News

Polluted Air a Problem for Texans

Texas’ state implementation plan is under review with the envionmental protection agency. The EPA is looking at the state’s plan to meet the ozone standard and come under federal compliance for air quality. The state’s plan is under proposed approval and is now open to public comment. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has put […]

Listen

Texas’ state implementation plan is under review with the envionmental protection agency. The EPA is looking at the state’s plan to meet the ozone standard and come under federal compliance for air quality.

The state’s plan is under proposed approval and is now open to public comment. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has put forth several ideas to help the state reach compliance. Many of the problems center in the Houston region where millions of vehicles combined with dozens of refineries to create one of the worst ozone problems in the nation. The TCEQ’s Guy Donaldson says the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan, or TERP, is just now getting into full swing.

Donaldson says it will be tough to meet the one hour and eight hour standards and it looks like it may require another 50 percent reduction in emissions above what’s already been accounted for. Candy Garrett is also with the TCEQ. She says when the legislature enacted the TERP they provided $116 million a year in incentives and grants to help companies reduce NOx emissions.

With the EPA’s requirements for cleaner burning gasoline and low emissions vehicles, and the state’s requirement for cleaner diesel, Garrett says significant reductions are being made. But there are still problem areas that don’t fall under TCEQ jurisdiction.

Even with significant reductions from industry, construction, shipping and fuel, Garrett says it’s unlikely the region will reach attainment unless individuals do their part as well. She says in an area with more than four million people, things like lighter cars, fewer trips and less vehicle idle time will make a difference.

Subscribe to Today in Houston

Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

* required

Share

Laurie Johnson-Ramirez

Laurie Johnson-Ramirez

News Director

Laurie Johnson-Ramirez leads news coverage for Houston Public Media across broadcast and digital platforms. Ramirez is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Before becoming News Director, Ramirez held the position of Executive Producer for Daily News, leading daily and breaking news coverage, helping...

More Information