Houston Matters

Why Houston Might Struggle Living Up to the EPA’s New Smog Rules

They’ve been part of the Houston landscape for decades: giant flares that burn off explosive gases from refineries and petrochemical plants. But the pollution they emit, as well as exhaust from many thousands of vehicles, has been reduced in Houston. The amount of ozone that’s created by pollution when hit with sunlight used to exceed […]

They’ve been part of the Houston landscape for decades: giant flares that burn off explosive gases from refineries and petrochemical plants. But the pollution they emit, as well as exhaust from many thousands of vehicles, has been reduced in Houston.

The amount of ozone that's created by pollution when hit with sunlight used to exceed federal standards several dozen days a year in the 1990s. But in recent years, ozone has exceeded standards by only 11 days a year on average.

Yet, the federal Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce new, stricter ozone standards — standards Houston could have a tough time meeting.

News 88.7 energy and environment reporter Dave Fehling explains.

MORE: EPA’s New Smog Rules Target Industries In Houston (News 88.7, Sept. 29, 2015)

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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