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Travis County comments on proposed EPA air standards
Friday, March 12, 2010 by Jacob Cottingham
Over the last few weeks, Travis County Transportation and Natural Resources staff have been working on the county’s official comment letter to the Environmental Protection Agency’s strengthened ambient air quality standards, which were announced earlier this year. On Tuesday, Travis County Commissioners voted unanimously to send out a revised letter to the EPA putting
While the county supports the reduction from 75 parts-per-billion to more healthful levels – estimated to be between 60 and 70 ppb – it is also concerned about achievable, scalable targets. Commissioner Pct. 2 Sarah Eckhardt praised staff for “making the distinction between our support of a lower standard that is sufficiently protective of human health and constructive suggestions about how to implement it so that . . . we don’t hang the meat so high that the dog won’t jump.”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry released his own statement in January about the proposed ozone targets. “The EPA’s only consistent target has been the target on the backs of
They also recommended a plan for phasing into attainment status should the EPA decide on a standard more stringent than 70ppb. Areas deemed to be in non-attainment are subject to loss of critical transportation finance resources from the federal government.
Last week, when discussing the revisions White told commissioners the EPA must pursue more stringent vehicle and emission standards in order to significantly reduce ozone. He said nationally, engines and fuels are becoming cleaner and making up a bulk of the improvements. Although measures
Commissioners voted unanimously to send the recommendations forward. The EPA is expected to make a final decision in August.
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