Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The Environmental Protection Agency had "no legal basis" to disapprove a Texas plan for implementing federal air-quality standards, a federal appeals court said.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the agency to reconsider the Texas regulations and "limit its review" to ensuring that they meet the "minimal" Clean Air Act requirements that govern state implementation plans.
"If Texas's regulations satisfy those basic requirements, the EPA must approve them," the court said in its 22-page ruling this week.
The EPA rejected Texas' rules on minor new-source review permits in September 2010, saying they didn't meet Clean Air Act requirements. The Texas attorney general, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and businesses sued the EPA, challenging the ruling.
The EPA failed to identify any provisions of the law that the Texas program violated, the appeals court said. The agency also missed a deadline to rule on the Texas permit plan, the court said.
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