- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 5, 2014

GALENA PARK, Texas (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is holding its second and final hearing on proposed new standards for oil refinery emissions as part of a 60-day public comment period.

The hearing Tuesday in suburban Houston is the result of a consent decree resolving a lawsuit against the EPA by Earthjustice and the Environmental Integrity Project on behalf of communities near oil refineries.

The suit argued that the EPA was more than a decade late in reviewing and updating toxic air standards for oil refineries.

New rules could be widely felt in Texas, home to 27 refineries, including eight in the Houston area.

The standards include forcing oil refiners to monitor and publicly report the amount of cancer-causing benzene released into neighborhoods.

The first hearing took place in Wilmington, California, in July.