'Ozone Advance' participation dodges potentially very expensive federal mandates
San Antonio has gotten another break in our effort to maintain clean air without dealing with punitive sanctions from the federal government, 1200 WOAI news reports.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the regions’ application to enter the Ozone Advance Program, which allows the 12 county region to implement its own solutions to making sure the air is cleaned.
“Our ozone levels so far this year put us very near to violation of clean air standards,” said Peter Bella, director of National Resources at the Alamo Area Council of Governments. “Violation this year, however, will not necessarily require us to set up mandatory state and federal clean air programs locally. We need to keep our air clean during 2013-2015 especially.”
Participation in the program allows voluntary compliance with federal clean air requirements. The main duty of citizens is to pay attention to those Air Quality Health Alert Days.
Officials say the acceptance is a critical step in the area’s resource management. The EPA has the authority to require expensive annual tailpipe inspections, which are currently the law in many cities, and which can force some cars off the road. In extreme cases, the EPA could even limit the expansion of industrial facilities, and could require all speed limits in the eight county metro to be cut to 55 mph.