Central Texas Air Quality
Visit www.AirNow.gov to see a more detailed current Air Quality Index (AQI)!
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-Georgetown 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 data on the graphs below is from EPA's AirNow. The 2021 data is preliminary. The final 2021 data will be released in spring 2022. If there are changes to the values from 2021 once the final data is released, the graphs will be updated to reflect the final values.
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.
In addition to looking at the region's "design value," it is also helpful 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.