Groups File Petition on Texas's Weak Air Permit Program
The state of Texas violates the Clean Air Act and its own State
Implementation Plan through repeated weak permitting decisions
concerning new coal plants and other large polluting facilities,
according to a petition filed Jan. 17 with the U.S. Environmental
Earthjustice and Environmental Integrity Project filed the petition
on behalf of Environmental Defense and Sierra Club, citing seven ways
that Texas routinely administers the Clean Air Act illegally.
"The state fails to comply with legal requirements intended to
protect the health and welfare of its citizens, when other states are
doing their fair share," said Jim Marston, attorney with Environmental
Defense. "Federal law doesn’t allow Texas to be the lone ranger and
ignore the law."
The petitioners request that EPA impose one or more of the following
sanctions: prohibit construction of new stationary sources, such as
large power plants or refineries; withhold highways funds; or implement
reduction of offsets from other pollution sources in the state.
"Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's air program has been
acting illegally by issuing permits for new coal plants that allow
unsafe levels of pollution," said Neil Carman with the Sierra Club's
Lone Star Chapter. "The state's permits are effectively sabotaging
efforts to reduce smog-forming pollution."
"In Texas, we’ve got a state environmental agency more interested in
serving industry than in enforcing our pollution laws," said
Environmental Integrity Project senior attorney Ilan Levin,
representing Sierra Club, "This is a state renowned for lax
environmental enforcement, issuing weak permits, and basically thumbing
its nose at federal law, so we’re asking EPA to do its job."
"Texas has a responsibility to protect its citizens, not the profits
of these polluters," said Earthjustice attorney Tim Ballo. "Where this
state has failed to follow the law, we now turn to the EPA to do the
right thing and limit air pollution for all Texans."
Ratliff Elected Chair of ASTM Tech Committee
Manager Alison Ratliff, based in HDR's Las Vegas office, was elected to
a two-year term as chairman of ASTM International's Committee F36 on
Technology and Underground Utilities.
The committee meets annually in January at the Underground Construction
Technology conference and has jurisdiction over nine standards
published in the Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Volume 04.12.
Work done by approximately 230 members of the committee is focused
primarily on areas related to water, sewer and natural gas systems.
Five technical subcommittees maintain jurisdiction over the standards.
Ratliff was previously named chairman of subcommittee F36.60 on
Infrastructure Asset Management.
Ratliff has been with HDR since 2002 and has 22 years of management and
project delivery experience, primarily in the water industry.
Established in 1898, ASTM International is one of the largest
international standards development and delivery systems in the world.
ASTM standards are accepted and used in research and development,
product testing, quality systems and commercial transactions around the
HDR is an employee-owned architectural, engineering and consulting firm with
more than 6,600 professionals in more than 150 locations worldwide.
ENSR Receives Environmental Project Award
ENSR was awarded ENR/McGraw Hill's "2007 Award of Merit" from New York Construction magazine in the environmental project category. ENSR, part of AECOM, is a global environmental services provider.
The award recognizes ENSR's role in the Nyack (N.Y.) Manufactured
Gas Plant Remediation project. The project, with an approximate value
of $15 million, involved the cleanup of an Orange and Rockland
Utilities, Inc., site along the Hudson River where manufactured gas was
produced from coal during the 1800s and early 1900s. ENSR has been
working on the site since 1996, to address coal tar contamination
resulting from historical plant operations.
In addition to its site investigationefforts, ENSR designed the
remediation and managed contractor bidding and selection, as well as
the construction of all phases of work from 2005 - 2007. The project
also garnered praise from New York State regulators for ENSR's use of
in-situ solidification (ISS). This process traps or immobilizes
contaminants within the soil, instead of removing them through chemical
or physical treatments. This is believed to be the first ISS remedial
method to be approved and implemented in New York State for organic
"We’re proud that a remediation project of this size and scope
successfully achieved its important cleanup goals," said ENSR Senior
Project Manager Timothy Olean. "The redevelopment of the site into a
highly visible riverside green space is a tremendous turnaround and an
asset to the community."