TCEQ statement on favorable 5th Circuit Court ruling on flexible permit
The court’s decision is welcome. It is a victory for Texas, our environment, and our economy. The court recognized the important principles that the EPA must comply with the cooperative federalism envisioned by the federal Clean Air Act and its own administrative procedures in order to bring certainty to the states and regulated communities. “Sixteen years tardy” is hardly a good faith effort on the part of the EPA, and the court rightfully overturned the EPA’s attempt to undo 16 years' worth of permits that were designed to reduce overall emissions from a facility.
We regret that Texas businesses were forced into an additional, unnecessary permitting process by the EPA, even though existing permits were legal and protective of the environment. As the opinion states, “… the EPA based its disapproval on demands for language and program features of the EPA’s choosing, without basis in the Clean Air Act or its implementing regulations.” The court rejects several of the EPA’s arguments for the reason that they are “arbitrary and capricious.”
See the entire opinion.