Texas Violated the Law with Lax Emissions Limits, Federal Court Rules

Judges overturned a state air pollution permit that was issued last year, arguing that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality illegally enabled Port Arthur LNG to avoid emissions control requirements.

November 16, 2023
A federal appeals court on Monday struck down a major air pollution permit issued by Texas’s environmental regulator, arguing that the state allowed improperly high emissions limits for Port Arthur LNG, a gas liquefaction and export terminal currently under construction on the Gulf Coast.

In a 17-page opinion, a three-judge panel at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality “acted arbitrarily and capriciously under Texas law” when it “declined to impose certain emissions limits on a new natural gas facility.”

The judges remanded the permit for Port Arthur LNG back to the TCEQ for correction.

“I hope this goes out and sends a message to the rest of the companies that are looking at us and want to make us a sacrifice zone,” said John Beard, a retired refinery worker and community activist in Port Arthur who first challenged the permit. “We’re going to attack every single one of them and we’re going to take them down where we can.”


Given that the 5th Circuit Court is one of the most pro-business appellate courts, this is very impressive.

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