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An Introduction to Texas Senate Bill 5
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Four areas in Texas have been designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as non-attainment areas because ozone levels exceed the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) maximum allowable limits: Beaumont-Port Arthur, El Paso, Dallas-Ft. Worth, and Houston-Galveston-Brazoria. The El Paso area also violates the NAAQS maximum allowable limits for carbon monoxide and respirable particulate matter. These areas face severe sanctions, such as loss of access to federal transportation funds, if attainment is not reached by 2007. Four additional areas in the state are also approaching national ozone limits, including: Austin, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and the Longview-Tyler-Marshall area. Ozone is formed when oxides of nitrogen (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and oxygen (O2) combine in the presence of strong sunlight. In response to this effort the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) developed a strategy with the EPA that reduced VOCs from large regulated, stationary point sources by over 50 percent during the 1990 to 1996 period. Although this first strategy was very successful, levels of ozone failed to meet the national standards, and a second strategy had to be developed to achieve compliance with the ozone standard. In 2001, the Texas State Senate passed Senate Bill 5 (SB 5) to further reduce ozone levels by encouraging the reduction of emissions of NOx by sources that are currently not regulated by the TNRCC, including area sources (e.g., residential emissions), on-road mobile sources (e.g., all types of motor vehicles), and non-road mobile sources (e.g., aircraft, locomotives, etc.). This paper outlines the legislation, and responsibilities of the different government entities and the important role that private industry is being encouraged to play.
Haberl, J. S.; Culp, C.; Yazdani, B.; Fitzpatrick, T.; Turner, W. D. (2002). An Introduction to Texas Senate Bill 5. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from