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Texas Lobbyist News: Texas Has a Remarkable Record on Air Quality

The following is a digest of a story originally published at the Austin American Statesman. The Texas Lobby Group is posting this summary as a public service for all state lobbyists, government officials, political consultants, and other interested parties.

EPA officials have manipulated unsound scientific assessments to mislead the public into believing there is a dire need for additional air quality regulations. Data collected from their website clearly shows that since 1997, aggregate emissions of the six criteria pollutants regulated under the federal Clean Air Act have decreased by more than 60 percent, and these emissions are still falling. In fact, the entire country has virtually attained national ambient standards for six major pollutants. Though some urban areas still struggle to meet these standards for ozone and particulate matter, the levels and frequencies of exceedances are rapidly declining. Of the 113 metropolitan areas once classified as “non-attainment for ozone,” less than thirty fall into this category today.

Texas has outshone the rest of the nation in achieving significant improvements in air quality. Since 2000, Texas has reduced ozone levels across the state by 23 percent, almost twice the national average of 13 percent. Houston, once vying with Los Angeles as the most ozone polluted city in the country, attained the federal ozone standard in 2009 and 2010. Moreover, all urban areas in Texas (except Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth), meet all the EPA’s new, far stricter federal air quality standards.

These dramatic improvements in air quality have been driven by creative technologies and operational efficiencies developed in the private marketplace. The EPA should recognize the impressive trends in our state’s and nation’s air quality and stop using unrealistic scientific assumptions to gin up unrealistic fears of health risks.

Read the original story here.