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Ozone season begins with warning
Thursday, April 2, 2009 by Austin Monitor
Last year, EPA toughened the federal ozone standard, and now, at the start of ozone season, leaders of the Central Texas Clean Air Force are making an urgent plea for city leaders and individuals to keep
“We’ve already been preliminarily designated as non-attainment by the EPA,” said Jim Marston with the Environmental Defense Fund during a Wednesday news conference at City Hall. “What we’re trying to do is focus our effort on a few things that can move the needle by a couple of parts-per-billion…enough to get us on the good side of the health standard.”
The Clean Air Force, with help from
The Austin City Council will vote on a resolution today directing the City Manager to have the city officially join the campaign. “This is our make or break year,” said Mayor Will Wynn. He noted that the city is already using telecommuting, hybrid and alternative-fuel vehicles, and rules that prohibit idling to reduce their own contribution to the ozone problem. “As a major employer, the City of
The City of
Other major cities that have been declared to be in violation of the federal standard have had to implement measures dictated by the federal government in order to improve air quality.
Moving away from that voluntary system to one of federal control, Mayor Will Wynn warned, could hurt the region’s efforts to attract new jobs. “When you’re in non-compliance, you essentially have to offset any additional emissions that might be created by new employment with some other program,” he said. “That makes it more challenging for major employers to expand; it makes it far more challenging for us to attract additional employers to the region. There’s clearly a stigma . . . You don’t want to be a non-attainment city.”
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