EPA declares May 1-5 as Air Quality Awareness Week - KXXV Central Texas News Now

EPA declares May 1-5 as Air Quality Awareness Week

(Source: Pexel) (Source: Pexel)

The Environmental Protection Agency declared Monday, May 1, through Friday, May 5, as Air Quality Awareness Week.

Although Central Texas doesn't have the same problems like other Texas metropolitan areas, the area is vulnerable to poor air quality, according to the Central Texas Air Information & Research program.

The program said ozone is a common problem in our area.

That may seem strange, because we've heard that ozone is good, but it's only good when it's up in the sky, not on the ground, CTAIR's Jennifer Lawyer said.

Vehicle emissions are the primary source of ground-level ozone. It's that ozone that can make kids and the elderly have breathing problems. But when the levels are high, everyone can be affected.

"We are what's called a near-nonattainment area. That means we are nearing the level of ozone. The cutoff is 70 parts per billion. So if our ozone readings go above 70 parts per billion, we would be in nonattainment, which you don't want," Lawyer said.

CTAIR has some tips to help reduce ground-level ozone:

  • Walk, bike, or take a bus
  • Fill up your gas tank during the evening hours
  • Don't top off the gas tank
  • Avoid idling
  • Combine trips into one trip

The program said a small change in your routine can make a huge difference in our air quality.

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