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.
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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While background levels of PM2.5 are somewhat elevated in the Houston area this morning, winds later today are expected to become strong enough to keep air quality in the "Good" range at most locations in Houston today. Elsewhere in the state, moderate winds and/or low incoming background levels should help to keep air quality in the "Good" range statewide.
Winds may be light enough for the daily PM2.5 to reach the lower end of the "Moderate" range in parts of the El Paso area, with highest concentrations in the morning and evening. Elsewhere in the state, moderate winds and/or low incoming background levels should help to keep air quality in the "Good" range.
Thursday 02/18/2016 Outlook
Moderate to strong winds and/or low incoming background levels should help to keep air quality in the "Good" range statewide.
Friday 02/19/2016 Outlook
Moderate winds and/or low incoming background levels should help to keep air quality in the "Good" range statewide.
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Today's Alert Level
Tomorrow's Wind Speed