Environmental Groups welcome EPA’s proposed rejection of key elements of TCEQ’s air permitting plan and call for proper enforcement of Clean Air Act protections in Texas
(Austin) — Sierra Club, Public Citizen, and the Galveston/Houston Association for Smog Prevent (GHASP) welcomed the EPA proposal today to disapprove key aspects of the Texas clean-air permitting program that “do not meet federal Clean Air Act requirements” followed by other states.
Texas environmental community leaders commented on the proposed decision –
Tom ‘Smitty’ Smith, Director of the Texas office of Public Citizen –
It’s refreshing to see an agency that actually believes in enforcing our clean air laws. We’ve gotten too comfortable with allowing substandard permits through TCEQ, and our air quality and our quality of life have suffered the consequences. We must put the public’s interest above the special interests of the polluters if we are to pass on a better Texas than we found to our children and grandchildren.
Ken Kramer, Director of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club –
The Sierra Club welcomes today’s action by EPA to disapprove portions of the State of Texas air pollution control program. Our concerns have fallen on deaf ears for years, but the new Administration at EPA is taking action once again to enforce the nation’s environmental protection laws. We now need EPA to take swift action to ensure that every permit issued in Texas complies with the Clean Air Act’s health based protections.
Matthew Tejada, Executive Director of GHASP, Galveston-Houston Association for Smog Prevention
This means two things to GHASP and for everyone in the Houston region: first it means that President Obama and Administrator Lisa Jackson have solidly put the EPA back where it is supposed to be – aggressively protecting the human and environmental health of this country. Second, and possibly most important for us in Houston, it means that the government has finally jammed a crowbar into the most opaque and ineffective air permitting program in the country in order to shed a little bit of light – and hopefully let in a little bit of clean air.
The EPA will post notice for comments in the Federal Registry and the public will have sixty days to comment.