More than $73.5 million in funding to improve local air quality is headed for the San Antonio area, with local officials eyeing the funds as their best chance to clean up the air before a critical 2021 deadline.
After the EPA labelled the city’s air too polluted to meet smog standards, San Antonio leaders have put their top public health official in charge of the cleanup.
The move will likely slow the pace of transportation projects and increase costs on industrial businesses moving to or expanding in Bexar County.
The EPA’s decision means stricter regulation of San Antonio’s air quality.
The EPA must meet a court-imposed July 17 deadline to say whether San Antonio’s air meets the federal health standard for ozone.
The Texas governor wants to avoid a designation of poor air quality for San Antonio, though public health advocates say the city’s air clearly doesn’t meet standards.
Mayor Ron Nirenberg and other speakers at a summit on Friday said members of San Antonio’s business community can help improve local air quality without hurting their bottom line.
San Antonio’s ozone levels have decreased in recent years, but they are still higher than a proposed new national standard announced in 2015.
The Environmental Protection Agency released on Thursday new standards for methane pollution from new and modified oil and gas equipment.
On a Monday morning last November, the front row parking at Noah’s Event Venue was blocked off for public officials from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.