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TCEQ recommends Travis be added to ozone non-attainment list

Thursday, December 11, 2008 by Austin Monitor

The Executive Director of the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality recommended Wednesday that Travis County, among others, be added to the list of counties in Texas that are in non-attainment of federal standards for ozone. The three-member Commission adopted the director’s recommendations.


Information on the actions was released by the TCEQ late Wednesday.


Notable in the recommendation was the exclusion of Williamson County, which was under consideration for its contributions to the region’s ozone levels. The Williamson County Commissioners Court passed a strongly worded protest against being included in the non-attainment list, and had a representative at yesterday’s hearing to plead the county’s case. Some at TCEQ had wanted Williamson County included because of the heavy commuter traffic bringing pollutants into Travis County.


Other new counties added to the list include Bexar (San Antonio); Gregg (Longview); Hood (Granbury); Rusk (East Texas); and Smith (Tyler).  Counties already in nonattainment include Brazoria, Chambers, Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, El Paso, Fort Bend, Galveston, Hardin, Harris, Jefferson, Johnson, Kaufman, Liberty, Montgomery, Orange, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant, and Waller.


The recommendation adopted by the commission includes 27 counties, including the six counties that have not previously been designated non-attainment for the ozone standard.


TCEQ will provide the Governor with its recommendation for his submission to EPA. The Governor is required to submit his recommendation to EPA no later than March 12, 2009. The EPA will finalize the designations no later than March 2010.

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