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HOUSTON —

The federal government has removed Texas' authority to issue an operating permit to a southeast Texas refinery, saying the state is violating the federal Clean Air Act in dozens of cases.

Al Armendariz, the regional head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, says the EPA objected to 40 permits late last year largely because they allowed flexible rules for emitting pollutants. He says months of talks failed, so the EPA blocked Texas from issuing its permit. Instead, the EPA will issue a stricter one for the independently owned Flint Hills Corpus Christi East Refinery.

Armendariz says the EPA will also block Texas from issuing permits in 39 other cases, including those for facilities owned by Exxon Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Dow Chemical.

EPA Bars Texas

State environmental regulators said they would respond.

Originally posted to Knights of Dusk on Wed May 26, 2010 at 03:31 AM PDT.

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