Central Texas Air Quality

Central Texas Air Pollution Levels Compared to National Standards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) that all areas of the country are required to meet. The EPA is required to set these standards at levels that will protect human health and the environment. In most cases, NAAQS are set using multi-year averages, so an area like the Austin-Round Rock metro area can actually experience a few days a year when air pollution levels are considered "unhealthy for sensitive groups" while still being in compliance with the NAAQS.

The map above is a state-wide look at 2017 ozone design values by county where data is available. Hover over counties to get detail info about that counties' design value.   

Central Texas Air Pollution Levels Compared to Health Standards

Local air quality can affect our daily lives and like the weather, it can change from day to day. The EPA developed the Air Quality Index, or AQI, to make information available about the health effects of the five most common air pollutants, and how to avoid those effects. The following figures look at the air pollution concentrations in the region in comparison with the AQI.

2017 Ozone Dv Legend

The map above shows the ozone monitoring stations within the region and the number of ozone AQI days that were measured at moderate or worse levels at the monitor. The darker red is the higher number of moderate or worse levels at the monitor. You can hover over the data points for more details. 

In addition to looking at the region's "design value," it is also to look at the total number of days when air pollution levels are not considered "good." The following figure shows the number of days each year when the highest ozone levels were "moderate" or worse.

Current Ozone and PM2.5 Levels in the Region

To view current ozone and PM2.5 levels being measured in the region, visit TCEQ's website.