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Texas Environmental Update

June 17, 2013

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.


EPA Issues New Final Greenhouse Gas Clean Air Act Permit
Energy Legal Blog, June 12, 2013
On June 10, 2013, EPA issued a final greenhouse gas (GHG) Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit to PL Propylene, LLC for construction of combustion turbines, heaters, waste heat boilers, and a flare at an existing propane dehydrogenation plant in Houston, Texas. Currently, EPA Region 6 has 69 permit applications listed on their docket. Of those [...]


Agendas & Work Sessions

Commissioners' June 18, 2013 Meeting Agenda
TCEQ Web Site

Commissioners' June 14, 2013 Work Session Webcast

Commissioners' June 5, 2013 Agenda Meeting Webcast

In the News:


Briefs in TAP Suit Target Judge Jack, Stehn and U.S. Constitution
The Rockport Pilot, June 11, 2013
"If briefs filed regarding the verdict of The Aransas Project (TAP) lawsuit against the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) are any indication, the objectivity of U.S. District Court Judge Janis Graham Jack, the expertise of former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Whooping Crane Biologist Thomas Stehn, and the reach of the 11th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution will be challenged when oral arguments are heard in August."

Regulatory Developments

What's New in TCEQ Rules
TCEQ Web Site, June 7, 2013


State Officials Say LCRA Water Plan Needs More Study With Drought in Mind
Austin American-Statesman, June 12, 2013
"Texas' environmental agency is putting the brakes on a long-term plan for managing Central Texas' main water supply, saying last week that the managers of the Highland Lakes may not be adequately accounting for the kind of drought now affecting the region."

Judge Sides With Farmers in State Water Fight
Houston Chronicle, June 6, 2013
"A Travis County judge ruled Thursday that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality overstepped its authority when it withheld water from farmers along the Brazos River last year."


Proposed Rule; Reopening of the Comment Period; Oil Shale Management-General
78 Federal Register 35601, June 13, 2013

Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking; Extension of Comment Period; Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands
78 Federal Register 34611, June 10, 2013


60-Day Notice: Information Collection; Proposed Collection for OMB Review; Comment Request: General Oil and Gas and Sulphur and Production Requirements in the Outer Continental Shelf
78 Federal Register 36244, June 17, 2013

Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Geological and Geophysical Exploration Activities in the Gulf of Mexico; Correction
78 Federal Register 33859, June 5, 2013


Notice of Public Hearing, Implementation of the 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone: State Implementation Plan Requirements
78 Federal Register 34964, June 11, 2013

Proposed Rule, Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Steam Electric Power Generating Point Source Category
78 Federal Register 34432, June 7, 2013

Proposed Rule, Implementation of the 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone: State Implementation Plan Requirements
78 Federal Register 34178, June 6, 2013


Final Rule, Marine Mammals; Incidental Take During Specified Activities
78 Federal Register 35364, June 12, 2013


Notice; Proposed Incidental Harassment Authorization; Request for Comments; Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Marine Seismic Survey in the Chukchi Sea, Alaska
78 Federal Register 35508, June 12, 2013


Notice and Request for Comments; Pipeline Safety: Information Collection Activities, Revision to Gas Distribution Annual Report
78 Federal Register 34703, June 10, 2013


Texas Railroad Commission Chair Mulls Political Future
The Texas Tribune, June 17, 2013
"Amid great fanfare two years ago, Barry Smitherman, then the Public Utility Commission chairman, bought a plug-in Chevrolet Volt."

In Texas, Abandoned Oil Equipment Spurs Pollution Fears
The Texas Tribune, June 9, 2013
"LULING - Amid the dry weeds on a 470-acre ranch here, a rusted head of steel pokes up, a vestige of an oil well abandoned decades ago."


Fracking Legislation Booming
San Antonio Express-News, June 16, 2013
"As the North American natural gas boom continues, state legislators across the country have targeted hydraulic fracturing for dozens of new regulations including bans, moratoriums and increased disclosure requirements, according to a new Colorado State University study."

Fracking Fuels Water Fights in Nation's Dry Spots
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, June 16, 2013
"SAN FRANCISCO - The latest domestic energy boom is sweeping through some of the nation's driest pockets, drawing millions of gallons of water to unlock oil and gas reserves from beneath the Earth's surface."

Tarrant Water District Loses Water Fight at Supreme Court
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, June 13, 2013
"The United States Supreme Court today blocked the Tarrant Regional Water District's efforts to divert water from several Oklahoma river basins to a thirsty North Texas."

Obama Quietly Raises 'Carbon Price' as Costs to Climate Increase
Bloomberg.com, June 12, 2013
"Buried in a little-noticed rule on microwave ovens is a change in the U.S. government's accounting for carbon emissions that could have wide-ranging implications for everything from power plants to the Keystone XL pipeline."

Reps Try to Put Brakes on Bat Cave Project
San Antonio Express-News, June 11, 2013
"State Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio, and Rep. Doug Miller, R-New Braunfels, have teamed to slow the proposed Crescent Hills development in southern Comal County, next to the Bracken Bat Cave."


California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard: Compliance Outlook for 2020
California Electric Transportation Coalition Web Site, June 2013
"This report represents the first phase of a two-phase, year-long project assessing the economic and environmental impacts of compliance with California's LCFS out to 2020."