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Local Motion - photos of the TRE, traffic in the IH 30 managed/HOV lane, Fort Worth, airplane

November 2015

 

EPA lowers ozone limit to protect public health

 

The Environmental Protection Agency has approved a new ozone standard in an effort to better protect the health of residents in North Texas and across the nation. The EPA published the final rule on October 26 lowering the design value, or the fourth-highest three-year average concentration of ozone pollution, from 75 parts per billion to 70 ppb. The new ozone standard is effective December 28. According to the EPA website, the decision to lower the design value was made due to “extensive scientific evidence about ozone’s effects on public health and welfare.”

 

By October 1, 2017, the EPA is expected to determine how Dallas-Fort Worth will be classified and if the new standard will change the number of counties in the nonattainment area. Ten DFW counties are in moderate nonattainment for the 75 ppb ozone standard and have until 2017 to comply. Data suggests the nonattainment area could expand, but a final decision has not been made. If the EPA gives the region a moderate designation, it will have six years to meet the new standard. A more stringent designation would allow the region more time to meet it.

 

The region’s air quality has shown improvement in recent years, with the design value steadily decreasing to the point that the old standard of 85 ppb was met in 2014. It has since been revoked.

 

NCTCOG maintains several programs to help contribute to the improvement, including AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine and Air North Texas. Enhancements to the capacity of the transportation system and the operation of the existing infrastructure are also important parts of the progress seen in air quality.

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$330 million

The projected cost of the 9.7-mile extension of State Highway 360 from south of Interstate Highway 20 to US Highway 287.

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OUR REGION

  Planning underway for high speed rail
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  Fact sheet: NCTCOG coordinates UAS effort

11/4/2015 CH

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