In 2004, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated nine counties in North Central Texas as nonattainment for the pollutant ozone in accordance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). These standards are designed to protect human and environmental health, and ground-level ozone is monitored and targeted for reductions due to its potentially harmful effects. Four main sources of ozone-causing emissions include:
- On-road Mobile Sources (such as cars and trucks)
- Non-road Mobile Sources (such as construction equipment)
- Point Sources (such as electric generating utilities and industrial boilers)
- Area Sources (such as solvent use and agriculture)
Development of an air quality plan, known as the State Implementation Plan (SIP), is required for all nonattainment areas in order to demonstrate how ozone will be reduced to levels compliant with the NAAQS. The SIP for the Dallas-Fort Worth nonattainment area includes programs to get older cars off the road, technologies to clean up vehicles already on the road, and education programs so that citizens can do their part in improving air quality in North Texas. For more information about what individuals and businesses can do to clean the air, visit www.AirNorthTexas.org.