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TNRCC adopts the Houston-area clean air plan

7 December 2000

In its meeting on December 6, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) approved a package of pollution-reduction measures for the eight-county Houston-Galveston ozone nonattainment area (Harris, Galveston, Montgomery, Fort Bend, Brazoria, Waller, Liberty, and Chambers counties), along with statewide and Central and East Texas regional measures, designed to bring the region into compliance with federal ambient air quality standards by the year 2007.

The plan will be submitted this month to the EPA for approval. It is expected to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions region-wide by 75%, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) by 40% in the Houston area.

TNRCC Commissioners emphasized that the plan will remain a work in progress. A scientific review is planned for 2002, with a comprehensive evaluation followed by necessary adjustments scheduled for 2004, three years before the federally-mandated compliance deadline of 2007.

The approved plan includes most of the measures for industrial and mobile emission sources that were proposed in August, as follows:

Measures that were considered earlier but dropped from the final package include the restrictions on airport ground support diesel equipment, the proposed mandate for diesel-water emulsion fuels, and the mandate for 80% effective NOx reduction devices. These measures met with strong opposition from airlines, railroad, and trucking operators.

Source: TNRCC