EPA Vs. Texas

Texas – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has now told two companies to deal directly with the federal government for their operating permits, bypassing the state.

The latest development in the battle between Texas and the federal government over clean-air permits for petrochemical companies involves the ChevronPhillips Cedar Bayou plant and Garland Power & Light, a utility in north Texas.

According to letters from the EPA to the companies, the companies have until Sept. 30 to reapply for the permits directly with the federal agency. Before, companies would file with state regulators. But the EPA has rejected 40 permits issued by Texas late last year and says the state is violating the federal Clean Air Act.

The announcement comes amid a long-running public and politicized dispute between the state and the EPA over how Texas regulates emissions from petrochemical plants.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.