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San Antonio Groups Rally To Prioritize Air Quality After State Funding Cuts

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The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued an orange-level alert warning about unhealthy ozone levels in San Antonio for Wednesday, August 9. 

These Ozone Action Days signal that atmospheric conditions in the area are particularly favorable for producing high levels of ozone air pollution, and advises against prolonged exposure outdoors, especially for those with respiratory conditions like asthma.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott's budget for 2018-19 scrapped funding for air quality monitoring and research. San Antonio's $1.5 million of the funding had been allocated to the Alamo Area Council of Governments – the only regional entity that conducts photo-chemical analysis as part of the monitoring process for air pollution.

It appeared that the city's quest to meet federal clean air regulations, known as "attainment," could be slipping out of reach. But other sources like private companies and CPS Energy have since stepped up to keep the monitors up and running.

What's being done to remedy this funding crisis, and is it sustainable? What's the status of air quality in San Antonio?

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Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.