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.
Strong afternoon winds will generate and transport areas of blowing dust into parts of West Texas and the Panhandle, where the duration and intensity of the dust may be enough for the overall daily PM10 AQI to reach "Unhealthy" levels in the El Paso area and "Moderate" in the Lubbock and Midland-Odessa areas, with highest concentrations in the afternoon and evening hours.
Patchy smoke from agricultural and industrial burning in Mexico and Central America will begin to spread into South Texas ahead of an advancing frontal boundary. Smoke levels will drop rapidly late in the day behind the front, but may be high enough overall for the daily PM2.5 AQI to reach the "Moderate" range in parts of the Brownsville-McAllen, Corpus Christi, and Victoria areas.
Thursday 04/27/2017 Outlook
Winds may be light enough and incoming background levels high enough for ozone to reach "Moderate" or possibly higher in the Houston area, and "Moderate" in the Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, Tyler-Longview, Victoria, and Waco-Killeen areas, with highest concentrations in the afternoon and early evening.
Friday 04/28/2017 Outlook
Smoke from agricultural and industrial burning in Mexico and Central America is forecast to spread rapidly north and northeastward across much of the eastern two-thirds of the state. While there is some uncertainty at this time about the overall coverage and density of the smoke, levels may be high enough to raise the daily PM2.5 AQI to the "Moderate" range generally east of a line from Del Rio to Gainesville.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Today's Alert Level
Tomorrow's Wind Speed
SSE 18 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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