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Texas Environmental Update
July 16, 2014
The environmental practice of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP offers seamless, front-rank representation in local, state, national, and cross-border regulatory, enforcement, and litigation matters, as well as experienced counsel on the environmental aspects of transactions and operations across the country and around the world. We are dedicated to helping clients successfully navigate complex and costly environmental issues and to building longstanding client relationships founded on superior advice, integrity, and value. We are pleased to provide you with this issue of Bracewell's Texas Environmental Update, offering the latest news about permitting, enforcement, regulatory developments, and other matters of interest to the regulated community in Texas.
TEXAS COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
AGENDAS & WORK SESSIONS
Commissioners' July 2, 2014 Agenda Meeting Webcast
IN THE NEWS:
In DFW, Little Traction on Improving Air Quality
The Texas Tribune, July 16, 2014
"When the Dallas County Medical Society asked Texas environmental regulators in October to increase pollution controls on coal-fired power plants, they knew it would be a tough sell."
Collin County Pulls Out of State Anti-Pollution Program
Dallas Morning News, July 4, 2014
"Collin County has opted out of a state program intended to help reduce air pollution."
TCEQ Approves Fines Totaling $280,036
TCEQ Web Site, July 2, 2014
"The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality today approved penalties totaling $205,167 against 28 regulated entities for violations of state environmental regulations."
State to San Antonio: No, You Can't Own Your Wastewater
The Texas Tribune, July 11, 2014
"Several months after San Antonio Water System's bold move to secure ownership of its treated sewer water even after it gets released back into a public waterway, state regulators are saying they doubt that's possible."
North Texas City Using Treated Wastewater for Drinking
CBSDFW, July 9, 2014
"FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — As much of Texas grapples with lingering drought, a second city in the Lone Star State has begun reusing treated wastewater in a state-approved recycling process to bolster drinking supplies."
Dow Chemical's Water Woes Signal Trouble
The Texas Tribune, July 7, 2014
"When Dow Chemical, one of the largest manufacturers of chemicals and plastics in the world, announced a multibillion-dollar expansion on Texas' Gulf Coast last summer, Gov. Rick Perry had yet another example to add to his list of explosive economic growth on Texas soil."
OTHER TCEQ NEWS
TCEQ Announces Grants for Alternative Fuel and Hybrid Vehicles
TCEQ Web Site, July 9, 2014
"The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality today announced that $7.7 million in grants are available to eligible individuals, businesses, governmental entities, and school districts, to replace older diesel vehicles with new alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles."
BUREAU OF SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT
Notice of Further Revisions to the National Preparedness for Response Exercise Program (PREP) Guidelines
79 Federal Register 41592, July 16, 2014
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Agency Information Collection Activity; Notice of Request for Approval to Collect New Information: Voluntary Near Miss Reporting in Oil and Gas Operations on the Outer Continental Shelf
79 Federal Register 37837, July 2, 2014
Withdrawal of the Prior Determination or Presumption That Compliance With the CAIR or the NOX SIP Call Constitutes RACT or RACM for the 1997 8-Hour Ozone and 1997 Fine Particle NAAQS: Reopening of Public Comment Period
79 Federal Register 41157, July 15, 2014
Final Rule, Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Revisions to the New Source Review State Implementation Plan; Flexible Permit Program
79 Federal Register 40666, July 14, 2014
Extension of Comment Period; Hydraulic Fracturing Chemicals and Mixtures
79 Federal Register 40703, July 14, 2014
Extension of Public Comment Period; Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program: Publication of Aggregated Greenhouse Gas Data
79 Federal Register 38885, July 9, 2014
Notice of Additional Public Hearings; Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources and Standards for Modified and Reconstructed Stationary Sources: EGUs
79 Federal Register 37981, July 3, 2014
TEXAS RAILROAD COMMISSION
Railroad Commission Continues Plugging Orphaned Wells and Site Remediation
Railroad Commission Web Site, July 14, 2014
"AUSTIN — In Fiscal Year 2014, the Railroad Commission of Texas has plugged 428 orphaned wells and performed 117 site remediation and cleanup activities, which included plugging five offshore orphaned wells."
Smitherman Asks City Officials Not to Approve Ban on Fracking in Letter
Denton Record-Chronicle, July 11, 2014
"Barry T. Smitherman, chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission, has asked Denton city officials not to approve a ban on hydraulic fracturing within city limits."
OTHER TEXAS ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS
Denton Council Votes to Send Fracking Ban to Voters in November
Dallas Business Journal, July 16, 2014
"The Denton City Council voted early Wednesday morning to send a decision to ban fracking in the city to the voters on Nov. 4 after listening to more than seven hours of public comment by more than 70 speakers, most of whom supported the ban."
Construction Begins on Largest Carbon Capture Project in the World
StateImpact Texas, July 15, 2014
"Here's a head-scratcher."
Pathways to Deep Decarbonization, 2014 Interim Report
Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project, July 8, 2014
"This interim 2014 report by the Deep Decarbonization Pathway Project (DDPP) summarizes preliminary findings of the pathways developed by the DDPP Country Research Teams with the objective of achieving emission reductions consistent with limiting global warming to less than 2°C."
Sharp Increase in Central Oklahoma Seismicity Since 2008 Induced by Massive Wastewater Injection
Science, July 3, 2014
"Unconventional oil and gas production provides a rapidly growing energy source; however, high-production states in the United States, such as Oklahoma, face sharply rising numbers of earthquakes."
EPA's Clean Power Plan: States' Tools for Reducing Costs and Increasing Benefits to Consumers
Analysis Group, July 2014
"Based on our own analysis and experience, we believe that the impacts on electricity rates from well-designed CO2-pollution control programs will be modest in the near term, and can be accompanied by long-term benefits in the form of lower electricity bills and positive economic value to state and regional economies."