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Texas Supreme Court Declines to Reconsider Clean Air Act Preemption Decision

On June 14, 2013, the Texas Supreme Court declined to reconsider an earlier ruling that the Texas Clean Air Act ("TCAA") preempts a Houston ordinance specifying location requirements for concrete-crushing operations.

In February of this year, the court ruled in favor of a company that had obtained an air quality permit from TCEQ to move a concrete-crushing facility to a new location but had been denied a municipal permit by the City of Houston pursuant to a local ordinance. The court found that the ordinance was preempted by a provision of the TCAA stating that "[a]n ordinance enacted by a municipality . . . may not make unlawful a condition or act approved or authorized under [the TCAA] or the [TCEQ’s] rules or orders." Tex. Health & Safety Code § 382.113(b). It interpreted this language as demonstrating "the Legislature’s clear intent that a city may not pass an ordinance that effectively moots a [TCEQ] decision." (Opinion at 6.)

The case is Southern Crushed Concrete, LLC v City of Houston, No. 11-0270 (Tex.).

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About this Author

Edward Grauman, Environmental Lawyer, Beveridge & Diamond Law Firm

Edward M. Grauman’s practice focuses on high-stakes, complex commercial and environmental litigation at both the trial and appellate levels. He works with clients across a wide spectrum of industries, including chemicals, consumer products, financial services, high tech, insurance, media, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, security services, and telecommunications. His experience across industries and subject-matter areas gives him a deep understanding of the business considerations involved in large-scale disputes and enables him to provide clients with sound strategic...

Karen Hansen, Environmental Lawyer, Beveridge & Diamond Law Firm

Karen M. Hansen’s environmental law practice focuses on the Clean Water Act and state programs for regulating and permitting water discharges and water supply/use.  She has extensive experience assisting industrial and municipal clients in preparing strategies for and pursuing water permits for ongoing operations, expansions and new operations, including permit challenges. Ms. Hansen also represents clients that must defend CWA and state water law enforcement actions, including claims pursued by governmental as well as third party entities. She recently led a multi...

Madeleine Boyer Environmental Attorney Beveridge Diamond

Maddie brings 25 years of experience providing strategic and solutions-oriented counseling and representation on a broad range of US and Latin American environmental, health and safety standards.

Her portfolio includes environmental regulatory counseling; audit oversight and support; supply chain and product stewardship advocacy and compliance; and high-stakes enforcement matters. Her domestic caseload currently includes air and waste matters before the US Department of Justice, the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Texas, the US Environmental...

Laura LaValle, Environmental Lawyer, Beveridge & Diamond Law Firm

Laura LaValle is the Managing Principal and a founder of Beveridge & Diamond’s Texas office, and is Co-Chair of the Firm’s Air Practice Group.  Her practice has focused on Clean Air Act matters for the past eighteen years.  Ms. LaValle’s air quality experience includes advising and representing entities on a broad range of permitting, compliance, and policy issues.  She has represented chemical manufacturing operations, electric utilities, petroleum refineries, municipal solid waste landfills, steel manufacturing facilities, mining operations, municipal waste combustors, trade...