Air Quality - Blowin’ in the Wind: Texas Regulation of Air Quality


The Texas Clean Air Act sets the legislative direction for air quality control in the state of Texas.  The TCAA establishes the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (“TNRCC”) as the entity charged with the responsibility to administer the Act, establish the level of quality to be maintained in the state’s air, and control the quality of the state’s air by controlling air contaminants by all practical and economically feasible methods.  The TCAA provides that the policy of the state is to “safeguard the state’s air resources from pollution by controlling or abating air pollution and emissions of air contaminants, consistent with the protection of public health, general welfare and physical property, including the aesthetic enjoyment of air resources by the public and the maintenance of adequate visibility.”  The Act authorizes the TNRCC to regulate sources of air contaminants, which are defined as “a point of origin of air contaminants, whether privately or publicly owned or operated.”  Air contaminant is defined as “particulate matter, radioactive material, dust, fumes, gas, mist, smoke, vapor, or odor, including any combination of those items, produced by processes other than natural.”

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