Print Friendly and PDF
alabama air pollution epa smog

Is Alabama air pollution causing smog in Texas? State battles EPA over ‘good neighbor’ plan

2 min read

Dennis Pillion reports in about the claim that Alabama has to reduce pollution from its power plants and other industries because the emissions are contributing to ozone problems in Texas.

In a nutshell:

Alabama and its major utilities are engaged in a legal battle against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over allegations that the state's lenient air pollution regulations are causing smog issues in Texas. The EPA presented model data showing that Alabama power plants are contributing to increased ground-level ozone in Texas cities like Houston and Dallas, exceeding air quality standards. The EPA responded by rejecting Alabama's regulatory plan, leading to appeals from the state and utilities. Alabama argues that its contribution to Texas ozone levels is not significant, while the EPA claims Alabama's own data shows otherwise.

Key quote:

“The modeling that Alabama used established that Alabama’s emissions contribute to ozone pollution in Texas, and Alabama failed to justify – technically or legally – why no part of that contribution should be considered ‘significant,’” the EPA said.

The big picture:

The case highlights the complex challenge of cross-state air pollution regulation and its potential impact on public health and electricity costs. When power plants emit pollutants such as nitrous oxide and volatile organic compounds, they contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, which can lead to respiratory problems, including irritation in the lungs and exacerbation of health conditions like asthma. Efforts to reduce power plant emissions are crucial to protecting public health and ensuring cleaner air for communities.

Read Pillion's article at

A growing body of research also suggests that air pollution affects our mental as well as physical health: Check out Kristina Marusic's piece for EHN about how air pollution alters our brains in ways that can increase the risk of mental illness.

Can artificial intelligence help us avoid air pollution? Krystal Vasquez wrote for EHN about research showing that AI may outperform traditional models, which could give more advance warning of bad air days, and reduce harmful exposures and hospital visits.

About the author(s):

EHN Staff

Articles written and posted by staff at Environmental Health News

Become a donor
Today's top news

LISTEN: How Western media could better cover climate change in the Middle East

“The whole media of the Western countries don’t do justice to some of the works being done here.”

From our newsroom

Everyone is likely overexposed to BPA

If you're using plastic, you're likely above acceptable health safety levels.

Opinion: The global food system is failing small-scale farmers — here’s how to fix it

Maybe we don’t need Jamaican coffee in the middle of US winter.

LISTEN: Bruce Lanphear on how we’re failing to protect people from pesticides

Lanphear recently resigned as the co-chair of the Health Canada scientific advisory committee on pest control products.

How does cannabis impact developing brains?

As states increasingly legalize or decriminalize marijuana, some experts warn that early exposure may be linked to mental health problems later in life.

Agents of Change in Environmental Justice program accepting applications

Do you find that public voices in science are lacking diversity and want to help create change? We want to hear from you.