Waco on borderline of current EPA Air Quality Standards - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


Waco on borderline of current EPA Air Quality Standards

WACO - New air quality guidelines could be on the way, and pollution levels in Waco could get reclassified.

The main topic of discussion at Tuesday's Waco Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting was the possibility of some new Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

For the past few years Waco's status has been right on the borderline of e-p-a standards. Right now, the standard emission level is 75 parts per billion and Waco is sitting around 73.

Director of Waco's metropolitan organization Chris Evilia says the current emission levels are dangerous for some people.

“The latest research suggests that the current standard is still very high in terms of the health impacts to the citizens, especially to the folks that have respiratory or cardiac issues,” says Evilia.

The biggest source of air pollution in the county is transportation, especially single occupant cars. Another factor is emissions coming from limestone and freestone county coal plants. If new regulations are passed it would lower the standard to only 60-to-70 parts per billion. That would put the region on the wrong side of that line, and that could have some serious implications down the road.

“It includes things like mandatory emissions of automobiles, similar to what Fort Worth and the Houston area is doing right now,” says Evilia. “It could include things like limiting what kinds of industries we can recruit our region which ultimately affects the kinds of jobs our citizens can hold.

The change could also lead to higher gas prices if stations are forced to switch to reformulated gasoline.

The agency is set to vote on a possible new air quality standard later this year. If the new standards approved the city would have two years to comply with the new regulations.

Click here to learn more about EPA Air Quality Standards

Click here for more information how you can help improve Waco's air quality.
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