Emissions Inventory for Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua
Project Description: With funding from EPA in fiscal year 2011, the Border Affairs team has contracted with the Center for Energy and Environmental Resources (CEER) at the University of Texas at Austin to collaborate with Mexican authorities on initiating development of a new emissions inventory for Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua using 2008 data. El Paso, Texas shares an air basin—the Paso del Norte—with Ciudad Juárez, located directly across the Rio Grande. Air pollution generated in one city can get transported to the other city, the direction depending on seasonal changes in wind patterns. For this reason, knowledge of emission sources throughout the basin is valuable for the development of control strategies.
The TCEQ expects that the imminent promulgation by the EPA of a new, stricter eight-hour ozone standard will result in El Paso being in "nonattainment." Under previous standards, El Paso was in nonattainment for ozone for several years, but a plan developed and implemented by the TCEQ and El Paso resulted in a reduction of peak ambient ozone concentrations and a redesignation of El Paso as being in compliance.
Assuming a return to nonattainment status in the near future, the TCEQ and El Paso will need to develop a new control strategy, based on programs that will reduce emissions from various sources and therefore result in lower ambient concentrations. In order to estimate the reductions in ambient concentrations that would result from the possible programs that will be considered, the TCEQ will use computer models that track the implications of the different emission reductions. Access to relatively recent data about emissions in Cd. Juárez will be very helpful in this process. The existing inventory for that city is based on 2005 data.
The effort in fiscal year 2011 will focus on generating data for four categories of emission sources—area, on-road motor vehicles, nonroad mobile sources, and biogenic. The project will include preliminary work on identifying point sources, but not the actual compilation of data. The latter will be accomplished in fiscal year 2012 if additional funding is available from the EPA.
Possession of basin-wide emissions data will help inform the TCEQ as it works with El Paso on developing a new control strategy. Even though the TCEQ only has jurisdiction over emissions on the U.S./Texas side of the border, the existence of the binational Joint Advisory Committee, on Air Quality Improvement in the Paso del Norte means that cooperation on the development of programs on both sides is quite possible. Mexico of course would like to improve air quality in Juárez and there is a history of complementary actions on the two sides of the border.