10 Texas counties already exceed tougher national soot standards

This Wednesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), quote “finalized a long-anticipated rule aimed at reducing the level of air pollution known as particulate matter - microscopic particles that can penetrate deep into the lungs and harm people’s health.”

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Quote: "According to EPA data, from 2020 to 2022, :link: 10 Texas counties had particulate matter levels that would exceed the new standard, including four large urban counties: Dallas, Harris (which includes Houston), Tarrant (Fort Worth) and Travis (Austin). Four others are on the Texas-Mexico border: El Paso, Webb (Laredo), Hidalgo (McAllen) and Cameron (Harlingen and Brownsville).

Kleberg County (Kingsville) and Bowie County (Texarkana) are also on that list.

For residents in Texas and other states that will be required to comply with the new limits, it will not immediately mean cleaner air. Implementation is a slow, tedious process that will take years.

The EPA will take about two years to officially declare which regions are meeting the new standard and which are not. States will have at least two to three years to create a plan to help bring those areas into compliance, which must be submitted to the EPA for approval — a separate process that can take another two years."