Regional
4:12 pm
Thu December 23, 2010

Unprecedented--EPA Takes Over Air Permits In Texas

Texas – The Environmental Protection Agency is taking the unprecedented step of directly issuing air permits to industries in Texas because of the state's refusal to comply with new greenhouse gas regulations going into effect Jan. 2.

The EPA on Thursday announced it will issue Clean Air Act Permits for greenhouse gas emissions in Texas beginning in January. The agency said in a statement that it prefers if states remain the permitting authorities but that "officials in Texas have made clear ... they have no intention of implementing this portion of the federal air permitting program."

A spokesman for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality did not immediately return a message.

The nation's largest oil refineries are in Texas, which also is home to more coal-fired power plants than any other state.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.