Ryan Collins, a graduate research assistant in Stephens’ research group, is completing an internship with the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ) during summer 2013. The TCEQ “strives to protect the state’s public health and natural resources consistent with sustainable economic development. The agency’s goal is clean air, clean water, and the safe management of waste.” In the Air Permits Rules and Registation Division, Ryan is working on completing technical reviews on air permitting from a wide range of oil and gas operations around the state of Texas. Technical reviews include ensuring emission calculations are completed correctly, facilities follow all pertinent state and federal air quality rules, and laboratory analysis of pollution chemical makeup is verifiable. Ryan is at the TCEQ at an exciting time as Senate Bill 788 pertaining to greenhouse gas regulation in the state of Texas was passed by the 83rd state legislature. This bill deems it necessary for the TCEQ, specifically the Air Permits-Rules and Registration Division, to create rules and policy structure to begin the regulation work of greenhouse gases. This rule will have important implications for the state’s economic and environmental progression.
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