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TCEQ’s 'Special Projects' Funded by EPA

Since 2008, the EPA has awarded grant funding to the Border Affairs team to contract for a number of “special projects” related to air quality or energy generation and use in the border region.

The team has contracted with appropriate outside parties to implement these projects:

  1. The Joint Advisory Committee's  (JAC)  for the Improvement of Air Quality in the Paso del Norte facilitates collaboration between Texas, New Mexico, Chihuahua and Ysleta del Sur del Pueblo (a federally recognized Native America Tribe) and multiple local jurisdictions. TCEQ plays a lead role in the JAC by organizing meetings with stakeholders three times annually to discuss air quality monitoring. research, modeling, and policies to track to reduce air pollution. 
  2. Binational Air Quality Fund (AQF)   is a collaborative effort of the JAC by the states of Chihuahua and Texas with the support from the state of New Mexico and the municipality of Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua. The AQF was created on February 2021 and is held by the North American Development Bank. The AQF supports long-term, sustainable operations and maintenance in support if the air quality monitoring network in Cd. Juarez, to ensure continuous air quality data for the entire air basin. It will help enhance the binational air quality information system, health risk communication, and effectiveness of air improvement projects in the area. 
  3. Ceilometer under collaboration with the University of Texas at el Paso (UTEP) and the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez (UACJ) TCEQ works to enhance understanding how meteorological and topographical conditions interact to affect the air quality in the Paso del Norte, specifically as it relates to ozone information. UTEP conducts analysis of the spatial and temporal distribution of the planetary boundary layer (PBL) for the El Paso - Cd. Juárez Airshed using a network of three ceilometers, one of them located in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. UTEP and UACJ maintain and operate the equipment, conduct data analysis and research, and present their findings to key stakeholders in the region, including at the JAC. Research documents and reports are available here. Data research are used by TCEQ Air Quality Division experts to strengthen their work for the improvement of air quality in El Paso, Texas. 
  4. Low cost sensor (video) TCEQ fostered collaboration between the University of Texas at El Paso and the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez to manage and produce a study of low-cost air sensor . The research team installed approximately 40 sensors at schools and near high traffic roads on both sides of the border for about two months, it was concluded that while these sensors offer a "low-cost" alternative for institutions and the public, there are doubts regarding functionality and reliability for their measurements compared to those reference stations. The low cost sensors can be useful tool for measuring and evaluating trends, regular troubleshooting of equipment is required to reduce variations in their measuring.