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From the Ground Up-Environmental Quality and the EPA


“It was sort of telling that the courts indicated that it appeared that EPA even wanted to dictate the sentence structure of Texas’ program. It became very clear that on the substantive matters the program met every federal requirement and the EPA was sort of left arguing about sentence structure as opposed to fundamental issues that the program supposedly did or didn’t do.”

Bryan Shaw is the chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and has had several occasions to butt heads with the current nominee to head the EPA.

“The track record so far has been that she and her group have not taken into account and worked with the states to provide data to insure that the regulations they were moving forward on made sense and/or that their data was accurate. The states tend to often times have the view point that it’s not their role to question or evaluate or insure that EPA’s rules are correct, they’re just to implement them, and I disagree with that fundamentally.”

Shaw believes that states should have a part in determining how they are going to meet a federal standard.

“It gives us not only the opportunity, but the responsibility of customizing our regulations so that we can work with the different stake holders, the regulated community, the environmental community and the public at large, to develop rules that will make sense that will get the most effective, and I contend that we’ll get better results faster with fewer unintended consequences using that rather than if you use the EPA, tell us what to do and we’ll go and do it.”

Some states don’t have the resources to challenge the EPA.

“We have the ability to look at and evaluate EPA’s cost/benefit analysis that they do and see where things don’t make sense. We have the ability to evaluate the science independently and make the efforts, and certainly with Attorney General Greg Abbott, willingness to insure that we push back against erosion of that Federal/State relationship.”

I’m Kailey Carey, looking at Central Texas agriculture, From The Ground Up.


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