Feb 22 outside the State Office of Administrative Hearings. Groups supporting the protest included: Public Citizen, SEED Coalition, Environment Texas, Clean Water Action, Re- Energize Texas, and the Texas Climate Emergency Campaign.
Some of the protest’s participants made the following comments in a press release: (more…)
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