FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 05/08/2009
Rep. Alvarado Increase Usage of Air Quality Monitors House Bill 3119 Receives Initial Approval
AUSTIN - Yesterday the Texas House of Representatives passed House Bill 3119 by State Representative Carol Alvarado that would establish a pilot program incentivizing businesses in non-attainment areas to increase their use of air quality monitors.
"Offering tax incentives is just one tool that the state can utilize to help expand the amount of information available on air quality; this program will help identify ways to reduce emissions and pollution across the state," Alvarado said.
HB 3119 would provide franchise tax credits to businesses located in non-attainment areas, where air pollution levels persistently exceed National Ambient Air Quality Standards, for the purchase and installation of air quality monitoring devices, including infrared equipment. Data that is collected by these air monitors will be a vital tool for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to formulate the best course of action to improve air quality in Texas.
"As a City Council Member and now a state legislator, Rep. Alvarado has been a strong advocate for clean air. It's fitting that her first bill to pass the House establishes a pilot program for improving air pollution monitoring. We need enhanced data on air pollution in order to better focus our efforts to clean the air," said Ken Kramer, State Sierra Club Director.
Drawing on her experience from the Houston City Council, Rep. Alvarado brought all parties to the table in an effort to promote dialogue and a free-flowing exchange of ideas.
Deb Hastings, the Vice President for Environmental Affairs for the Texas Oil & Gas Association states that "HB 3119 is an important bill for residents in areas of the state where air quality is a concern. Representative Alvarado's bill has many markings of good legislation: it focuses on areas of Texas most in need of attention; it includes requirements for companies to report data to the state on monitoring air quality; it requires a state report on the success of the program; and, it provides incentives for companies to make the investments called for in the bill."