EPA may federalize Texas air program - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

EPA may federalize Texas air program

HOUSTON (AP) - Federal regulators said Wednesday they will take over the entire job of regulating air quality in Texas if the state continues to violate the U.S. Clean Air Act.

The announcement by the regional chief of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency comes a day after he said the federal government would issue the operating permit for one refinery in Corpus Christi and planned to take over 39 other permits. Now, Al Armendariz told The Associated Press, the agency was already hiring staff and studying how to federalize what has always been a state's job.

The EPA's plan is sure to set off fireworks in Texas, where state regulators have consistently said they disagree with the EPA's conclusion that Texas allows the petrochemical industry to spew out an unmeasured amount of toxins as it refines one-third of the nation's gasoline and produces thousands of other chemical products and plastics.

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