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Image shows a scenic view of trees and hills. Text reads "Protect air quality in the Hill Country!"
March 9, 2022

Help Spread the Word

Submit a comment and ask the Environmental Protection Association (EPA) to further strengthen the national ambient air quality standard for particulate matter (PM 2.5) to better protect public health.

Last month, the EPA released a big proposal that would create more protective air quality standards across the country. This proposal includes an improvement to the national limit for ambient particulate matter (PM 2.5) - also known as fine soot - that would reduce the allowed 12 micrograms per cubic meter to 9 or 10.

While particulate matter has many industrial sources, it is the only regulated pollutant associated with quarries and concrete plants. An environmental justice issue across the state, air pollution from these industrial facilities disproportionately impacts both communities of color and low income communities. If the EPA improves its standards, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will be obligated under the Clean Air Act to do the same - making permits for industrial operations like quarries and concrete batch plants more protective. This would have a positive impact on the health of Hill Country residents in communities where industrial and residential areas are side by side - such as quarry row in Comal County. 

Though the EPA's proposed change is a great step, the American Lung Association, Moms for Clean Air Force, and numerous other groups point out that it is not enough to be adequately protective. In fact, the World Health Organization recommends a PM limit of no more than 5 micrograms per cubic meter. To further protect air quality, we ask that the EPA set an even more protective standard than what is listed in the current proposal - reducing allowed particulate matter to 8 micrograms per cubic meter.

Submit a Comment

We urge you to join us in submitting public comments (see below) to share these concerns. We need your help submitting comments to the EPA by March 28, 2023. 

Please take a few minutes to:

  1. Draft a comment to the EPA and send it to with EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0072 in the subject line. You can write your own comment, or use the template below.
  2. Copy when you submit your comment, to help us track the impact of our HCA network.
  3. Tell your friends and neighbors! 

Write your own unique comments or use the template below:

To Whom It May Concern,  

I [or your business or organization]  am encouraged by the proposed strengthening of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for particulate matter (PM2.5), but I would like to see the EPA go even further to protect our public health by making the standard 8 micrograms per cubic meter. 

[Insert a personal connection to air quality concerns. If you have people you care about who suffer from asthma or other respiratory conditions, share your concern for their well being. If there is a case of industry being too close to residential areas in your community, as there are in many, share that.] 

Here in Texas, our state agency is not known for being proactive when it comes to protecting our public health. A significant improvement to the national standards is sorely needed to help advance more protective policies for communities in our state.


Submit comments by Tuesday, March 28!


Tell Your Friends

Protecting our region's air quality is critical to the health of future generations of Texans. Share recent social media posts from the Hill Country Alliance (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, & Instagram linked here), write your own, and click the button below to forward this email to a friend. 
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Support Safer Air Quality

"This is one of the biggest local support items we need to push for this DECADE from the standpoint of protecting people's health from the harmful affects of APO operations...the EPA's decision will trump anything [TCEQ or the Texas Legislature] may decide to do, so this has the potential to achieve a great deal of positive change in a relatively fast, easy manner."
- Laura Hunt, Director - Midlothian Breathe
Texans for Responsible Aggregate Mining (TRAM) Coalition Member
According to the EPA, poor air quality leads to:
  • up to 4,200 premature deaths per year;
  • 270,000 lost workdays per year;
  • result in as much as $43 billion in net health benefits in 2032.
Thank you for taking action!
Cliff Kaplan
Program Director, Hill Country Alliance
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