DALLAS -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a final greenhouse gas permit (GHG) to Equistar Chemicals, Corpus Christi, Texas. The permit is the first to be drafted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and issued by EPA under a program to help to improve permitting efficiency and productivity for applicants in the State of Texas.
“The joint permitting program we have developed with TCEQ is helping Texas business and keeps a keen eye on protecting the environment,” said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “This permit will help build the next generation of olefins plants with better controls of greenhouse gas emissions as well as help grow a more sustainable clean energy economy. We are very pleased with our shared success.”
Equistar operates a petrochemical plant in Corpus Christi, Texas. The permit is authorizing Equistar to expand and modify an existing plant by building to increase use of ethane as feedstock by increasing furnace firing rates and changing the tubing configuration of the furnaces.
In June 2010, EPA finalized national GHG regulations, which specify that beginning on January 2, 2011, projects that increase GHG emissions substantially will require an air permit.
EPA is working with Texas to establish authority to issue GHG permits and establish appropriate emissions levels for new or heavily modified GHG sources. These types of emissions, which contribute to climate change, are regulated under the Clean Air Act’s provisions to prevent new facilities from significantly decreasing air quality.
Texas is working to replace a federal implementation plan with their own State program, which will eliminate the need for businesses to seek air permits from EPA. This action will increase efficiency and allow for industry to continue to grow in Texas. EPA believes states are best equipped to run GHG air permitting programs.
EPA has finalized over 32 GHG permits in Texas with an additional 13 permits in final review, prepared to notice 4 additional draft permits, and currently has 20 additional GHG permits under development for Texas industries.
For all of the latest information on GHG permits in Texas please visit: http://yosemite.epa.gov/r6/Apermit.nsf/AirP
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