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Houston Area Industries Escape Fines When Texas Fails to Follow Its Policies
When reﬁneries and chemical plants break air pollution laws, they can rely on ge�ing a light penalty from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). We analyzed 26 enforcement cases handled by the TCEQ during the past ﬁve years, and found that the TCEQ assessed just 14% of the ﬁnes it could have imposed in these cases. The TCEQ was consistently lenient in the cases with the largest potential ﬁnes. In cases where the TCEQ could have assessed ﬁnes exceeding $40,000, the TCEQ never collected more than 45% of the potential ﬁne. The vast majority of the TCEQ’s lenient penalties can be a�ributed to three causes: • Lax prosecution of leak monitoring violations. Although leaking equipment is among the biggest causes of air pollution in our region, state enforcement oﬃcials were particularly easy on companies that failed to properly monitor equipment for leaks. When state investigators found that companies didn’t have a functioning program to watch for leaks, state enforcement oﬃcials reclassiﬁed the violations as “recordkeeping” violations. As a result, the state collected only $106,500 in ﬁnes for these types of violations when it could have collected about $1.7 million. • Breaches of penalty calculation policy. When determining penalties, the state routinely took liberties with its own wri�en policies for counting the number of events in a violation. A typical abuse of the state’s policy involved counting an ongoing violation as one event, regardless of whether it had been occurring for one month or for ﬁve years. By using this technique, state enforcement oﬃcials let more than $800,000 in penalties slip through their ﬁngers and created the impression that there is no greater penalty to be incurred for long-term violations of air pollution laws. • Dropped enforcement cases. The TCEQ dropped some cases without adequate documentation, or based on policies that are neither wri�en down nor uniformly applied. If the TCEQ had not dropped these cases, the state could have collected more than $160,000. When this happens, the oﬀending companies don’t just escape current ﬁnes. If they commit similar violations in the future, they also avoid the higher penalties that usually apply to repeat oﬀenders. We also found that the TCEQ is taking an inordinately long time to se�le some cases. Most of the 26 cases we reviewed took more than a year and a half from the date of the initial investigation to the ﬁnal agreed order, and seven took more than two years. When this type of delay occurs, the oﬀending company o�en ends up with a very large break on its ﬁne. We are calling for Texas environmental oﬃcials to follow their own published procedures for se�ing penalties. We are also asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review recently-se�led cases and take independent enforcement action in situations where it agrees the state was too lenient. In addition, we are asking the Inspector General of the EPA to investigate our allegation that Texas is failing to carry out enforcement in a timely and adequate manner.
. including the initial list of violations cited by the regional ﬁeld staﬀ and the initial enforcement referral to headquarters enforcement staﬀ. assessing the documentary evidence from the case ﬁles. in fact. We believe the evidence supports the conclusion that the TCEQ routinely sets penalties for reﬁneries and chemical plants at a much lower level than it would if it closely followed its own policy. The earliest investigation occurred in October 1998. Then we obtained a database of enforcement referrals from the TCEQ and selected cases from that list to review. When an investigator identiﬁes a violation. Most of the cases in our study were resolved between mid-2003 and mid-2005. we did observe that the TCEQ database of enforcement referrals appears to be incomplete. we were able to fully document the state’s enforcement process in only six of 26 cases. The state decides to initiate enforcement. The state determines the appropriate ﬁne (and other remedies). and the most recent investigation was in October 2004. an internal strategic plan. Several cases. However. Our study is exclusively limited to the ﬁnal step. • Enforcement deliberations. including the ﬁnal agreed order and the penalty calculation worksheet used to determine the administrative penalty or ﬁne. While most of the raw data for the study came from the TCEQ’s paper ﬁles. We reviewed 26 enforcement cases against chemical plants. We then considered the many potential factors that may aﬀect the size of a ﬁne.How We Conducted This Study The state’s process for