The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has publically demanded that Texas immediately take steps to reissue Clean Water Act permits to some 80 facilities that have been operating without the necessary paperwork.
Not pleased with what they felt was a decision to, “ jump the gun prematurely with this notice,” the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality quickly put out a statement saying it had been cooperating with the EPA to resolve the problems, and already had two proposals on the table.
The EPA and Texas/TCEQ/Gov. Perry have been locked in battle for some time now that has moved from a dispute over environmental issues into an ugly all out war over state rights with Gov. Rick Perry using the dispute during the election cycle as an example of the federal government and the administration’s meddling in what he believes are state affairs.
This newest dispute is over water discharge permits. The EPA says many of the facilities in question have had their paperwork delayed due to concerns raised by the EPA regarding the toxicity of the discharges and that their move to ask Texas to resolve the issue stems from their concern that, in some cases, the expired permits are allowing facilities to discharge toxic waste.
The EPA’s regional director, Al Armendariz, shot back, “We are taking a stand for clean water. The streams, lakes and bayous of our great state deserve to be protected from chemicals, bacteria and toxic metals. Our children and future generations should be able to swim and fish anywhere in the state without worries about pollution.”
Let’s see how many lawsuits Texas will file over this one.