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Clean Air in Beaumont/Port Arthur Goal of Industry-Community Coalition

Release Date: 3/22/2004
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

      Four groups have come together to form an extraordinary coalition benefiting public health in Beaumont/Port Arthur. An industry forum, community environmental organizations, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have made commitments to address current air quality concerns and continue working together in a lasting partnership.

      "This agreement will help accelerate air quality improvements for residents of Beaumont/Port Arthur.  By collaborating to combine voluntary and regulatory efforts, we will bring benefits to the area above and beyond regulatory requirements," EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said.

      EPA has reclassified the Beaumont/Port Arthur area to "serious" non-attainment for the one-hour ozone standard.  "Serious" is the third of five progressive air quality non-attainment classifications under the Clean Air Act. The area does not currently meet the health-based one-hour standard for ozone.

      The reclassification requires that the area take steps to reduce pollution and reach health-based levels by November 2005. The coalition worked together to plan these steps. For example, industries have committed resources for public awareness campaigns, empowering the community with information.  Industry is also providing increased air monitoring and emission reductions beyond those required in their permits.

      The TCEQ is documenting the groups' commitments by including them in a revised State Implementation Plan.  EPA and TCEQ will continue to bring the stakeholders together, building new and better ways to protect public health and the environment.

      Ground-level ozone is an air pollutant that causes human health problems and damages crops and other vegetation. It is a key ingredient of urban smog. More information about health effects of ground-level ozone is available on the Internet at