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Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan Planning Organization 40th Anniversary

The North Central Texas Council of Governments is celebrating its 40th anniversary as the region’s metropolitan planning organization.

Throughout 2014, the Transportation Department will look back at some historic events and accomplishments that shaped the region.

This month, the focus is on air quality, which has been an important part of NCTCOG's job for decades.

Logo: Regional Transportation Council 40th Anniversary

In the early years of the metropolitan planning organization, energy conservation was an important regional focus, with the effects of the energy crisis persisting through much of the 1970s. Throughout the years, new challenges have arisen, and D-FW has been meeting them. Read more in Local Motion >>>

#DFWMPO40

Which General Motors innovation introduced in 1974 is considered one of the most important steps in reducing emissions and is still used by the entire auto industry today?

A. Oil Filter
B. Regenerative Brake
C. Air Bag
D. Catalytic Converter

Answer on the NCTCOG Transportation Facebook page or on Twitter by using @NCTCOGtrans and #DFWMPO40. Those who answer correctly will be entered in a random drawing for a water bottle.

Via Instagram / Facebook: Dallas Area Rapid Transit has developed its extensive bus and rail network over the past 30 years, providing thousands of North Texans an alternative to driving alone during ozone season and the rest of the year. This 1985 photo shows DART’s first express bus. #DFWMPO40 #TBT #ThrowbackThursday #transpo

Looking ahead, tell us what you think: Public transportation is among the programs and policies that help improve air quality in North Texas. It takes the cooperative work of a region – including businesses, governments and individuals – to make the biggest impact and the issue of air quality is not exempt from this point.

 

Percent population reporting long wait at gas station

DFW can meet the ozone standard and produce cleaner air for its residents if everyone does his or her part to make it happen. Get ideas about what you can do to help improve air quality at www.airnorthtexas.org, then share your plans with us on Twitter and Facebook using the #DFWMPO40 hashtag.

Regional Air Quality Then and Now

Click to see an infographic about air quality
Infographic: Air Quality in North Texas [PDF]

 

Saving energy and improving air quality by reducing emissions from on-road vehicles has been a priority in the region since the development of the first metropolitan transportation plan in 1974. Ozone is currently the focus of the region’s improvement efforts, but there has been an emphasis on conservation since the beginning.

Ten Dallas-Fort Worth area counties (Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant and Wise) are currently in nonattainment for ozone pollution and have until 2018 to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s standard. When completing transportation projects, NCTCOG and its partners must ensure that these improvements do not negatively impact air quality.

Improving air quality in the region is important to protecting the health of North Texans. Inhaling ground-level ozone is especially dangerous for people who have asthma or respiratory problems.

In North Texas, there are more than 108,000 kids who have asthma, according to the Health and Wellness Alliance for Children. Of course, asthma also impacts adults.

Nationally, the annual economic cost of asthma is $19.7 billion. An estimated 22 million people have asthma; 6.5 million are under the age of 18, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Environmental and Energy Milestones in 1974

    • June 28, 1974: Scientists Frank Rowland and Mario Molina first proposed the theory that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) migrate into the stratosphere, causing the depletion of the ozone layer. A chlorofluorocarbon is an organic compound that contains only carbon, chlorine and fluorine, produced as a volatile derivative of methane, ethane and propane. CFCs are also commonly known by the DuPont brand name Freon. Both scientists were later recipients of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

    • In the wake of the Oil Embargo of 1973-74, Congress enacted the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) by 1975. CAFE standards are still in use today and are intended to reduce energy consumption by increasing the fuel economy of cars and light trucks. In model-year 1978 when standards were first implemented, the CAFE standard for passenger cars was 18 mpg. Since then, CAFE standards have continued to increase. Standards for model year 2016 cars are set at 39 mpg.

    • The Safe Drinking Water Act, regulating public water systems, was passed in 1974.

Sports in 1974

    • Cannonade won the Kentucky Derby on May 4, 1974.

Famous People Born in May 1974

May 23 - Jewel, singer-songwriter
May 30 - CeeLo Green, singer-songwriter

Dallas-Fort Worth MPO at 40: Reflecting on Accomplishments, Historic Events and More

January 2014: What was Happening in 1974
February 2014: Forty Years of Media and Public Involvement
March 2014: Transportation Options
April 2014: The Regional Transportation Council
May 2014: Air Quality
June 2014: Youth Involvement in Transportation
July 2014: Regional Innovations
August 2014: Public Transportation
September 2014: Technology and Transportation Planning
October 2014: Growth in Population and Transportation
November 2014: Aviation
December 2014: Future of Transportation

1/8/2015  01/20/2009 JS

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