The North Central Texas ozone season occurs from March through October, and the region has been designated as moderate nonattainment for air quality as it relates to ozone. The 10-county region must reach attainment by December 31, 2018. The North Central Texas Council of Governments has several air quality programs in place that aim to improve our region’s air quality and move into attainment for the pollutant ozone.
Many focus on education and/or the development, implementation and enforcement of emissions reduction strategies.
Air North Texas
Air North Texas, the region’s clean air public awareness campaign, implements air quality education and outreach efforts each year. This year, Air North Texas hosted the fifth annual Clean Air Action Day on June 27, during which North Texans were asked to do at least one new thing to help improve air quality. Results from the 2014 Clean Air Action Day are being determined, but preliminary participant numbers have increased. Additionally, Air North Texas encourages businesses, governments and individuals to implement specific clean air strategies when air pollution is forecasted to reach unhealthy levels.This campaign offers easy tips to help improve air quality such as carpooling, using mass transit, conserving electricity and more.
The Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Clean Cities Coalition is a locally based, public/private partnership group that seeks to advance energy security, protect environmental and public health and stimulate economic development by promoting practices and decisions to reduce petroleum consumption and improve air quality, primarily in the transportation sector. In 2013, DFW Clean Cities was able to reduce more than 17 million of gallons of petroleum with the efforts of the more than 150 stakeholders who are using alternative fuel and advanced vehicle technologies. The coalition’s main goals are to facilitate and increase purchases of alternative fuel vehicles, support alternative fuel infrastructure and promote informed consumer choice on fuel economy, including hybrid vehicles. The DFW Clean Cities Coalition also hosts several events each year, facilitates clean vehicle trainings, provides updates on available funding, and has official meetings once a quarter.
AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine Program
This program provides financial assistance to registered vehicle owners to repair or replace vehicles that have failed the state emissions test. The program is offered to residents in nine of the 10 nonattainment counties. Since 2003, the AirCheckTexas program has replaced 29,287 vehicles and repaired 29,111 vehicles.
Locally Enforced Idling Restrictions
Locally Enforced Idling Restrictions is a control measure aimed at reducing emissions caused by idling of heavy-duty gasoline and diesel vehicles. NCTCOG has promoted this initiative by developing outreach materials and assisting local governments with adoption, education and enforcement.
The expansion of onsite infrastructure in the DFW region is an ongoing NCTCOG initiative focused on reducing idling. Recently, NCTCOG has provided funding for the addition of 116 electrified spaces, for a total of 164 publicly available spaces in the region. These sites help reduce air pollution and save fuel by giving truck drivers access to auxiliary power without idling the main engine of the vehicle. Thanks to these projects, the DFW region now has four public TSE sites available across three counties.
Electric Vehicles North Texas
The Electric Vehicles North Texas (EVNT) program seeks to prepare the region for the widespread availability of electric vehicles (EV) through a partnership of local governments, business and other interested parties. As the number of EVs in the region increases, EVNT looks for ways to overcome barriers to the adoption and use of this clean vehicle technology. This program is a subcommittee of the DFW Clean Cities Coalition.
For information on these and other initiatives, visit nctcog.org/trans/air/programs.