On October 22, 2104, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) adopted rules to implement Senate Bill 1756 providing TCEQ with the authority to accept a surcharge from the applicant to cover the expenses incurred by expediting the processing of an application. These rules will be effective November 13, 2014.
The surcharge must be submitted with the application along with a demonstration that the purpose of the application will benefit the economy of Texas or an area of Texas. Expedited processing is available for applications for Permits by Rule, Control of Air Pollution by Permits for New Construction or Modification, and Federal Operating Permits Program. The surcharge will be an amount sufficient to cover the expenses incurred by expediting including overtime, contract labor, and other costs. If the initial surcharge does not cover these expenses, an additional surcharge will be requested from the applicant. If there is an overage, it will be refunded to the applicant.
The amount that can be appropriated under this program is limited to $955,000 in fiscal year 2014 and $897,000 in fiscal year 2015.
Applicants must still comply will all public notice requirements. Additional, the public must be notified when the expedited program is used for a permit that requires public notice.
This program will allow Texas to better compete for new projects with neighboring states (such as Louisiana) that already have expedited permit programs. By speeding up the process of obtaining an air permit, companies can begin construction and operation of new projects in a timely manner to meet market demands. PPM Consultants has experience with preparing Texas air permit applications and with the Louisiana expedited permit program. Please contact us to determine how the new expedited program can help you meet your project timelines.