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EPA Reclassifies Dallas/Fort Worth Air Quality

Release Date: 2/5/1998
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the change in the clean air classification from Moderate to Serious nonattainment for the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The classification was raised because the area failed to meet the health-based one-hour air quality standard for ground-level ozone by the Nov. 15, 1996, Clean Air Act deadline.

"EPA is eager to work with state and local officials to improve the air quality in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Millions of area citizens are relying on our joint actions to protect them from the harmful health effects of polluted air. We are encouraged by the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission's recent announcement of new measures to speed the progress toward meeting our common goal of clean air," Acting Regional Administrator Jerry Clifford said.

The change in rating from Moderate nonattainment was proposed by EPA Sept. 2, 1997, and based on air monitoring data from 1994, 1995 and 1996. More than 150 comments, most of them in favor of the proposal to reclassify, were received during the public comment period which ended Dec. 1, 1997.

Clean air nonattainment classifications are Marginal, Moderate, Serious, Severe and Extreme. Each category requires an air quality plan to meet specific improvement goals. The goals are designed to help areas progress toward meeting Clean Air Act standards in a timely manner.

The new classification requires the Dallas/Fort Worth area to create a plan that will reduce ozone-forming air emissions from 1996 levels by at least 9 percent by 1999 and meet the one-hour ozone standard no later than Nov. 15, 1999.

"Improving the air in the Dallas/Fort Worth area will require everyone - individuals, business and industry leaders and government officials - to work together. To protect public health, it is imperative that we redouble our efforts toward this common goal," Mr. Clifford said.