investigating and enforcing air pollution regulations is driven by three institutional policy decisions: 1. indicating that it had never been entered or had been erased. we a�empted to include every recent case for any company that we included in the study. we have not determined whether the state is investigating companies adequately or initiating enforcement adequately. Generally we a�empted to obtain three types of documents for each case: • Investigation reports. At the end of this process. In the rest of the cases. Because of the labor intensive nature of the ﬁle search. Such a decision could be made based on a citizen complaint. we followed the TCEQ penalty policy in a strict manner. Although it may be reasonable at times for the TCEQ to compromise with the oﬀending company in order to obtain a se�lement. For example. We tried to select cases representing a variety of types and sizes of companies. we were able to identify the three main areas where the TCEQ has been especially lenient over the past several years. we were able to establish with reasonable certainty (a) the initial violations cited by the TCEQ and (b) the ﬁnal penalty amount and the basis on which that penalty was calculated. some data were obtained from the TCEQ database or from notices in the Texas Register. 2. in one case the enforcement referral from our ﬁles did not appear in the oﬃcial TCEQ page 2 database. and a�ributed portions of each ﬁne to diﬀerent steps in the TCEQ penalty calculation process. These cases involved 13 companies and encompassed 147 violations. we reviewed TCEQ enforcement referral documents that we had previously obtained for other research projects. Typically the documentation was woefully incomplete. We classiﬁed each violation into one of several issue areas. or in response to a mandate from the EPA. reﬁneries and other petrochemical industry facilities in the Houston region. TCEQ ﬁnes were frequently lower than policy indicated. We selected our cases by examining both electronic and paper ﬁles maintained by the TCEQ. 3. as listed in the table (see page 3). The state decides to initiate an investigation. and • Final enforcement documents. and a wide range of actual ﬁnes. First. including communications with the oﬀender and proposed se�lement documentation. the state uses Enforcement Initiation Criteria to determine if the violation should result in a penalty. were dropped from our study because we could not locate suﬃcient documentation. To calculate the potential ﬁne for each case review.
400 0 4.000 32.065 Total Potential Fine $ 1.550 4.000 86.000 13.175 3.800 9.645 93.Case-by-Case Comparison of Actual Fines vs.000 4.000 148.175 3.000 3.550 3. we are assuming that the most recent proposed agreed order will be ﬁnalized.775 $ 470.535 87. Potential Fines Complete Listing of Enforcement Cases Reviewed by GHASP TCEQ Assessed Fine $ 1.675 808.000 22.500 35.635 $ 3. .610 20.290* 30.880 0 15.300 97.000 14.000 87.000 26.240 706.000 3.000 17.600 0 17.656 500.710 0 14.400 12.400 24.464 12.665 168.259.856 40.150 25.000 11.500 1.800 25.875 5.600 97.360 20.000 196.560 49.160 2.926 Case Review # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 Company Name and Case Reference Vintage Petroleum Baytown Docket 2004-0440-AIR-E Docket 2004-1080-AIR-E Docket 2005-0171-AIR-E Docket 2005-0054-AIR-E Amount of Potential Fine Assessed 100 % 100 % 100 % 65 % 40 % 40 % 0% 34 % 55 % 100 % 53 % 0% 60 % 0% 50 % 2% 0% 15 % 26 % 19 % 33 % 18 % 45 % 8% 2% 11 % 14 % page 3 Total Petrochemicals Bayport Total Petrochemicals LaPorte Chevron Phillips Pasadena Equistar LaPorte Docket 2002-0863-AIR-E Chevron Phillips Pasadena Docket 2000-1267-AIR-E Rohm & Haas Deer Park Docket 2000-0434-AIR-E Enforcement referral from 2003 Chevron Phillips Pasadena Equistar LaPorte Docket 2003-0630-AIR-E Magellan Terminals Galena Park Docket 2004-0487-AIR-E Docket 2005-0540-AIR-E Total Petrochemicals LaPorte Equistar LaPorte Case 19741 (2003) Rohm & Haas Deer Park Docket 2005-0152-AIR-E Texas Petrochemicals Houston Enforcement referrals from 2002 Docket 1999-0613-AIR-E Docket 2004-0032-AIR-E Allwaste / Fitzgerald Railcar Services Angleton Chevron Phillips Pasadena Texas Petrochemicals Houston Enforcement referrals from 2004 Docket 1999-0943-IHW-E Docket 2002-0609-AIR-E Docket 2003-0089-AIR-E Gulf Chemical and Metallurgical Freeport Texas Petrochemicals Houston Total Petrochemicals LaPorte Solutia Chocolate Bayou Docket 2003-0471-MLM-E Docket 2002-0174-AIR-E Docket 2003-0469-AIR-E Solutia Chocolate Bayou Dow Hampshire Deer Park Rohm & Haas Deer Park Docket 2002-0871-MLM-E Docket 2003-1507-AIR-E Dow Chemical LaPorte Rohm & Haas Deer Park Docket 2003-0610-MLM-E TOTALS * This case is still pending.500 120.
