EPA Kills Texas Program That Eased Scrutiny on Small Firms

"The EPA  on Wednesday struck down a Texas air-pollution program that has let thousands of companies bypass rigorous reviews under the Clean Air Act.

Texas companies that have been operating under the state's qualified facilities program, mostly small to midsized businesses, do not have to meet new rules, shut down or apply for new permits because of the ruling, said Al Armendariz, regional administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

"Businesses in Texas that have used the qualified facilities authorizations will be able to continue as before," Armendariz said.

The EPA will review companies' past operations and work out agreements with any that it determines should have gone through a full-fledged permitting process, he said. "

Randy Lee Loftis reports for the Dallas Morning News March 31, 2010.

Source: Dallas News, 04/01/2010