As an ongoing feature, Air Alliance Houston (AAH) publishes local air quality permit notifications from TCEQ’s Public Notice database on a biweekly basis. AAH hopes this will lend a greater degree of transparency to the state air quality permitting process.
The Texas Commision on Environmental Quality issues permits to facilities to ensure compliance with the Clean Air Act as well as other federal and state regulatory measures to control air pollution. As part of this process, public notices are required when facilities apply for new permits, make modifications to existing permits, or otherwise propose changes to their operating process or capacity that may have an effect on air quality.
This notification process often involves an opportunity for public participation in the permitting process. Most permit applications are open to public comment and may offer opportunities to affected residents to request a public meeting or a contested case hearing (similar to a civil trial) so that they may ask questions and express grievances about the proposed permit to TCEQ and the company seeking the permit. The public notification process is also used to communicate the scheduling of public meetings and additional opportunities to participate in the permitting process.
Generally, there is a deadline of 30 days to make comments or request public meetings on air permitting actions, but public notifications are frequently overlooked by the general public and most aren’t aware of their existence or the relevance to their community’s health and safety. Air Alliance Houston is providing these bi-weekly summaries in order to provide increased transparency of the notification process. The permits are compiled in one place and mapped for convenience and clarity.
Please contact Air Alliance Houston for any additional questions about the public participation process.