The Clean Air Act, which was last amended in 1990, requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for pollutants considered harmful to public health and the environment. The Clean Air Act established two types of standards for these major air pollutants: primary and secondary. Primary standards set limits to protect public health, including the health of "sensitive" populations such as asthmatics, children, and the elderly. Secondary standards set limits to protect public welfare, including protection against decreased visibility, damage to animals, crops, vegetation, and buildings.
The EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS) has set NAAQS for six principal pollutants, which are called "criteria" pollutants. Those pollutants are carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide. The Dallas-Fort Worth region is in nonattainment for the pollutant ozone. For more information, click the links below to learn more, such as where the pollutant originates, its health effects, and control strategies.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has placed monitors throughout the region to measure and analyze these pollutants. These Continuous Ambient Monitoring Stations (CAMS) measure various types of pollutants and weather parameters. To learn more, visit TCEQ's Air Monitoring Sites webpage.