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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Patchy smoke from agricultural burning in Mexico and Central America has spread across much of South and West Texas. Overall, the daily PM2.5 AQI is forecast to reach "Moderate" levels in some parts of an area generally south of a line from El Paso to Childress to New Braunfels to Orange.
Smoke from agricultural burning in Mexico and Central America should continue over parts of South, Central, and Southeast Texas, with the daily PM2.5 AQI forecast to reach "Moderate" or possibly higher levels in the Brownsville-McAllen area, and "Moderate" levels otherwise generally along and south of a line from Del Rio to Waco to Jasper.
Wednesday 05/25/2016 Outlook
Smoke from agricultural burning in Mexico and Central America will continue to spread across much of the eastern two-thirds of Texas, with the daily PM2.5 AQI forecast to reach "Moderate" or possibly higher levels in the Brownsville-McAllen and Laredo areas, and "Moderate" levels otherwise generally east of a line from Sanderson to Wichita Falls.
Thursday 05/26/2016 Outlook
Patchy smoke from agricultural burning in Mexico and Central America will continue across much of South, Southeast, and Central Texas, although increased precipitation will start to reduce levels especially across North and East Texas. The daily PM2.5 AQI is forecast to reach "Moderate" levels generally along and south of a Del Rio-Waco-Jasper line.
Monday, May 23, 2016
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Today's Alert Level
Tomorrow's Wind Speed