The Air Quality Advisory Committee was created when, in January of 2010, the region was designated part of the Rider 8 Program, a program for communities near non-attainment of ozone standards, by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The program began with a great sense of urgency, as expected changes in air quality standards threatened to lead to a status of “non-attainment” for part or all of the Region. The public health and political ramifications of high ozone made this issue a top concern during fiscal year 2010.
In July, 2017, the Governor vetoed the Rider 7 Air Quality Program that HOTCOG maintained. For FY19, Limestone, Hill, Bosque, Falls, McLennan, and the City of Waco from the HOTCOG region, will begin the process of implementing and maintaining a more localized Air Quality program. Environ has already been at work since October and is reviewing the HOTCOG 2017-2018 ozone season. They have also reviewed REAL-NEAR Time Exceptional Event Modeling results to estimate effects of wildfire emissions.