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Rep. Flynn objects to EPA's intrusion into permitting


By Scott Harvey

Van – State Representative for District 2 Dan Flynn is objecting to the EPA's actions into refineries and other facilities in Texas.

On May 25, The Environment Protection Agency announced its intent to take over the permitting process for a Flint Hills Resources refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas. The EPA also is threatening to federalize the permits of thirty-nine other facilities in Texas.

Officials with the EPA have stated the agency may take over the entire job of regulating air quality in Texas if the state keeps violating the Clean Air Act.

Rep. Flynn, a member of the Texas Conservative Coalition, the conservative caucus of the Texas Legislature, stated: "The EPA's unilateral and unwarranted takeover of air quality permits in Texas further proves that the federal government has a clear disregard for the authority of the Texas Legislature and for the principle of federalism. Washington is seeking to command and control all sectors of economic activity. This action must not stand."

Texas' refineries and other industrial facilities are operating under legally enforceable permits issued by TCEQ under the guidance of EPA per federal law. According to a release by Flynn's office, The "flexible permits" to which the EPA has objected have been issued consistently by TCEQ since at least 1994, and with the tacit approval of EPA since the agency has not historically objected to draft flexible permits provided for its review by TCEQ.

Rep. Flynn continued: "The EPA has unfairly penalized private enterprise and exhibited a willing ignorance of the positive environmental track record we have established in Texas."

Emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide in Texas have decreased significantly since 1985. Since 2000, Texas has achieved a 22 percent reduction in ozone and a 46 percent reduction in NOX emissions. Texas now has more installed wind generation capacity than any other state in the nation and is internationally recognized as a leader in the development of this renewable resource.

Flynn represents the citizens of Texas House District 2, which includes Hunt, Rains and Van Zandt counties.