News

May 17, 2017

EPA and Texas partner to monitor air quality; EPA Awards $1.6 Million to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

DALLAS (May 17, 2017) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $1,686,549 to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to support air monitoring programs. The grant will help TCEQ maintain the state’s monitoring network for fine particulate pollution, known as PM 2.5. Data of actual conditions is key to clean air programs and areas reaching attainment.

 

“A fundamental part of EPA’s ‘back to basic initiative’ is strengthening our state partnerships and this grant is an example of how we successfully do that,” said Administrator Pruitt.

 

“Air pollution has no boundaries,” said Sam Coleman, Acting EPA Regional Administrator. “This grant protects our communities and gives us a better understanding of the materials that may be affecting our air quality.”

 

PM 2.5 is composed of microscopic solids and liquid droplets suspended in air. It can contain materials such as metals; soils and dust; organic chemicals; acids, such as nitrates and sulfates; and pollen, mold spores, and other allergens. These particles can worsen heart and lung diseases, and have been linked to effects such as cardiovascular symptoms, heart attacks, asthma attacks, and bronchitis, and even premature death from heart or lung disease. Children, older adults, and those with breathing or heart problems are especially vulnerable to these effects.

 

The grant to TCEQ will help the state protect public health by monitoring for PM 2.5 pollution, including pollutants like sulfates and nitrates that can contribute to forming PM 2.5. The state will also use the funds for air quality data management systems, PM 2.5 data analyses, and reporting information to the Air Quality System national database.

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