Stakeholder Analysis &Market Based Clean Air.
The purpose of this report is to present a stakeholder analysis regarding current clean air initiatives in the Houston-Galveston eight county region. It is not an exhaustive report on clean air initiatives, but rather, an overview of policies affecting diesel engines and industries emitting nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter. This report will discuss the following: 1) Health, social, and economic costs due to NOx, ozone, and PM emissions and 2) Current and potential market-based air pollution policies. The above-mentioned points will be discussed in the context of several stakeholders in the region including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC), the City of Houston, regional industries, and individual consumers.
The Houston-Galveston region, comprised of eight counties, is currently in non-attainment for ozone under the Clean Air Act (CAA). Because of EPA rules, the area is required to reach attainment in ozone levels by November 15, 2007. However, several challenges prevent the area from reaching attainment status. To comply with federal standards, the TNRCC has developed a State Implementation Plan (SIP) with the intent of lowering NOx emissions sufficiently to comply with the 1 hour ozone standard. NOx emissions must be lowered because they are a precursor to ozone formation when exposed to sunlight and high air temperatures. To deal with this problem, the City of Houston has its own emissions reduction plan to reduce NOx, and therefore reduce ground-level ozone. In its attempts to reduce these pollutants, the City also expects to lower fine particle emissions to ensure compliance with the proposed PM2.5 standard being pressed by the EPA. PM2.5 particles are extremely small dust and soot particles that present serious public health risks. This new standard will come into full effect during the next decade.