Statement of Principles on Grandfathered Air Pollution
In Texas, industrial sources of air pollution pour 2,500,000 tons of air pollution into our skies every year. The emissions contribute to smog, haze acid rain and global warming. Many of the pollutants end up in our waterways, too, with potential affects on drinking water and recreational activities.
More than a third of this air pollution is emitted through a loophole that exempts the biggest polluters from the most protective parts of our state clean air act. These grandfathered plants are not required to use modern pollution controls or evaluate their impact on public health. They have never been through a public participation process.
Several health, environmental and consumer groups have joined together to issue this statement of principles on grandfathered air pollution. These groups advocate the following measures are necessary to protect public health:
- The "grandfather" loophole should be closed by January 1, 2001.
- Incentives should be made available to companies to reduce grandfathered emissions prior to January 1, 2001.
- Grandfathered facilities coming into the permitting process should use the Best Available Control Technology (BACT), subject to economic and technical practicability, to achieve significant and measurable reductions in emissions of air pollution.
- The volume discount (cap on emissions fees) should be ended and the increase in revenues should be used for pollution prevention including:
- assistance to help small businesses reduce emissions;
- support of public participation and public outreach;
- funding for other clean air programs currently funded by emissions fees.
- The permit process for grandfathered plants must include:
- a full public health effects review;
- local public hearings when requested;
- opportunities to contest the new permit
Supporters of the Principles on Grandfathered Air Pollution
- American Lung Association of Texas
- Audobon Council of Texas
- Citizens Environmental Council
- Citizens for Healthy Growth
- Concerned Citizens Against Pollution
- Consumers Union - Southwest Regional Office
- Environmental Defense Fund
- Galveston-Houston Association for Smog Prevention (GHASP)
- Grandparents of East Harris County
- Gray Panthers of Texas
- League of Women Voters of Texas
- Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club
- Protect All Children's Environment
- Public Citizen of Texas
- Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) Coalition
- Texas Campaign for the Environment
- Texas Center for Policy Studies