The Bigger the Better: N. Texas Air Quality Improves
As the Dallas-Fort Worth area has grown, air quality standards have improved. The Environmental Protection Agency, the State of Texas and local governments and businesses joined together this summer in a campaign to reduce air pollution. As a result, the cities had the lowest ozone levels in three decades.
High readings of ozone, a compound that contributes to the formation of smog, fell to 85 parts per billion (ppb) this year, down from over 100 ppb a few years ago. Additionally, ozone levels exceeded the health-based standard of 84 ppb only nine days this summer, compared to over 40 days in the late 1990s.
“This improvement in air quality is a direct result of the collaboration of businesses, governments, and communities from across the area, and exceeds levels that Federal or State regulations could have achieved alone,” EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said. “This shows that the State clean-air plan we proposed to approve last July is benefitting DFW.”
EPA worked with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the North Central Texas Council of Governments, and local governments and business groups to drastically reduce harmful emissions from smokestacks and exhaust from cars, trucks, planes, trains, and construction equipment. Efforts such as TCEQ’s Texas Emissions Reduction Plan have helped by providing over $80 million in funding for new, cleaner-burning engines for businesses, schools, and governments. Over the next year, additional pollution reductions will be made at factories, power plants, and cement kilns, which will help DFW achieve ozone levels consistently below 85 ppb by 2010, as required by the Clean Air Act.
Additional information on air quality is available at http://www.airnow.gov/
To learn more about activities in EPA Region 6, please visit http://www.epa.gov/region6.
To view DFW clean air charts, please visit http://www.epa.gov/region6/6xa/pdf/dfw_air_graphic.pdf.