Texas asks court to intervene in fight with EPA

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Texas asked a federal court on Monday to intervene in its fight with the Environmental Protection Agency over how the state regulates emissions from oil refineries and other petrochemicals plants. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to review the EPA's rejection in March of a 1995 state law that allows refineries to be modified without being subject to additional regulation, provided the changes don't increase a facility's overall emissions.

The issue is part of an ongoing disagreement Texas and the EPA have over how pollution is regulated in the state, said Terry Clawson, a spokesman for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. In recent weeks, debate has focused on the state's use of so-called flexible permits, which sets a general limit on how much pollutants an entire facility can release.

In a news release, Abbott's office criticized the EPA for taking more than a decade before deciding to reject the law and said it filed the legal challenge "in an effort to defend the state's legal rights and challenge improper overreach by the federal government."

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