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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Winds may be light enough and incoming background levels high enough for ozone to reach "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" in southwest sections of the Dallas-Fort Worth area; "Moderate" or, if there is enough afternoon sunshine, possibly higher on the southwest side of the Houston area; and "Moderate" in the Tyler-Longview and Waco-Killeen areas. In all cases, highest concentrations are expected in the afternoon and early evening.
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, Corpus Christi, and San Antonio areas, with highest concentrations in the afternoon and early evening.
Friday 09/02/2016 Outlook
Winds may be light enough and incoming background levels high enough for ozone to reach "Moderate" in the El Paso and Houston areas, with highest concentrations in the afternoon and early evening.
Saturday 09/03/2016 Outlook
Winds may be light enough and incoming background levels high enough for ozone to reach "Moderate" in the Beaumont-Port Arthur, Dallas-Fort Worth, El Paso, and Houston areas, with highest concentrations in the afternoon and early evening.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Thursday, September 1, 2016
Today's Alert Level
Tomorrow's Wind Speed
NNE 9 mph