500 when the TCEQ discovered that its leak detection contractor was fabricating data.335 for having “failed to maintain fugitive emission page 4 records. when it could have been assessed penalties of $611. .8 million for failing to properly operate programs to detect and repair leaks at their facilities. The investigator concluded. the enforcement oﬃce agreed to “assess the monitoring violations as one recordkeeping violation. city and state investigators auditing the plant’s actual performance found much higher leak rates: 10%. Leaks are a major source of unreported emissions. “Dow failed to maintain a fugitive emission monitoring program for the two-year period of 2001 and 2002. Although the TCEQ had previously proposed a ﬁne of $75. Texas Petrochemicals routinely reports that less than 1% of its plant components are leaking at any time. the oﬀenders paid less than 2% of the potential ﬁne.900.TCEQ Fails to Prosecute Flagrant Leak Monitoring Violations In our study. (Case Review #23) • A ﬁeld investigator cited Chevron Phillips Pasadena for failing to monitor a number of valves and other components over the course of several years. while each leak contributes a relatively small amount of air pollution to the region’s skies. about one-third . The day-to-day eﬀectiveness of leak detection and repair programs depends on the careful a�ention to detail by plant management.” though the company could have been assessed a ﬁne of $690. (Case Review #16). there are examples of questionable data. (Case Review #25) • Rohm & Haas Deer Park was ﬁned about $66.) • Dow Chemical LaPorte paid a ﬁne of $3. the lax a�itude of TCEQ enforcement oﬃcials can encourage a similarly lax a�itude by plant managers. Thus. and faulty leak detection programs are a key part of that problem. However. rather than as emissions events. state investigators caught six plants with inadequate programs for leak monitoring. 3%. reﬁneries and other facilities in the region. in this regard. the TCEQ could have ﬁned chemical plants and reﬁneries in excess of $1. this is not a unique situation.” (Case Review #26) • Dow Hampshire Deer Park was ﬁned about $12. the penalty could have been $153. The hundreds of tons of pollution are released from literally thousands and thousands of tiny leaks at the many chemical plants. Yet in four investigations. . 5% and 2%. Furthermore. Although this represents the full ﬁne that could have been collected under state policy.000 from Solutia for this infraction. the TCEQ has found serious shortcomings in leak detection programs at a number of chemical plants.500. According to self-reported data submitted by industry and analyzed by the state. However. This demonstrates that the actual pollution being leaked into the air from Texas Petrochemicals is many times higher than its self-reported data indicates. ﬁnding and repairing the leaks quickly is necessary if our air is to become safe to breathe. the case ﬁle does not give any reason for such a dramatic reduction in the severity of the regulatory violation. the ﬁnal ﬁne was just $570.” While Dow agreed that its contractor was not performing the required duties. • Solutia Chocolate Bayou admi�ed operating a unit for six months without a leak detection program. falsiﬁed records and/or inconsistent reporting for every quarter of 2001 and 2002. For example. about 97 tons of organic chemical air pollution are released from leaks each day. for reasons that are not documented.000. Cases o�en involve several types of violations. During the enforcement process. in some cases. (Note: The ﬁne amounts below refer only to ﬁnes for leak monitoring violations. the number of events was adjusted downward to “make the penalty commensurate with the situation.000. the state estimates that an additional 168 tons per day of such air pollution goes unreported by industry.” Had the violations been assessed as emissions events. Instead. the investigation hinted at a much larger and more systematic violation. No reason for the penalty reduction is given other than to cite a meeting of TCEQ Enforcement Division staﬀ with Chevron Phillips’ representative and a�orney.000 for failing to monitor a variety of equipment over a four-year period. the investigator was not assigned to pursue the case further. Unfortunately. The TCEQ collected about $40. Among the cases we reviewed.150. the state assessed only $106. .
