Air Quality in North Texas
DFW Ozone Non-Attainment Area
10 counties are classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as moderate non-attainment for 8-hour ozone levels: Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County, Ellis County, Johnson County, Kaufman County, Parker County, Rockwall County, Tarrant County and Wise County.
How does Ozone form?
Ozone forms when nitrogen oxides (NOx) and/or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) combine with sunlight and intense heat. Primary emissions sources include:
- On-road vehicles (cars, trucks and buses)
- Off-road vehicles (construction equipment, lawn equipment, aircraft and locomotives)
- Point sources (cement and power plants)
- Area sources (oil and gas drilling, bakeries, paint shops and dry cleaners)
- Biogenic sources (vegetation and forest fires)
Historical emphasis has indicated that NOx reductions are the most appropriate way the region can lower ozone levels. Of the emissions sources listed above, on-road vehicle activities account for nearly half of the NOx inventory.
Watch our What is Ozone? video.
High Ozone Concentrations Can Cause Health Problems
Inhaling ground-level ozone is especially dangerous for people who have asthma or respiratory problems, and they may experience increased frequency of asthma attacks and health care needs. Young children may also be at risk for developmental problems associated with ozone exposure. Asthma rates have more than doubled over the last 20 years. People without respiratory problems or asthma can also experience health effects from ozone exposure:
- Throat irritation
- Pain, burning or discomfort when taking a deep breath
- Chest tightening
- Shortness of breath
Air Quality Index
The Air Quality Index commonly known as the AQI is an index used for reporting daily air quality levels. Colors indicate how polluted the air is and how to protect your health. It is important to know the air quality index to better understand the severity of pollution and related health impacts.
More information about the air quality index is available at AIRNow.gov and NCTCOG.org. Sign up to receive Air Pollution Action (Watch) Day Alerts to know when the region’s air quality may be unhealthy or worse.
About Air North Texas
Air North Texas is a regional campaign to generate widespread awareness of air quality issues and is operated through the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG). Their goal is to not only educate North Texans about the problem, but to encourage and empower them to become part of the solution. The Air North Texas network of individuals and organizations believes that every person can help create cleaner, clearer skies in our region. For more information, visit the official Air North Texas website.
Clean Air Action Day
Clean Air Action Day falls on the first Friday of summer. On this day, individuals, organizations, and corporations across our region come together to commit to make at least one clean air decision to help us all breathe cleaner air and build healthier communities in North Texas. Make your pledge to take action for clean air today!
City of Plano Partner Awards
Visit our accolades page to see our partner awards.
- Use mass transit like DART, Trinity Metro or DCTA.
- Carpool or vanpool.
- Combine trips.
- Limit or avoid idling.
- Obey the speed limit.
- Bicycle or walk instead of drive.
- Consider clean fuels and technology.
- Report smoking vehicles.
- Maintain vehicles by getting them inspected, keeping tires properly inflated and changing filters regularly.
Be Air Aware
- Sign up to receive Air Pollution Action (Watch) Day email alerts.
- Know the Air Quality Index (AQI) and what each of the colors indicates.
- Participate in Clean Air Action Day (first Friday of the summer).
Spread the Word