North Texans breathed polluted air nearly 30% of 2018, report says

Air quality in Dallas-Fort Worth reached above-normal pollution levels on 106 days, according to the report.

XRB3P3XQ6RDTBMRD7HEHN7ODNEAir quality in Dallas-Fort Worth reached above-normal pollution levels on 106 days in 2018, according to a new report by the Environment Texas Research and Policy Center.

North Texans were among the 108 million Americans who lived in areas that saw more than 100 days of poor air quality in 2018, according to the report.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area’s 106 days of poor air quality put the metropolitan area at No. 10 among the country’s 10 most-populated metro areas with more than 100 days of poor air quality.

The Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario area in California, east of Los Angeles, took the top spot with 227 days with above-normal pollution levels, according to the report. It was followed by the San Diego area with 160 days.

The Houston area landed in the ninth spot, with 110 days with elevated air pollution.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality did not respond to a request for comment.

Air pollution in North Texas came from several sources, including, gasoline, diesel, natural gas, coal and fossil fuels used for transportation, and other industrial processes, according to the report. That pollution creates ozone, which is the main component of smog, and particulate matter.

Particulate matter can have harmful effects on cardiovascular and respiratory systems, leading to health problems such as asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Ozone pollution can also cause asthma attacks, and even cause lung damage after long-term exposure, according to the EPA.

A separate report released late last year by Environment Texas Research and Policy Center found that industrial facilities in North Texas released 78,737 pounds of pollution into the air during 2017 without a permit authorizing them to do so.

Across Texas, industrial facilities reported releasing more than 63 million pounds of pollution into the air without permission in 2017, an increase of 27 percent compared with the previous year, the report found. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has the authority to issue fines for as much as $2.3 billion for the violations, but the report found that the TCEQ issued only $1.2 million in fines in 2017.

In a changing climate, the center’s latest report warns that days when pollution levels are above normal could increase. Warmer weather, for example, could help the formation of ozone, and drier conditions combined with warm weather could also increase how often wildfires occur and how intense they could be, the report said.

via North Texans breathed polluted air nearly 30% of 2018, report says

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