The state’s policy regarding these events is clear. for the purposes of preparing an enforcement action. this can result in a large reduction in the violation base penalty. “Penalty Policy of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.” the TCEQ is supposed to consider both the duration of the event and its severity. state enforcement oﬃcials are le� with some ﬂexibility to interpret the policy more or less strictly depending on the type and severity of the violation. 2002. but the case was dismissed during its corporate bankruptcy proceedings (discussed below).500 per oﬀense. Excerpt from the TCEQ Policy on Continuous Violations For continuing violations.000. The state’s policy for continuous violations works diﬀerently: in selecting a number to represent the “number of events. the state’s response not only appears inadequate. In practice.” The state calculates this penalty by multiplying the base penalty for an oﬀense by the number of events.* The duration of events concerning continuous violations. is how the number of events is calculated. without documentation. page 5 . failure to follow the policy appeared to be simple error and had a modest impact on the ﬁne. but reﬁneries and chemical plants almost always receive a base penalty of either $1.. however. may begin with the initial date of noncompliance with a requirement. Ten of the cases we examined involved incorrect counting of events.e. In some instances. TCEQ staﬀ o�en assessed continuous violations as beginning with the date of the investigation. The base penalty of an oﬀense may range from $100 to $10.” whichever is appropriate. the state breached its own policies for calculating its “violation base penalty.000 or $2. In ten of the cases we reviewed. TCEQ staﬀ wrote that the number of events was chosen to make the “penalty commensurate with the situation” in the opinion of TCEQ Enforcement Division staﬀ. record review) or the date that the respondent “should have known. or permit and extend up to the time that the enforcement documents are prepared. O�en. For example. the oﬃcial compliance history for Texas Petrochemicals does not reﬂect the severity of its actual history of noncompliance. More important. even when the investigation documented noncompliance as dating from the issuance of a permit or the eﬀective date of a regulation. The respondent is always considered knowledgeable of permit conditions. it also seems to deviate from its oﬃcial policy. continuous violations will be assessed beginning with the documented date of noncompliance (i. the TCEQ chose the number of events without clearly following its policies (see box below). the number of events will be linked to the level of impact of the violation by considering the violation as if it recurred with the frequency shown in the chart below. (Case Review #21) • Texas Petrochemicals Houston could have been ﬁned over $63. Sept. dropped one of the monitoring violations. the state can make large reductions in ﬁnes by manipulating this number. sample results. In practice. as well as two other smaller cases involving the same companies. In every case where the number of events was set in a manner inconsistent with established state policy. (Case Review #17) In these six cases. Much of this shortfall occurred because the TCEQ. Due to case dismissals and otherwise inadequate enforcement. Since the diﬀerence between one event and ten events is typically as much as $22. though.” Enforcement Division RG-253. as the beginning point. which are distinct occurrences and are not continuous. and in those cases the state assessed TCEQ Breaches Its Own Policy and Lets Polluters Escape Major Penalties In 10 of the 26 enforcement cases we reviewed. enforcement division staﬀ frequently makes decisions that bear li�le relation to the actual policy and result in penalties that are heavily discounted. By design. the number of events is clear cut. as in the case of “discrete” events. rule. In those few instances.500. *This chart can be viewed in the original TCEQ document.000 for inadequate leak monitoring. and we found few instances when it was not followed.of what could have been collected under state policy. the staﬀ recommendation resulted in a substantial reduction of ﬁnes (never an increase).
the enforcement division staﬀ noted that the company had been out of compliance for 27 months when estimating economic beneﬁt. the release was “caused by poor maintenance and operation practices. If the state had followed its own policies. they also dodge the stiﬀer ﬁnes and penalties o�en associated with future violations.” These adjustments resulted in as much as $190. the TCEQ discharged another case against Texas Petrochemicals without adequate reason.000 in additional penalties. and the plant was out of compliance for at least three years.000. the case does not appear in any TCEQ database.000 for violations in two separate cases.000. nor is there any documented reason for dropping the enforcement case.000 in reduced ﬁnes. Yet the TCEQ assessed just “one single event” for each violation. approximately $394. (Case Review #12) Rohm & Haas Deer Park could have been ﬁned $13. (Case Review #24) The state counted three long-term self-reporting violations by Total Petrochemicals LaPorte as single events. Although the company was sent a notice of enforcement. The case ﬁle contains no documented reason for closing the case. we are unable to pursue . A conservative interpretation of state policy could have increased Solutia’s ﬁne by $145. nor is there any documented reason for dropping the enforcement case. but based the penalty on “three monthly events.000 for failing to monitor cooling towers for pollution leaks and for failing to repair leaking equipment in a timely manner. the case was referred for enforcement and then the case was closed. and its staﬀ discussed the status of the case with the TCEQ.” However. 