Representing a region of 9,000 square miles and 7.2 million people, the North Texas Commission advocates for issues with no city or county boundary, such as long-range water planning, air quality and the business vitality of our corporate community.
The North Texas Commission members work together in the year leading up to each Texas Legislative session to outline priorities important to the economic vitality of our region. The 2017 Legislative Priorities for the upcoming Texas Legislature’s 85th session focus on pro-growth state tax and regulatory policies that grow our economy and attract investment. Click here to view a scorecard on how our priorities fared during the regular session: NTC 2017 Legislative Priorities Final_July Update and for an update on the 85th Special Session: NTC Special Session Recap
Additionally, the North Texas Commission Board approved a resolution supporting the Texas high-speed rail project connecting North Texas with Houston. This project is key to ensuring a robust transportation system as our two regions continue to prosper, especially as traffic congestion is expected to double in the next 20 years.
NTX Green Parking Signs
Working with a grant from the department of energy, the North Texas Commission and North Central Texas Council of Governments created a program for alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) parking signs that would disperse signs to different organizations and municipalities throughout the region. These preferred parking signs provide awareness to North Texas residents of air quality. CLICK HERE for more information about the program.
Regional Air Monitors
As part of the NTC’s work to improve air quality in North Texas, we manage the largest network of air pollution monitors in the North Texas region. Our 21 stations are spread across the greater North Texas region (including Wichita Falls and Abilene) and continuously monitor the air for the presence of 84 volatile organic compounds (or “VOCs”). VOCs include pollutants that are known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects; some VOCs also contribute to ozone formation. VOCs are monitored to assess the potential for measured concentrations to impair health. The NTC Regional Air Monitoring Program is a collaboration with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), and is the product of a 2011 bi-partisan legislative effort (SB 527) to gather better data about the impact of increased drilling in the Barnett Shale on North Texas air quality.
In early 2012, the NTC convened a committee of representatives from North Texas municipalities, universities, businesses, and non-profits to identify potential locations for new monitors. Working closely with the TCEQ, this committee finalized its list of recommended sites. By September 2012, we completed installation of our first “automated gas chromatograph” (or “AutoGC”) station on the campus of the University of Texas at Arlington, directly adjacent to an active natural gas drilling site. Since then, we have created a total of eleven entirely new air monitoring stations, replaced equipment at an additional six stations, and assumed management of four other stations already in operation.
Because most of our monitoring stations measure air quality every hour, the 21 stations have collectively measured over ten million VOC concentrations since 2012. This data set provides a definitive and long-term examination of the relationship between oil and gas activities and air quality in North Texas. To date, none of these millions of measurements have shown VOC concentrations to exceed TCEQ’s air monitoring comparison values (AMCVs). AMCVs are screening levels for ambient air set to protect human health and welfare. Health-based AMCVs are safe levels at which exposure is unlikely to result in adverse health effects. Because AMCVs are set sufficiently below a level that would be expected to cause adverse health effects, an exceedance does not necessarily mean that an adverse health effect would be expected, but rather than an in-depth review is needed. For more information on AMCVs, click here.
More information on the North Texas Commission Regional Air Monitoring Program can be found here:
NTC Audit Report Executive Summary 2014 Q2
NTC Audit Report Executive Summary 2014 Q4
NTC Audit Report 2015 Q2 Executive Summary
NTC Audit Report 2015 Q4 Executive Summary
NTC Audit Report 2016 Q2 Executive Summary
NTC Audit Report 2016 Q4 Executive Summary
Click here for live readings from the North Texas Commission network.
Long-Range Water Planning
Annually, the North Texas Commission hosts a regional Water Summit bringing together the state’s – and country’s – leaders in water planning and conservation. As an issue with an impact on the region’s economic and environmental well-being, the North Texas Commission works with leaders in Austin to push forward Legislation to fund our long-range water infrastructure needs.