Beaumont/Port Arthur near air standards at issue —TxDOT offering education effort

Published 2:17 pm Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Special to The News

AUSTIN — As summer kicks off, Texans love to roll the windows down and hit the road for a breath of fresh air. The Texas Department of Transportation’s “Drive Clean Texas” campaign asks all drivers to do their part to make sure every breath is clean and healthy all summer long.

Emissions from cars and trucks can make up close to half of the air pollution in some parts of the state. There are three areas — Houston/Galveston, Dallas/Fort Worth and El Paso — that do not meet federal clean air standards as established by the Clean Air Act. Additionally — Austin, San Antonio, Victoria, Tyler/Longview, Beaumont/Port Arthur and Corpus Christi — are close to exceeding healthy levels of air pollutants.

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That’s why TxDOT developed the Drive Clean Texas campaign, designed to demonstrate how simple changes in driving behaviors can have a big impact on vehicle emissions and air quality.

“As Texans hit the road this summer, Drive Clean Texas is asking everyone to help reduce vehicle air pollution,” Texas Transportation Commissioner Jeff Austin III said. “Making simple adjustments to the way we drive and maintain our vehicles can help us all get where we need to go and reduce air pollution along the way. It’s a win-win for our families and our wallets.”

TxDOT will be taking the hands-on, educational Drive Clean Texas Road Trip Challenge Game to cities around the state where air quality is an issue. The game is a fun, interactive way to learn about reducing harmful vehicle emissions by taking a Drive Clean digital road trip on a large smartphone.

Each time a wrong answer is selected, a puff of harmless “smoke”—representing vehicle emissions—is released into a giant, clear bubble encasing an actual sports car. Participants get hands-on training in basic tips in vehicle maintenance for optimal clean driving.

Drive Clean Texas suggests the following simple steps to help protect the state’s air quality:

  • Keep vehicles well maintained and inflate tires to recommended air pressure levels.
  • Properly fuel vehicles by tightly sealing the gas cap.
  • Stop at the click when fueling your vehicle. Overfilling the tank releases harmful fumes into the air.
  • Drive smart by obeying speed limits.
  • Avoid idling the vehicle for extended periods of time.
  • Avoid aggressive driving with rapid starts and stops.

To learn more about “Drive Clean Texas,” visit


See also: Taking action: Individuals can offset area pollution