TAM supports giving the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) the money and resources it needs in the legislative appropriations process to ensure that the necessary staff is in place to efficiently process air permits in this state, regardless of whether those permits are in the expedited program.
In 2013, the Texas Legislature passed a bill allowing an applicant for an air permit to request the expedited processing of its application if the applicant can demonstrate that the purpose of the application will benefit the Texas economy. The bill allows TCEQ to charge permit applicants for an expedited permit and authorize the use of overtime or contract labor to process the applications.
Since the bill’s passage, the expedited permitting process has been widely used, especially as the state’s manufacturing sector has grown and facilities are built or expanded. Currently, however, permit applicants using this program have seen a decline in the expediency of their permit review due to lack of TCEQ resources. TCEQ does not – and should have – the funding it needs to hire and keep enough staff to efficiently process the permit applications.