EPA approves public participation plan for Texas air rules

(Nov. 25, 2013) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved Texas’ clean-air plan that covers public notification requirements for facilities applying for air permits. The revised plan gives citizens additional opportunities to comment on applications for air permits for new facilities and modifications to existing facilities.

Citizens will be notified when a facility applies for a permit and after Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) proposes a draft permit. Facilities will also have to provide expanded technical documents to ensure citizens and interested groups have as much information as possible on proposed permits.

After extensive collaboration between the TCEQ and the EPA, the state revised the public participation rules for air permit applications to apply to new and existing facilities classified as major or minor sources of pollution. TCEQ incorporated these revisions into the State Implementation Plan submitted to EPA. The revised plan clarified procedures for citizens to submit comments on permit applications, as well as how TCEQ is to respond to comments.