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San Antonio Passes Anti-Idling Ordinance FIRST STEP IN AIR QUALITY PLAN TO DIAL BACK POLLUTION

CITY OF SAN ANTONIO COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS: 207-7234
PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 2016

San Antonio Passes Anti-Idling Ordinance

FIRST STEP IN AIR QUALITY PLAN TO DIAL BACK POLLUTION

Contact: Maria Luisa Cesar  (210) 861-9030

SAN ANTONIO (June 30, 2016)  ?  In an effort to reduce a common cause of air pollution in San Antonio, City Council approved an anti-idling ordinance that will help cut the creation of ground-level ozone that exacerbates health issues like asthma and bronchitis.

District 8 City Councilman Ron Nirenberg, chairman of the AACOG Air Improvement Resource Executive Committee, a regional collaboration of local leaders working on air quality measures, applauded the ordinance. The measure, approved last month by Bexar County, will prohibit vehicles weighing more than 14,000 pounds from idling for more than five minutes in designated areas.

“Clean air is a public health priority and it is an economic imperative,” Nirenberg said. “Anti-idling measures alone will not address the issue, but it is certainly a positive first step in an air quality action plan for San Antonio.”

San Antonio is the only remaining large municipality in attainment of federal air quality standards but that is expected to change with more stringent standards from the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA. The federal agency reduced acceptable amounts of ground-level ozone to 70 parts per billion. Based on the averages used to calculate compliance with air quality standards, San Antonio is expected to be designated in nonattainment next year. The designation will likely set off new federal regulations and fees that would make it more expensive to do business in the city. 

In the Spring of 2015, the City of San Antonio, in collaboration with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, created options to tackle pollution. The anti-idling ordinance will go into effect on Jan. 1, 

2017 and includes several exemptions such as vehicles with a sleeper berth during a government-mandated rest period and stopped traffic.

“Today's approval of this ordinance is a great first step in addressing idling,” said Rebecca Q. Cedillo, San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Chair. “Perhaps, on ozone alert days, the media can issue a common-sense reminder for drivers to stop idling their vehicles while waiting in line.”