2003 when it released over 1. However. These adjustments resulted in as much as $120. operation or maintenance. the penalty for two four-year violations by Rohm and Haas Deer Park was calculated on the basis of “one single event. the state initially recommended “Thirteen semiannual events . the state changed its assessment to “one single event” a�er the company complained.000 in reduced ﬁnes. and the ﬁne would have been in the millions of dollars. and it also lumped together several discrete failures to repair leaks as quarterly violations. Texas Petrochemicals was sent a notice of enforcement for several upsets that were “part of a recurring pa�ern indicative of inadequate design. The company failed to “have an adequate monitoring plan that will reliably detect a leak from the heat exchangers to the water of [three] cooling towers” and to “have an adequate monitoring plan for [two] absorbers.” This case was referred by the City of Houston. According to the TCEQ memo: . it could have collected at least $800. For example. or based on policies that are not wri�en down and are not uniformly applied. Under the strictest policy interpretation. the case does not appear in any TCEQ database. On one of the self-reporting violations.” The state’s penalty policy allows up to daily violations for each of the three towers and two absorbers. penalties could have been calculated on a daily basis. . (Case Review #7) Texas Petrochemicals Houston could have been ﬁned more than $125.” For another violation. .300 pounds of pollution in one minute. for the thirteen semiannual reports that were not submi�ed.In every case where the number of events was set in a manner inconsistent with established state policy. (Case Review #14) Then in 2004.000 for a major upset on June 27. . another was dismissed due to a company’s bankruptcy. Equistar LaPorte could have been ﬁned $25. In the ﬁrst case. When cases are dropped without adequate reason. According to the investigation. (Case Review #22) page 6 TCEQ Drops Enforcement Cases Without Adequate Reasons Four of the 26 enforcement cases we reviewed were dropped without adequate documentation. which occurred in 2002. . the staff recommendation resulted in a substantial reduction of ﬁnes.” According to a TCEQ database. One enforcement case was misplaced. (Case Review #20) One of the most dramatic relaxations of the state’s policy was for Solutia Chocolate Bayou. these companies not only avoid the current ﬁnes. due to Texas Petrochemicals’ legal status during its bankruptcy proceedings.
April 23. we have questions about the method by which the TCEQ calculates the economic beneﬁt. and the TCEQ should not have discharged these violations. it appears that TCEQ economic beneﬁt estimates may be too low – particularly in cases where companies have failed to monitor for leaks or have allowed major upsets to occur. When enforcement cases are dropped. 2004. In theory. TCEQ Method for Determining Economic Beneﬁt Needs Further Review One issue that has been raised with regard to the ﬁnes assessed by the TCEQ is economic beneﬁt. the company is subject to substantially enhanced ﬁnes and that additional pollution control requirements may be imposed. were dismissed along with the later violations. . a TCEQ Enforcement Division coordinator wrote: Please be aware that the Automatic Stay imposed by the Federal Bankruptcy Code does not apply to the commencement or continuation of an action or proceeding by a governmental unit to enforce such governmental unit’s police or regulatory power. According to TCEQ staﬀ. the size of the ﬁne being levied should be greater than the economic beneﬁt that the company gains by not implementing practices that would prevent pollution. The inspections occurred a�er Texas Petrochemicals had ﬁled for bankruptcy but before its reorganization date. two memos in other enforcement cases make it clear that bankruptcy is not a legal shield from enforcement action. Although bankruptcy is not addressed in any general policy statement available from the TCEQ. not only did the TCEQ discharge the Texas Petrochemicals violations referred to in the memo. on the other hand. page 7 . by virtue of the exception set out at 11 U. (Source: Le�er from Tel Croston to Solutia. one of which occurred almost at the same time as the Texas Petrochemicals case.) Four years prior to the Solutia case. or to other parts of the state where air pollution issues are o�en quite diﬀerent.S.enforcement action for these violations. 2003. In addition to a ﬁne. at the same time it also discharged violations that occurred prior to the company’s bankruptcy ﬁling of July 20. (Case Review #17) That explanation is inconsistent with its actions in other bankruptcy cases. TCEQ. In a le�er to Solutia Chocolate Bayou. Furthermore. an enforcement order from the TCEQ usually includes provisions requiring corrective action and ordering the company to cease the violations in the future. to small companies. is expressly excepted from the automatic stay in pursing enforcement of the State’s Environmental Protection Laws including but not limited to liquidating its damages for such violations. indicate that despite bankruptcy status. Accordingly. the oﬀending companies escape ﬁnes and any enforceable obligations to correct the practices related to these violations. 2003. there are other good reasons to follow through with an enforcement case. which is May 6. Allwaste / Fitzgerald Railcar Services Angleton was informed that the TCEQ planned to pursue litigation against the company because “we have been unable to reach agreement due to your facility ﬁlling (sic) for bankruptcy. our conclusion should not be generalized to other media. violations that were found during investigations on November 19. In addition. Because our study is targeted. the TCEQ has pursued enforcement against companies that violate air pollution regulations. This means that if the violations occur again. (Case Review #15) However. Even if the TCEQ believes it cannot recover monetary damages from a violator. Although we did not systematically review the calculations. This further demonstrates that the Texas Petrochemicals case was handled in a manner inconsistent with TCEQ policy. 2004. 2002 and on May 12. In the 26 cases we reviewed. .C. § 362(b)(4). we found that the ﬁne assessed by the TCEQ was usually larger than the estimated economic beneﬁt gained as a result of the violation. Texas Petrochemicals is discharged from penalties or obligations for violations documented during this time period.” These two cases. as a governmental unit . future violations of the same nature may not be penalized at higher levels if the TCEQ has dropped the previous violations.
