The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a proposed approval of the Dallas-Fort Worth clean air plan this week. This plan would be the first to gain approval by the EPA.

The proposed approval comes after a collaboration of community and business leaders with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to strengthen the original clean air plan. Under the newly revised plan, the nine-county area would reduce ozone-forming pollutants by 88 tons per day – nearly 40 tons more than proposed by the original plan. The clean air plan will also improve air quality by more than 55% over 1999 levels.

“That work—as a result of the North Texas can-do spirit—has moved this clean air plan across the goal line and makes it the first in the nation to gain EPA’s proposal for approval,” says Richard Greene, Regional Administrator of the TCEQ.

“Today’s announcement shows that once again Texas leads the nation in developing and implementing innovative programs that reduce air pollution and improve air quality for all citizens,” says Buddy Garcia, Chairman of the TCEQ.

Two programs have helped lead to North Texas’s continued success in improving air quality—The Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP), and the AirCheckTexas Repair and Replacement Assistance Program.

The TERP program is a comprehensive set of incentive programs aimed at improving air quality in Texas by reducing emissions of oxides of nitrogen from both on-road and non-road high-emitting internal combustion engines. In the last 6 months, the Dallas-Fort Worth area received $84 million in grants to reduce emissions in the area.

The AirCheckTexas Repair and Replacement Assistance Program also helps the Dallas-Fort Worth area reduce emissions by providing residents with vouchers worth thousands of dollars to be put toward the purchase of a newer car or truck.