Welcome to Breathe Easy Waco!
Your Regional Partner in Air Quality
Using knowledge and action to improve air quality, reduce ozone formation, enhance health, and reduce the need for regulation in the Heart of Texas.
The Heart of Texas Council of Governments (HOTCOG) is an organization of local governments working together voluntarily to solve mutual problems and plan for the future of the six county area. Currently, HOTCOG has over 80 member governments made up of: counties, cities, school districts, community colleges, and special districts. HOTCOG was originally established in 1966 and serves a geographic area covering Bosque, Falls, Freestone, Hill, Limestone and McLennan counties.
Regional councils, by law, are political subdivisions of the state; with authority to plan and initiate needed cooperative projects but does not have powers to regulate or tax, which are exclusively assigned to cities and counties. As any other political subdivision, regional councils must abide by laws governing open meetings, open records and the conduct of public officials. HOTCOG is also required to obtain an annual audit to assure accountability of public funds.
Another round of strong afternoon winds are forecast to generate and transport blowing dust into parts of West Texas and the Panhandle, with daily PM10 AQI levels expected to reach "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" in the Lubbock area and "Moderate" or possibly higher in the Amarillo and Midland-Odessa areas, and PM2.5 levels in these areas generally remaining in the "Moderate" range overall. The intensity and duration of the dust in the El Paso area is not expected to be enough to raise the daily PM10 and PM2.5 AQI beyond the "Good" range overall.
Patchy haze and smoke from industrial and agricultural burning in Mexico and Central America is expected to continue in parts of South Texas, with the overall daily PM2.5 AQI possibly reaching the "Moderate" range in parts of the Brownsville-McAllen, Corpus Christi, and Laredo areas. Some of this smoke may briefly spread into parts of Southeast and Central Texas by early in the day before diminishing rapidly behind a frontal boundary. However, this combined with brief elevations in PM2.5 due to transported suspended dust raised the previous two days in West Texas traversing the state along the advancing boundary could be enough for the daily PM2.5 AQI to reach "Moderate" levels overall in the Austin, Beaumont-Port Arthur, Houston, and Victoria areas as well.
Sunday 03/26/2017 Outlook
Patchy haze and smoke from industrial and agricultural burning in Mexico and Central America is expected to continue in parts of South Texas and rapidly surge back northward into parts of Central, Southeast, and East Texas, with the overall daily PM2.5 AQI possibly reaching the "Moderate" range in parts of the Austin, Beaumont-Port Arthur, Brownsville-McAllen, Corpus Christi, Houston, Laredo, San Antonio, Tyler-Longview, and Victoria areas.
Monday 03/27/2017 Outlook
Patchy haze and smoke from industrial and agricultural burning in Mexico and Central America should diminish from northwest to southeast behind an advancing weak frontal boundary, though fine particulate levels are forecast to remain high enough long enough for the daily PM2.5 AQI to remain in the "Moderate" range in the Brownsville-McAllen, Corpus Christi, Houston, Laredo, and Victoria areas.
Tuesday 03/28/2017 Extended Outlook
Patchy haze and smoke from industrial and agricultural burning in Mexico and Central America should continue in South Texas and begin spreading back northward later in the day into parts of South Central and Southeast Texas. Overall, the daily PM2.5 AQI is forecast to reach "Moderate" levels in the Brownsville-McAllen, Corpus Christi, Houston, Laredo, San Antonio, and Victoria areas.
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Today's Alert Level
Tomorrow's Wind Speed
SE 17 mph
What is Ozone?
Ozone is a pollutant formed when two classes of chemicals, Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), are exposed to sunlight. This reaction creates several compounds of which the most hazardous to human health is ozone. Ozone is the primary component of smog and is regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
What are the Sources of NOx and VOC’s?
NOx is produced almost entirely as a by-product of high-temperature combustion.
Common sources of NOx include:
• automobiles, trucks, and marine vessels
• gasoline powered lawn equipment
• construction equipment
• power generation
• industrial processes
• natural gas furnaces
VOCs include many organic chemicals that vaporize easily, such as those found in gasoline and solvents. They are emitted from many sources, including:
• gasoline stations
• motor vehicles, airplanes, trains, boats
• petroleum storage tanks
• oil refineries
• biogenic, or natural emissions from trees and plants
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