Air Quality

Welcome to our site, dedicated to clean air in Travis County. We are part of the Natural Resources and Environment Quality division of TNR (Transportation and Natural Resources.) Keep checking in as we build our site with news, links and other resources to help you access information and programs in support of Clean Travis County Air!

The air in Travis County may look clear and clean, but Travis County is known as a near-nonattainment for ozone. That means Travis County is close to being designated a dirty city like Dallas and Houston. Travis County is committed to participating in air quality initiatives with other regional partners to improve our air quality. The regional effort is coordinated through the Capital Area Council of Governments’ Air Central Texas initiative.

Ground-level ozone is the area’s number one air quality issue. Close second is particulate matter for our area. Poor air quality has a negative impact on a person’s health and our ecosystem.

What is ozone and what are the health impacts?

What is Travis County doing?

Travis County is a member of Clean Air Coalition, a voluntary association of organizations that support the regional effort toward improvement of air quality in the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).

The purpose of the CAC is to:

  • Develop, adopt, and implement clean-air plans to achieve and maintain compliance with federal ground-level ozone standards
  • Establish and monitor a regional effort toward the improvement of air quality
  • Develop policies and strategies that will provide guidance for each of its independent governing bodies about actions that will achieve clean air in Central Texas
  • Work cooperatively to achieve clean air standards that will protect public health while allowing organizations to select measures best suited to each community's and organization's needs and resources

In December 2018, the Clean Air Coalition and other stakeholders developed and implemented the 2019-2023 Regional Air Quality Plan designed to help keep Central Texas’ air clean. The regional plan serves as a guide to maintain and improve outdoor air quality; reduce the impact of emissions; and mitigate health, environmental, economic and social impacts of regional air pollution.

In addition to working with local governments and business to develop strategies to reduce air pollution, Travis County has been recognized as one of the Best Workplaces for Commuters in the nation since 2019. Travis County is 1 of 5 organizations in Texas with this designation. To be nationally designated as one of the Best Workplaces for Commuters, Travis County has met the National Standard of Excellence in offering our employees exceptional commuter benefits.

best workplaces for commuters 2020

Travis County has several strategies for encouraging employees to commute to and from work other than in a single occupied vehicle:

  • Free transit passes for all employees
  • Showers and lockers for employee who bike or walk to work
  • Telework policy
  • Compressed work week options
  • Commuter Leave Incentive Program

What can individuals do?

  • Drive less/take public transportation/bike or walk.
  • Drive smart – combine trips, no sudden stops, drive the speed limit.
  • Maintain your vehicle – tires are properly inflated, check that engine light.
  • Use low VOC paint instead of oil based
  • Turn off lights.
  • Use propane instead of charcoal for grilling.
  • Use a clothesline.
  • Use both sides of a paper.
  • Choose products that have less packaging.
  • Use a broom instead of a leaf blower.
  • Don’t use plastic bags.
  • Reduce, reuse, and recycle.
  • Carry a cup or a reusable water bottle and ditch buying bottled water.
  • Use rechargeable batteries.
  • Buy Energy Star appliances.
  • Use cold water instead of hot.
  • Mulch or compost leaves and yard waste.

Be Air Aware – Check air quality daily by checking our site, or go to airnow.gov.

AQI Basics for Ozone and Particle Pollution
Daily AQI Color Levels of Concern Values of Index Description of Air Quality
Green Good 0 to 50 Air quality is satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk.
Yellow Moderate 51 to 100 Air quality is acceptable. However, there may be a risk for some people, particularly those who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.
Orange Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 101 to 150 Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is less likely to be affected.
Red Unhealthy 151 to 200 Some members of the general public may experience health effects; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.
Purple Very Unhealthy 201 to 300 Health alert: The risk of health effects is increased for everyone.
Maroon Hazardous 301 and higher Health warning of emergency conditions: everyone is more likely to be affected.

Commute Solutions

Tired of always driving everywhere alone in your car? The myCommuteSolutions site can help you find a carpool buddy, plan a transit trip, map out a bike route, and more! You can even log your commute to see fuel saved, calories burned and pollution reduced. See which options work best for you when you sign up for myCommuteSolutions.

The myCommuteSolutions site serves Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson counties.

700 lavaca sm

Cynthia C. McDonald
County Executive

700 Lavaca Street, 5th Floor
PO Box 1748
Austin, Texas 78767 (Map)

Phone: (512) 854-9383
Fax: (512) 854-4697

Email TNR

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TAX RATE: TRAVIS COUNTY ADOPTED A TAX RATE THAT WILL RAISE MORE TAXES FOR MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS THAN LAST YEAR'S TAX RATE. THE TAX RATE WILL EFFECTIVELY BE RAISED BY 3.6 PERCENT AND WILL RAISE TAXES FOR MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS ON A $100,000 HOME BY APPROXIMATELY $11.00.
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