Somehow, the world continued to rotate on its axis afterward.
The unique way Texas regulates air pollution from refineries, chemical plants and other major industries is no more — for now.
The EPA said Tuesday all 136 industrial plants with state-issued permits that do not meet federal Clean Air Act requirements have agreed to apply for new ones.
The announcement comes one year after the federal agency rejected Texas’ use of so-called flexible permits. But the dispute is not over, because state officials and at least 10 industry groups are challenging the EPA’s actions in federal court.
Gov. Rick Perry and other Texas officials have said the EPA was threatening jobs by forcing permit changes at the facilities, including some of the largest refineries in the nation.
Al Armendariz, the EPA’s regional administrator for Texas, said the companies are converting their permits without any job losses.
“We’re really happy,” he said. “All the permit holders have agreed to get federally compliant permits, and we’ve done it without any economic disruption.”
The plants are still suing the EPA over claims that they have no legal authority to intervene here, of course, but in the meantime they prefer the certainty of being compliant. Funny how these things work, isn’t it? Hair Balls has more.