North Texas Formulating Strategies to Combat Ozone

8-25-05 - North Texas planners have compiled a preliminary list of ozone-fighting strategies in an effort to meet a 2010 deadline to comply with federal environmental standards.

Ideas on the list include banning outdoor barbecues on weekends, upping gas prices during ozone season and increasing inspection fees for older cars.

The nine-county Dallas-Fort Worth region faces severe sanctions, such as losing tens of millions in federal highway dollars, if it fails to reduce ozone-forming pollutants.

The North Central Texas Council of Governments compiled the list, but its officials admit some of the 1,123 ideas may not be feasible or allowed under existing federal law.

"There are things on this list I don't see happening," said David Schanbacher, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's chief engineer.

However, the list provides a start. The council plans to take the top 50 ideas and examine how each would reduce smog-forming emissions, said Chris Klaus, the council's senior program manager.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality could eventually incorporate some of the proposals into a federally approved state plan, which would outline the exact steps the region must take to meet the standards.


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