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Home > Government > Strategic Initiatives > Simply Sustainable > Air Quality

Air Quality

The City of Denton participates in numerous programs aimed to improve regional air quality and actively seeks to reduce air pollutants emitted from municipal operations. The City is partnering with the North Central Texas Council of Government, the coordinating agency for the North Texas region, to bring about awareness and action to reduce vehicles on DFW roads that emit greenhouse gases and other air pollutants, including nitrogen oxide (a precursor to ozone), that contribute to declining respiratory health and smoggy conditions. The City’s complete plan, referencing its air quality efforts, can be found within the Simply Sustainable Plan.


 

Ozone Explained
Ozone pollution is a larger problem during warmer months, when weather conditions necessary to form ground-level ozone normally occur. Pollution from traffic, industry, and other sources, combined with high temperatures and stagnant air conditions of the summer months, make North Central Texas an ideal incubator for ground-level ozone. When ozone concentrations exceed safe levels, based on the Air Quality Index, an Ozone Action Day is called. Currently, the North Central Texas area is in non-attainment for ozone, meaning the maximum concentration of ozone is regularly exceeded. If progress is not made toward reducing ozone, the area can face sanctions and will spend more financial resources on addressing the health impacts of unsafe air.

 
Taking Action
Denton has been an early adopter of technology and procedures that have had a measurable impact on municipal emissions of both air pollutants and greenhouse gases. The City remains committed to reducing air emissions and helping to improve air quality in the region, and supports these efforts through the following programs:
  • Upgrading the City’s fleet to alternative fuel and electric vehicles where appropriate
  • Reducing idling through an anti-idling policy ordinance
  • Construction of resource efficient and LEED-certified City buildings
  • Improving the energy efficiency of existing City buildings
  • Increasing bicycle trails and lanes to improve non-vehicle transit accessibility
  • Planting trees to improve air quality

There is a direct connection between energy use and air quality. Improving the energy efficiency of homes and businesses and using renewable energy sources can go a long way toward reducing air emissions.


  • What Residents Can Do
    Think about transportation choices and how vehicles are maintained and operated. Many of the ozone-forming chemicals that are emitted into our air come from vehicles.

    Transportation
    • Walk, bike, or use alternative transportation whenever possible.
    • Utilize bike trails and lanes to cycle to work or the store.
    • Keep up with your vehicle’s maintenance schedule, and bring it in promptly for repairs. 
    • Always maintain properly inflated tires. Remember that cold temperatures in the fall and winter will cause the pressure to drop. 
    • If you need to purchase a new car, consider purchasing an electric vehicle. Check for available tax credits. 
    • Don’t idle your car or truck, especially in school zones. You can read more about the dangers of idling and learn how to report idling vehicles.
    • Try Parking It offers a way for residents of North Central Texas to track their commutes and energy-saving measures, such as carpooling and bringing lunch.
    • Anyone in the North Central Texas area who sees a smoking vehicle dial #SMOKE (#76653) and report the license plate, location, date, and time of the viewing. The organization will contact the vehicle owner and notify them that they may have an emissions problem and refer them to the appropriate programs to get the vehicle inspected and repaired.
    • The Air Check Texas grant program assists vehicle owners with emissions-related repairs or the purchase of a replacement vehicle.
    • The City of Denton has a map of current and planned routes, along with bicycle safety information and laws pertaining to cycling and sharing the road with cyclists.
     
    Energy Efficiency  
    Stay Updated
    Check out Air North Texas for information about air quality issues, sign up for ozone alerts, and get more helpful tips on how to reduce the air quality impact of daily activities.

     
  • What Businesses Can Do
    Think about transportation choices and how vehicles are maintained and operated. Many of the ozone-forming chemicals that are emitted into our air come from vehicles.
     
    Transportation
    • Don’t idle your vehicle. Motor vehicles weighing more than 14,000 pounds are prohibited from idling for more than five minutes within the Denton city limits, as well as several other areas throughout North Texas.
     
    Energy Efficiency
       
    Stay Updated 
    Check out Air North Texas for information about air quality issues, sign up for ozone alerts, and get more helpful tips on how to reduce the air quality impact of daily activities.