JP Pritchard

Air Pollution To Be Monitored On Highway 59

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A massive pothole closed a portion of Hwy 59 West Loop at SW Freeway. (Credit: Houston Transtar Cameras)

A massive pothole closed a portion of Hwy 59 West Loop at SW Freeway. (Credit: Houston Transtar Cameras)

 

HOUSTON (AP) – State environmental officials will start measuring air pollution levels near a Houston freeway as part of a federal requirement to monitor health risks near major roadways.

 

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in January will begin measuring levels along U.S. Route 59. The Houston Chronicle reports the monitors will provide the state with its first data on pollution near congested freeways.

 

The Houston region is already one of the most heavily monitored areas in the country, particularly for smog. But the network has not included one near a freeway because the system is intended to measure air quality across a region, not a specific neighborhood.

 

That changed in March when federal regulators ordered the largest U.S. cities to install roadside monitors for nitrogen dioxide, a smog-forming pollutant released from tailpipes.

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