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Progress North Texas 2015

   

Improving Your Health

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Air Quality and Health

An individual’s health depends on many factors and can be complicated, but the link between air quality and respiratory issues is clear. Many respiratory issues and other serious health problems are aggravated by emissions caused by light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles. In fact, almost 50 percent of all ozone forming pollution in the Dallas-Fort Worth area comes from on-road vehicles. The air North Texans breathe is a precious resource, so everyone must work together to keep it clean and protect it for future generations.

 

 

Ozone Standards

 

In 2012, the US Environmental Protection Agency) designated 10 counties in North Texas as nonattainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard. This standard is designed to protect human and environmental health, and ground-level ozone is monitored and targeted for reductions due to its potentially harmful effects. Last year, the region’s ozone concentration fell within the previous 8-hour ozone standard of less than 85 parts per billion (ppb) for the first time, which represents significant progress for the region. The North Central Texas Council of Governments will continue to work with partners and encourage the involvement of residents and employers to meet the current standard of 75 ppb to ensure a good quality of life for people of all ages.

 

Initiatives

 

Many initiatives have been undertaken to help improve overall health and air quality in the region. Among the programs used to make the air healthier to breathe are:

 

  • Air North Texas, which seeks to educate and inform individuals, local governments, and businesses about the importance of air quality and how to make a positive impact through emissions- and petroleum-reduction strategies
  • Electric Vehicles North Texas, a program that encourages a shift to plug-in vehicles. 
  • Clean School Bus Program, which collaborates with school systems in North Texas to offer funding for bus upgrades that reduce emissions and provide healthier rides to school. The program has reduced 50 tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the past eight years.  
  • Engine Off North Texas, a comprehensive program to reduce idling. It allows motorists to report idling vehicles in jurisdictions that have approved Locally Enforced Idling Restrictions and offers support for local governments to enforce the rules.
  • AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine Program, which provides public assistance with vehicle repair and replacement program helped repair 2,039 vehicles in fiscal year 2014 and replace 652.

Also, several NCTCOG programs help expedite fleet turnover by offering financial assistance to replace an older vehicle or engine with a newer, cleaner-burning vehicle or engine. 

 

Emissions Reductions

 

Emissions reductions are quantified to help people understand how programs improve the air. Decreasing emissions results in lower pollution levels and improved air quality. Knowing the rate of emissions reductions and educating the public of its role is an ongoing goal for the NCTCOG Transportation Department. 

In addition, educating the public of the benefits of alternative fuel vehicles offers opportunities for success in improving air quality and health. 

For example, the EVNT program has estimated that the 3,842 electric vehicles and plug-in electric vehicles registered in the DFW area in 2014 reduced over 2.5 tons of NOx. 

 

Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities and NCTCOG clean vehicle programs are responsible for reducing over 20 million gallons of petroleum per year and over 53,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. That is enough fuel to fill about 2,000 tanker trucks.

Although there are many benefits from emissions reductions programs, a key part of their success begins with public involvement and concern. Visit AirNorthTexas.org to learn more and become involved in current and future efforts to improve air quality and health.

10/31/2016 06/15/2012 JS

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 North Central Texas Council of Governments | 616 Six Flags Drive P.O. Box 5888 Arlington, TX 76005-5888
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