There are a lot of rules to follow when you’re working in the construction industry. One set of standards that you don’t want to forget about are those set by the Clean Air Act. A construction project can dredge up or create a lot of air pollution. It’s important to know how to stay within legal standards. If you are at all confused about these rules, you should consult our Houston construction litigation lawyers.

When Do I Need to Think About the Clean Air Act?

When you are starting a construction project that involves earth-moving or demolition, you are probably going to end up creating pollution. You also have to think about what kind of equipment you are using and what kind of emissions they will create. If you’re demolishing anything, you need to think about what kinds of materials were used in the building. You cannot just let a bunch of asbestos out into the air.

Do I Need Permits to Comply With the Clean Air Act?

If your project is likely to create emissions that reach above a certain threshold, then you are probably going to need permits. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, also known as the TCEQ, is responsible for giving out permits. This agency enforces the air quality standards set by the federal EPA and the Texas Clean Air Act. If you’re going to start up a new project, you’re probably going to need to deal with the TCEQ.

What Happens If I Ignore These Regulations?

Ignoring the TCEQ is an option if you like paying hefty fines. Depending on what you are doing, you could end up paying up to $75,000 a day in fines until you are in compliance. The TCEQ can also shut down non-compliant projects or facilities completely. Not adhering to the standards of the Clean Air Act can hurt your wallet, but it can hurt you and your company’s reputation as well.

What Other Considerations Do Contractors Need to Make?

If you’re concerned about running a job site that meets the standards of the Clean Air Act, there are several things to remember:

  • The engines in the construction equipment used for your project have to meet the latest standards.
  • You cannot burn debris. Materials and waste must be disposed of properly.
  • The Clean Air Act governs the release of chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, into the air.
  • You have to keep careful records about hazardous materials and substances.

There are also other considerations about pollution on any job site, like the potential for stormwater runoff and how the volatile organic compounds found in materials like paints should be addressed. Meeting all of these environmental standards can be tough, but it’s better than being fined or having a project shut down.

Talk to a Lawyer Who Knows the Construction Industry

When you take on a new project, you need to make sure that you and your company are protected. If you have any questions about how to comply with state or federal standards, contact Patout & Shaw. We can schedule you a consultation with our experienced legal team.