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About the Air Pollutant Watch List

The Air Pollutant Watch List alerts technical personnel to cities and counties within the state that have areas with elevated concentrations of air pollutants.

What is the Air Pollutant Watch List?

The Air Pollutant Watch List (APWL) is the TCEQ's program to address areas in Texas where monitoring data show persistent, elevated concentrations of air toxics. The TCEQ uses the APWL process to focus its resources, notify the public, engage stakeholders, and develop strategic actions to reduce emissions. Each year the TCEQ collects an extensive amount of ambient air monitoring data and evaluates the potential for adverse short- and long-term health effects and odors.

The TCEQ uses air permitting, ambient air monitoring, and the APWL to ensure that ambient air toxic concentrations are at levels that are protective of public health and welfare.

Diagram that illustrates how the TCEQ uses the air permitting program, ambient air monitoring, and the APWL to ensure that ambient air toxic concentrations are at levels that are protective of public health and welfare.

The framework for the APWL program is outlined in the APWL Protocol Adobe Acrobat PDF Document, which describes the process that the TCEQ follows for all APWL issues, such as listing, remediating, and delisting APWL areas. The TCEQ accepted public comments Adobe Acrobat PDF Document from November 23, 2010 to January 24, 2011, and the APWL Protocol was finalized in February 2012. Areas in Texas that show persistently elevated levels of air toxics may be considered for addition to the APWL following procedures outlined in the APWL Protocol. When reviewing current APWL areas, the TCEQ may propose removal from the APWL if ambient monitoring data shows a downward trend, information demonstrates that the improvement will be sustained, and the TCEQ determines that there is no longer a potential for adverse health effects. The TCEQ accepts public comments on all additions to and removals from the APWL.

What Pollutants/Areas Of Texas Are Under Watch?

Looking To Permit In An APWL Area?

One of the primary strategies for addressing APWL areas includes additional scrutiny for air permit applications that include a request to increase an APWL contaminant. The TCEQ will work with sources to encourage efforts to reduce emissions, may provide assistance to small businesses and local governments to identify strategies for reducing APWL contaminants, may increase monitoring for an APWL area, and may conduct focused investigations for companies located in an APWL area.

What Level of Air Permit Review is Required?

The Modeling and Effects Review Applicability Technical Guidance Package Adobe Acrobat PDF Document provides more information about the level of modeling and health effects evaluation that may be required for New Source Review (NSR) permitting. In addition, the TCEQ is providing guidance to companies to better prepare applications for NSR permits and permits by rule. The purpose of the guidance is to increase transparency in the APWL process and to encourage companies to work with the TCEQ to address APWL concerns up front. The guidance does not replace the health effects evaluation of an NSR permit review, which may result in additional permit requirements or restrictions as determined on a case-by-case basis. The TCEQ encourages companies to schedule pre-application meetings to discuss projects that include an increase in an APWL contaminant and is also providing a checklist to help companies prepare for a pre-application meeting.

Air Permit Guidance Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

Pre-application Meeting Checklist Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

Recommend an Area be Added to or Removed from the APWL

You may recommend that specific pollutants and locations be evaluated for addition to or removal from the APWL by sending an email to the APWL Coordinator at APWL@tceq.texas.gov. Requests should include a description of the location, the pollutant of concern, any supporting information, and your contact information. The TCEQ carefully investigates every recommendation, and you may view past recommendations for addition to (or removal from) the APWL that were not adopted.

For assistance regarding environmental complaints, visit the TCEQ Complaints Reporting Web site.

Contact the TCEQ About the APWL

For further information, contact TCEQ's APWL Coordinator, Jessica Myers, Ph.D., toll-free at 1-877-992-8370 or local at (512)239-1795 or via email at APWL@tceq.texas.gov.

Sign Up to Receive APWL Announcements

To receive free updates by email regarding the APWL, visit the TCEQ GovDelivery Exit the TCEQ Web site and check the box for Air Pollutant Watch List under the Air Quality heading.

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