The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the state of Texas’ revisions to the state’s clean-air plan regarding public participation for granting permits. The revisions remove obsolete requirements and consolidate other public notice requirements for concrete batch plant permits.
“Public participation is an important component of the air permitting process,” said Regional Administrator Anne Idsal. “Eliminating duplication and consolidating requirements reduce confusion for the public and the regulated facilities.”
The state removed compliance history provisions from its clean-air plan, which EPA approved because there is no federal requirement to include them in a permitting program nor do the current approved permitting programs use the provisions. Texas also removed public notice provisions that have been replaced by other approved requirements, which will help reduce confusion for the regulated community and the public.
The revisions also consolidate public notice requirements for concrete batch plant standard permits. The plan had called for two comment periods: a 15-day notice of the permit application, followed by a 30-day notice of the draft permit. The new approved provisions establish one 30-day comment period beginning after the draft permit is issued, which satisfies all federal requirements.
States maintain clean-air plans called state implementation plans (SIPs) which incorporate requirements of the Clean Air Act. SIPs specifically deal with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, which regulate pollutants such as ozone, particulate matter and sulfur dioxide. SIPs also include requirements for public participation and public notice during the permitting process for facilities that produce these pollutants. SIPs and any changes made to them must be approved by EPA.
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