"EPA Overturns 16-Year-Old Texas Permit Program"

"HOUSTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday officially overturned a 16-year-old Texas air permitting program it says violates the Clean Air Act, leaving some of the country's largest refineries in a state of limbo.

The move comes after years of backdoor bickering, negotiations and public arguments between the EPA and Texas. The argument recently escalated from a battle over environmental issues into a heated political dispute over states' rights.

Gov. Rick Perry has been using it to drive home his contention that President Barack Obama's administration is overreaching, saying in a statement Wednesday that "Texas will continue to fight this federal takeover of a successful state program."

The EPA's decision, announced in a statement, will force some 125 refineries and petrochemical plants to invest millions of dollars to get new permits. Many of the plants may also have to invest in updates to comply with federal regulations."

Ramit Plushnick-Masti reports for the Associated Press June 30, 2010.


Source: AP, 07/01/2010