EPA should investigate TCEQ’s failure to implement timely and adequate enforcement. The EPA also expects state enforcement actions to assess a penalty suﬃcient to achieve eﬀective deterrence.S. we believe that the TCEQ is failing to carry out enforcement in a timely manner. community leaders. TX 77098 www. because it assesses ﬁnes that are dramatically lower than warranted. by supporting efforts to educate the public. We do not believe the TCEQ is meeting this standard. 309 Houston. We are asking the U. We believe this stricter application of current policies would result in more appropriate ﬁnes. the media and industry on regional air pollution issues. Presently. TCEQ should follow its enforcement policies. and seven cases took more than two years.GHASP’s Recommendations As a result of this study. this could result in additional ﬁnes being collected from serious oﬀenders of air pollution regulations. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address the state’s failure to meet federal expectations for timely and adequate enforcement. the TCEQ should clearly document the reasons for such actions. Furthermore. © 2005 GHASP Permission granted to reproduce entire document. if the TCEQ deviates from its usual dismissal policy. We also recommend that the TCEQ adopt a policy regarding the dismissal of cases that have been referred for enforcement. The EPA expects that enforcement action will be completed for high priority violations within 9 to 11 months of an investigation. . Ste. 3100 Richmond.org Printed on recycled paper. In addition. GHASP seeks to accomplish its mission by being the most credible advocate for clean air in the Houston region. there does not seem to be a procedure or requirement that the TCEQ document the reason for the dismissal of a case. Over the past several years. and by directly engaging government ofﬁcials.org (713) 528-3779 info@ghasp. We recommend that the TCEQ adhere to its current wri�en policies regarding the calculation of ﬁnes instead of assessing ﬁnes that are clearly lower than intended. Where necessary.ghasp. Much of the authority for enforcing air pollution regulations is delegated to Texas by the EPA. ﬁnes assessed for violations of air pollution regulations in the Houston region appear to reﬂect the personal preferences of TCEQ Enforcement Division management rather than clear implementation of the commission’s oﬃcial policies. . If the EPA acts. the TCEQ should amend its policies to clarify the minimum penalties for certain classes of violations. and because it dismisses enforcement cases without adequate justiﬁcation. both for the oﬀending company and for all regulated companies. we concluded that the TCEQ is inadequately enforcing air pollution regulations by assessing ﬁnes that are dramatically lower than warranted and by dismissing enforcement cases without adequate justiﬁcation. This penalty should reﬂect both the economic beneﬁt of noncompliance and an amount reﬂecting the seriousness of the violation. as it did in the case of the Texas Petrochemicals bankruptcy. TCEQ should fully document case dismissals. Yet most of the cases in our study exceeded that guideline. The Galveston-Houston Association for Smog Prevention (GHASP) works to persuade government and corporate ofﬁcials to prevent smog. We also suggest that the EPA regional enforcement oﬃce review recently-se�led cases and take independent enforcement action in situations where it agrees that the state was too lenient. We suggest that the Inspector General of the EPA further investigate our allegation that Texas is failing to carry out enforcement in a timely and adequate manner.
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