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San Antonio at 'tipping point' with air quality

By EMILY BAUCUM
News 4 San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO -- San Antonio is at a tipping point. For years, we've been in serious danger of violating the Clean Air Act, and a change in federal regulations could take us over the edge.

The city is creating a task force to find easy ways you can help improve air quality. The big concern is pollution. We all have to breathe, and the people on the task force say if we don't get a handle on the problem, we'll be putting our health at risk.

You can't always see it, but it's all around us. It feeds off the hot summer days in San Antonio.

"Ozone is a poisonous gas," Russell Seal of the Sierra Club told us.

Seal, who is a pharmacist, says ozone is making us sick.

"I see it in the prescriptions and inhalers we're selling in the pharmacy," explained Seal. It's a very serious thing."

That's why he's part of the Sierra Club, a group working with the city's new task force to improve our air quality.

"We're all in this together," added Seal.

Councilman Ray Lopez is heading up that task force.

"Right now, there's a measurement, right? That measurement is going to be lowered in a few years by the EPA," said Lopez. "We know that we are right at the threshold. If we continue at the pace that we are, then we will never make the new threshold."

Lopez says that would impact everyone's health and jeopardize funding for transportation projects.

Seal says your car is the key to the problem. He owns an electric car, but you can fight pollution with a regular car, too, by filling up your tank after sunset and not idling in parking lots.

"Each and every person has to share the responsibility of making our air quality better," said Seal.

"The task force is being paid for with money that's already been budgeted. By early next year, the members hope to have a list of things you can do to improve the air quality for all of us.
 
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