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Environmental Management

Air Quality

As of May 1, 2012, the EPA classified a ten-county area in the Dallas/Fort Worth region as being in “moderate nonattainment” for eight-hour ozone emissions.

Environmental Management is responsible for enforcing the federal Clean Air Act in the City of Fort Worth. The Air Quality section assists the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) with outdoor air monitoring, permitting, compliance inspection, complaint investigation and enforcement.

If you have questions or comments about the city's air quality, email air@fortworthtexas.gov.

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Care for Cowtown Air

What is Ozone?

Ozone is a colorless, odorless gas that is present both in the upper atmosphere and at ground level.

Ozone in the upper atmosphere is essential to life because it protects the earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation.

Ozone present at ground level is the chief component of smog and is formed when nitrogen oxide gases (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) react in the presence of heat and sunlight.

Conditions that lead to ground-level ozone formation are most severe when the weather is hot, sunny and winds are relatively light. Ground-level ozone is primarily created by vehicle emissions.

How Does Ozone Affect Health?

Ground-level ozone can affect the health of residents. Ozone can affect the ability to breathe deeply, cause coughing, throat irritation, and breathing discomfort. Ozone may damage lung tissue, aggravate chronic lung disease (such as asthma or bronchitis) and increase the susceptibility of the lungs to allergens and other air pollutants.

Children and those with pre-existing lung problems are most sensitive to the health effects of ozone. Healthy adults involved in moderate or strenuous outdoor or physical activities may also experience the unhealthy effects of ozone. Even at relatively low levels, ozone can cause inflammation and irritation of the respiratory tract.

 
  • Leave your car at home. The T offers train, bus and car/vanpool options. Ride your bike to work.
  • Ask your boss about telecommuting or flex-time commuting options.
  • Don’t idle or use drive-thru windows during times of high pollution levels.
  • Chain your errands into one planned, round trip to reduce driving time and distance.
  • Drive your most efficient car when pollution levels are expected to be high.
  • Use the EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide to research low-emission vehicles when ready for a new car.
  • Keep your car tuned up and tires properly inflated to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.
  • Drive the speed limit and avoid sudden accelerations.
  • Fill up the tank after dark. Gasoline vapors contribute to formation of ozone.
  • Tightly seal your gas cap after refueling. Check the seal and replace as needed.
  • Report a smoking vehicle online or call 817-704-2522 or #SMOKE (cell).
  • Check out AirCheckTexas/Drive a Clean Machine if your car has failed the state emissions standards test and your income is limited.
  • Report an idling vehicle at Engine Off North Texas or call 1-877-NTX-IDLE (689-4354).
 
  • Make a commitment to Be Air Aware at Air North Texas. 
  • Check out the state of the air at the American Lung Association.
  • Learn more about the Air Quality Index at AirNow (EPA).
  • Visit the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to see how the state regulates air quality.
  • Reduce energy consumption—turn up the thermostat, close the blinds, turn off lights and appliances during times of peak pollution.
  • Insulate your home, including the water heater.
  • Tune up the furnace and air conditioner.
  • Postpone barbecuing until after dark when pollution levels are high. Avoid using lighter fluid as an igniter.
  • Gasoline-powered lawn equipment is a considerable source of harmful emissions because of a lack of catalytic converters. Consider replacing with non-gas powered options—electric, battery-operated or manual.
  • Keep equipment well maintained and avoid gasoline spills.
  • Mow in the late evening to prevent contributing to the creation of ground-level ozone.
  • Reduce lawn maintenance time by using native or adaptive landscaping that requires less care.
  • Paint and other chemicals produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone pollution. If you must paint when ozone levels are high, reduce vapor emissions by using low-VOC paint with a brush or roller rather than a sprayer. Keep all paint and chemical containers tightly sealed.
 

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