Did you know that the pollution levels in Dallas are well above the federal standards? The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has revealed this. To put some things in perspective, Dallas’s ozone areas are higher than those of Chicago, Washington DC, Miami, Atlanta, and even New York. (2010.)
According to Shannon Stevenson, the program manager of the air quality planning and operations team over at the North Central Texas Council of Government, about 70% of the area’s pollution is coming from transportation emissions. We’re talking cars, planes, trains, trucks, and even construction equipment. Stevenson has mentioned that it’s not just Dallas proper either. It’s the whole metro area, which is a huge transportation hub for the whole country.
There is also the fact that Dallas has challenges with its geography. Large Texan cities like Houston are near the coast and therefore benefit from the sea winds. These winds in turn blow their pollution up to Dallas. So even though Dallas’s pollution may be coming form other places, it’s up to them to clean it up. According to the EPA, it doesn’t matter where pollution comes from. The city with the pollution has to deal with compliance issues.
Luckily, Dallas has done great work to improve its air quality over the past few years. The ozone levels improved by over 15% between the years of 2000 and 2012. This was while the US population increased 26%.
This is all according to David Brymer, the Air Quality director over at TCEQ. He says that Dallas has also put through new policies and regulations that will help control the pollution. For example, there are new policies to regulate industrial plants with cement kilns.
There are also efforts to regulate transportation emissions. Stevenson says that only one other city in the country has worse emissions. There are now subsidies available to businesses in an effort to get them to update their vehicles to newer, more efficient models. Pretty soon we’ll be able to breathe easy in Dallas again. It won’t be so bad anymore.
What are your thoughts on this…let us know.