EPA says all Texas plants will get new air permits

By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI | July 12, 2011 | 1:59 PM EDT

HOUSTON (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says all 136 Texas plants and refineries operating with permits that violated the Clean Air Act have applied for new paperwork.

The EPA ruled last year that the so-called "flexible permits" violated federal law. The agency had said it was impossible to accurately measure air emissions at those facilities, which include some of the nation's largest refineries.

Texas has challenged the ruling in court. Gov. Rick Perry has often cited it as an example of the federal government meddling in state affairs.

But the companies have worked with the EPA and the Texas environmental agency to resolve the issue and get new, acceptable permits.

EPA regional administrator Al Armendariz praised the companies for working to get the new permits.