Effort Underway to Reduce Regulatory Burdens in Texas

Press Release (ePRNews.com) - HOUSTON - Apr 11, 2017 - Earlier today a Petition for Rulemaking was filed with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to simplify environmental regulatory burdens to the State of Texas and its citizens.  EPA and President Trump are pursuing a similar course at the Federal level.  The TCEQ has 60 days to respond.  The Petition was filed by Jed Anderson, a principal attorney with the AL Law Group and former attorney with Baker Botts, Vinson & Elkins, and an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law School where he taught the Clean Air Act.  Anderson said, “If EPA can do better, we can do better.”

TCEQ Regulations becoming more Lengthy and Complicated

Most of the nation is focused on needed regulatory improvements at the Federal level, but few realize the similar and corresponding opportunities to reduce the size and complexity of requirements on the State side.

The number of  Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) rule records for example has grown by over 25% from 1999 to 2016.  Although much of these rules are in response to Federal mandates—not all fingers can be pointed at the Federal government for the resulting size and complexity of State regulation.  Moreover, outside of the formal rulemaking process, Special Conditions in permits have grown that impose additional requirements on industry.  The size and complexity of these Special Conditions have grown significantly over the past 10 years according to Anderson.  “Special Conditions just aren’t as special anymore.”  Anderson said it’s been easier for these requirements to become lengthier and more complex in part because these requirements do not go through notice-and-comment rulemaking and are put into place when industry is in the more vulnerable position of needing their permits.

The Solution

“The solution really is simplicity”, said Anderson.  “Similar to the Federal government looking for ways to reduce regulatory burdens, Texas should also be looking for corresponding ways to simplify and reduce regulatory burdens in ways that improve environmental and economic performance.”  “That is the intent of this Petition.”  “There are multiple win-win opportunities to substantially reduce compliance costs while improving the environment.”

Anderson concluded, “We must simplify our environmental management systems—not just at the Federal level—but also at the State level and individual facility level.  With simplicity will come better transparency.  With transparency will come better accountability.  The more simple things are, the more everyone understands them.  The more everyone understands them, the better they can comply with them.  It’s that simple.”

To view the Petition, click on the following link: http://sipreform.com/uploads/Petition_for_Rulemaking_to_R….

Source : TexasEnvironmentalNews.com

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