Texas one major step closer to efficient GHG permitting

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By Anthony Cavender and Amanda Halter

On 8 November 2013, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s proposed new greenhouse gas permitting rules were published in the Texas Register (see 38 Tex. Reg. 7845–7925). Now that these comprehensive new stationary-source greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions permitting rules have been formally proposed by the agency, the current bifurcated air permitting regime — in which major stationary sources apply to the US Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 for its GHG permits and to TCEQ for non-GHG permits — is a major step closer to ending.

If TCEQ receives permitting authority for GHG emissions from EPA Region 6 as planned, affected Texas businesses will likely spend less time and money securing their GHG permits, and the ancillary issues that must be reviewed as part of the federal permitting process (i.e. the Endangered Species Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, environmental justice and even climate change issues) will not loom as large at the state level…

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