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EPA Implements Stricter Air Quality Standards


The Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it is lowering the acceptable amount of ground-level ozone from 75 parts per billion to 70 ppb.

The EPA reports it has updated its air quality standards for ground-level ozone, in response to a careful examination of thousands of studies showing that the current standard set in 2008 was not protective enough of human health and ecosystems.

Since 2012, three year averages for ozone in San Antonio have registered higher than the 75 ppbthreshold.

Alamo Area Council of Government’s Natural Resources Director Brenda Williams says while our government partners have resolved to work in a concerted effort to address our air quality challenge, it is AACOG’s hope that every business in the area, however large or small, will also take steps to help improve the air, whether it be by allowing more flexible scheduling for employees to avoid peak traffic times or by making their offices, shops, or other facilities more energy efficient.”

If no improvement has been made in the San Antonio metropolitan area’s air quality by the October 2017 conclusion of the review process, San Antonio and the surrounding area will be required to adopt mandatory measures to improve air quality as a result of nonattainment of the new ozone standard.

Steve joined the Texas Public Radio news team in 2009, and serves as TPR's Assistant News Director and afternoon anchor. You can hear him Monday-Friday from 3-7pm on KSTX 89.1 FM. Steve is a veteran of radio news in South Texas, having worked for commercial stations in the San Antonio area since the late 1980s.