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Media Contact:

Rebekah Staub, Permian-Gulf Communications Manager, rstaub@earthworks.org

WASHINGTON — A U.S. fifth circuit appeals court on Tuesday scrapped a Texas emissions permit for Sempra Energy’s Port Arthur Texas methane gas (LNG) export terminal.

The court found that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) failed to impose the same emissions limits on the Port Arthur plant as on other projects. The decision sends the Port Arthur LNG air pollution permit application back to the TCEQ for new evaluation.

“This decision from the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court is welcomed, but it is no surprise,” said John Beard, Executive Director of the Port Arthur Community Action Network. “Every step in this fight, we’ve won by standing up for Port Arthur communities of color to breathe free from toxic pollution. When attacked, we fight back – and win!”

The Port Arthur Community Action Network, represented by the Environmental Integrity Project and Lone Star Legal Aid, has been challenging the state permit for the proposed LNG terminal since September 2020, arguing that additional pollution controls should be required for the facility’s refrigeration turbines, the single largest source of air pollution at the plant. Such pollution controls could reduce the amount of nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide pouring out of the plant by hundreds of tons per year. Nitrogen oxides can cause coughing and difficulty breathing, and can worsen asthma symptoms.