Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas

Olson Decries EPA Decision On Texas Flexible Air Permit Program

June 30, 2010
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC– Rep. Pete Olson (TX-22) issued the following statement in opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) disapproval of the flexible permit program that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) had submitted for inclusion in its clean-air Implementation plan:

“I’m deeply disappointed with the EPA’s decision to reject the flexible air permits of 122 facilities in Texas, leaving them without legal operating permits. The federal government must regulate sensibly and consider the practical implications of its actions. The inflexibility of EPA’s regulatory mandate will cost Texas thousands of jobs. 

“TCEQ has been willing to work with EPA to adopt different standards and have been rebuffed. There has been a 22% reduction in ozone and 46% decrease in NOX emissions in Texas since 2000 all while increasing output. From 2000-2009, Texas’ annual refinery operable crude oil distillation capacity increased by 11.9%. There should be a solution that protects the flexible program - which has improved air quality in Texas - without the heavy hand of the federal government.”

On June 16, 2010, the TCEQ approved proposed revisions to the state’s flexible permit rules. The public comment period on the rules package opens on July 2, 2010, and runs through August 2, 2010. The state must then finalize its proposal and submit it to EPA for review. EPA will examine the new rules when submitted but has taken early action to disapprove the permits now.



Media Contact: Melissa Kelly, 202-225-5951