Stricter EPA regulations coming to lower San Antonio ozone levels

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — The Environmental Protection Agency announced a proposed action to put Bexar County under a new designation that would require it to comply with new air quality regulations.

The move would put the San Antonio area from “marginal” to “moderate” nonattainment for ozone.  It will need to meet the ozone standard of 70 parts per billion by late September 2024.

San Antonio and 23 other parts of the country did not meet the EPA’s ozone standard by the agency’s fall 2021 deadline.  Other metro areas to not meet the standard included Dallas-Fort Worth, and the greater Houston-Galveston area.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will be responsible for enforcing the EPA’s regulations.

San Antonio Metro Health issued tips to help reduce ozone:

  • Limit driving and idling; instead, carpool, combine errands, use public transportation, bike, or walk.
  • Refuel your vehicle in the late afternoon or evening and don’t top off the tank.
  • Keep your vehicle maintained, including proper tire pressure.
  • Maintain your yard equipment, including changing the oil and replacing air filters regularly. Also consider using tools without gasoline motors. Hand tools such as shears, edgers, and push mowers are lightweight, quiet, and easy to use, and do not generate emissions.
  • Do not burn yard waste.
  • Use paint and cleaning products with less or zero Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).