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Eagle Ford: EPA accepts SA metro area into its program
Members of the Air Improvement Resources Committee learned July 31 that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accepted the committee’s application to enter into the Ozone Advance program. The acceptance letters, addressed to Atascosa Judge Diana Bautista, chair, and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, vice chair of the Air Improvement Resources Committee Executive Committee, arrived as the 12-county Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) region is very close to violation of federal standards for ground level ozone.
According to a July 31 AACOG press release, participation in the Ozone Advance program does not guarantee the region will avoid a future designation of “non-attainment,” the status change that results from violation of the federal clean air standards.
•The Ozone Advance program offers a voluntary path forward to improvements in air quality and into compliance with state and federal air quality requirements.
•The Ozone Advance allows us to frame the local voluntary efforts in a way that would support, within the administrator’s discretion, consideration of the value of local voluntary actions in case the local pollution levels warrant a designation of non-attainment under federal clean air rules.
•EPA may provide preferred status to Ozone Advance participants when they apply for clean air assistance through federal grants programs.
With state funding reduced for air quality improvement programs, assistance from the EPA through the Ozone Advance program will be welcome. The EPA is available to assist Ozone Advance program areas as they explore their options for potential measures and programs that could help them reduce local ozone levels. The EPA will work with the participants to identify and help them resolve technical and other issues and provide information about emission reduction and public awareness/education options.
The city of San Antonio currently remains the largest city in the United States in full compliance with all federal clean air standards. Keeping the region in clean air is the first goal of the Air Improvement Resources Committee.
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The Marcelina Muse
Dry Tank, TX
August 23, 2012 12:58pm
Publius Valerius Publicola
August 23, 2012 12:50pm
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