EPA's Region 6 Office
Serving: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and 66 Tribal Nations
EPA will issue Clean Air Act permits for greenhouse gas emissions in Texas
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued certain actions on December 23 to clarify that EPA will be issuing Clean Air Act permits for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on the state's behalf starting in January 2011. The actions are related to Texas’ State Implementation Plan (SIP) for clean air and ensure that new and expanding large industrial facilities in Texas will be able to seek Clean Air Act permits for GHGs without delay or disruption. EPA’s actions are necessary because Texas officials have made it clear in multiple recent statements that TCEQ believes its current SIP, as approved, does not authorize the State to regulate GHGs. Furthermore, Texas officials’ recent statements also make clear that the state agencies have no intention of properly implementing the portion of the federal air permitting program that will cover GHG emissions. Therefore, EPA has concluded that the approval of that portion of Texas’ SIP was in error and has issued a partial disapproval of that portion of state of Texas’s SIP because it does not allow for regulation of GHGs. EPA is also assuming permitting authority for GHGs to ensure adequate permitting of GHGs can occur in the state of Texas in January 2011.
EPA notes that State agencies are generally well-suited to issue new GHG permits due to their experience as primary permitting authorities. EPA has made available guidance and training on GHG permitting to all interested State permitting authorities. In the same way that EPA is actively working with all other states and local permitting agencies, the agency stands ready to do the same with the state of Texas, so that Texas officials can take on the permitting authority for GHGs as quickly as possible. The TCEQ will continue as the permitting authority for all other pollutants and EPA will work with Texas officials on the permitting of individual facilities.
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Permitting In Texas
On January 2, 2011, Clean Air Act permitting programs for stationary sources must address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permitting program and the Title V operating permit program are proven tools for protecting air quality and can be used to address GHGs. EPA established a common sense approach to permitting GHG emissions in May 2010 by finalizing the GHG Tailoring Rule. On December 23, 2010, EPA signed a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) to authorize EPA to issue PSD permits in Texas to GHG sources until Texas' required SIP revision for GHG permitting is submitted and approved by EPA. The FIP action assures that businesses in Texas are not subject to delays or potential legal challenges and are able to move forward with planned construction and expansion projects that will create jobs and otherwise benefit the state’s and the nation’s economy.
Companies who have a PSD permit pending now at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) or expect to be filing one in the near future should contact EPA to discuss their potential obligation to obtain a PSD permit for GHG emissions. GHG permitting in Texas will be handled directly by EPA beginning on January 2, 2011.
GHG Permit applications in Texas should be sent to:
U.S. EPA Region 6
1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200
Dallas, TX 75202-2733
Attn: Air Permits Section (6PD-R)
Please see the following information resources for preparing GHG permit applications in Texas: