If you live in Houston, TX, or Dallas, TX, especially, this is important information to know, neither Harris nor Dallas counties have met federal ozone standards in over thirty years.
But those two Texas counties are not alone, more than a dozen more counties in The Lone Star State have been out of compliance with the 2015 federal ozone standards for nearly a decade.
This week The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized a new rule with the hopes to reduce the level of air pollution known as particulate matter. These are "microscopic particles that can penetrate deep into the lungs and harm people’s health. The new rule tightens the amount of particulate matter, often referred to as soot, permitted in the air."
These particles, which are 30 times smaller than a single strand of hair, are emitted by sources like diesel engines, wildfires, dust from construction sites, and coal-fired power plants. Some scientists call particulate matter the deadliest form of air pollution because it can cause lung and throat irritation, respiratory inflammation, irregular heartbeat and aggravate asthma.
Texas Tribune reports "The EPA projects that the new standard will prevent up to 4,500 premature deaths and 290,000 lost work days, yielding up to $46 billion in net health benefits in 2032."
“This final air quality standard will save lives and make all people healthier, especially within America’s most vulnerable and overburdened communities,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan.
Of course, we can not expect these new changes to be implemented overnight, it will take years to achieve cleaner air, but if the predictions by The EPA are achievable we owe it to ourselves to begin implementing this immediately.
10 Texas Counties with Particulate Matter Levels That Exceed New EPA Standard
"The EPA projects that the new standard will prevent up to 4,500 premature deaths and 290,000 lost work days, yielding up to $46 billion in net health benefits in 2032."
Red Dirt BBQ & Music Festival '24 Full Lineup
This year's festival will be on Saturday May, 4th. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. CT Friday, Feb. 2nd, at reddirtbbqfest.com.