TCEQ UPDATE: Agency moves consideration of adoption of revised SIP, Agreed Order for Exide to Spring 2012; will not take public comments on corrected revisions
The TCEQ has announced that it is moving its deadline to consider the revised State Implementation Plan (SIP) and related Agreed Order with Exide from Dec. 7, 2011, to Spring 2011.
The state agency also has indicated that it will not provide its corrected and revised SIP and Agreed Order to the public for review and comments again before its June 30, 2012, deadline to submit the plans to the EPA for approval as part of the process to reduce the toxic lead emissions from Exide’s Frisco lead smelter and bring the plant into compliance with federal laws for safe air quality. Public comments on the SIP and Agreed Order originally proposed by the TCEQ and Exide were instrumental in helping to uncover weaknesses in the TCEQ’s modeling and related assumptions made about the reduction of emissions from the lead smelter that sits in the heart of Frisco.
In order to bring the Frisco Exide plant into compliance with the 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), the TCEQ has to put together an Agreed Order to significantly reduce lead emissions at the Frisco Exide plant. This Agreed Order will then become part of the State Implementation Plan, and thus, federally enforceable.
In its announcment, the agency stated: “In order to address comments from the public and the EPA on the proposed Collin County Lead Attainment Demonstration SIP revision, the TCEQ has determined that additional time is needed to ensure that the technical demonstration of attainment used in the proposal is as thorough as possible. Therefore, the TCEQ is postponing consideration of adoption of the SIP revision and the associated Agreed Order with Exide Technologies, Inc. from December 7, 2011 to spring 2012. The attainment demonstration SIP is due to the EPA by June 30, 2012. The commission is committed to meeting that deadline.”
In August, the EPA rejected the SIP and Agreed Order the TCEQ had worked out with Exide, pointing out, among other things, that TCEQ’s proposed SIP didn’t include enforceable limitations to achieve the emission projections in its proposed model to reduce emissions. The EPA also noted that the TCEQ did not have an established modeling protocol, which is required by the EPA, when it created and submitted the first proposed SIP and Agreed Order.