State Perspectives on Regulating Background Ozone

On June 21, the Environment Subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing on State Perspectives on Regulating Background Ozone. Among those called to testify was Diane Rath, executive director of the Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) in San Antonio, Texas. She provided background on the great progress the San Antonio-New Braunfels Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) has made over the years in reducing ozone, and explained some of the complicated factors used to calculate the region’s ozone levels. For AACOG and other regions facing variables outside of their control, federal ozone standards should be flexible enough to account for background ozone in trying to maintain healthy air quality for their citizens. Regional Success in Reducing Ozone Levels “The San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA has experienced significant improvement in its ozone levels in the last several years, with nearly a 20 percent decline in design value from… Read More State Perspectives on Regulating Background Ozone

Texas Regional Council Preparation and Recovery Efforts for Hurricane Harvey

If you watched any of the coverage for Hurricane Harvey at the end of August, you have an idea of the devastation it caused. Hundreds of images filled our television sets and computer screens, from totally submerged apartment buildings to water-filled streets that looked more like canals, not to mention the hundreds of people displaced to shelters. Some areas of Texas received more than 50 inches of rain from the storm. The Houston Chronicle reported that the hurricane broke the record for heaviest rainfall ever logged in the United States during a tropical storm, totaling 64.58 inches in Nederland, Texas. Local, state, and federal officials all agree on one thing: it will take Southeast Texas months, if not years, to fully recover. Local officials and regional councils had pivotal roles to play in the preparation and recovery efforts for Hurricane Harvey. The following sections highlight just some of the actions… Read More Texas Regional Council Preparation and Recovery Efforts for Hurricane Harvey