Ozone Action Days are declared on hot, sunny, still days when conditions are most favorable for the accumulation of unhealthy levels of ground-level ozone. Forecasters at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) make their forecasts a day in advance. Ozone Action Days are forecasted for many of Texas' larger urban areas - Austin, Beaumont-Port Arthur, Corpus Christi, Dallas-Fort Worth (where it's called an "Air Pollution Watch"), El Paso, Houston-Galveston-Brazoria (where it's called an "Ozone Watch"), San Antonio (where it's called an "Air Quality Health Alert") and Tyler-Longview-Marshall.
What are the Effects of Ozone Pollution?
Exposure to high concentrations of ground-level can cause a variety of respiratory (breathing) problems. Ozone pollution aggravates asthma and can cause respiratory infections. Ozone pollution adversely impacts plant life, reducing crop yields and killing trees.
Why is it Important to take "Action" on Ozone Action Days?
Besides the adverse effects of ozone pollution, high levels of ground-level ozone can violate federal air quality standards. Violating these standards can lead to a variety of sanctions. More expensive, reformulated gasoline can be required. Federal highway funds can be withheld, making it more difficult to improve transportation. Emissions inspections can be required for personal vehicles. Cars and trucks can become more expensive because of new emissions equipment.