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Emissions Inventory for Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua

With funding from the EPA, the TCEQ contracted with the Center for Energy and Environmental Resources at UT Austin to initiate collaboration with Mexican entities to update the emissions inventory for Cd. Juárez, which shares an air basin with El Paso, Texas.

Project Description:  The Border Affairs team is currently funding the second and final phase of a collaboration with Mexican authorities on developing a new emissions inventory for Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua using 2008 data.

El Paso, Texas shares an air basin—the Paso del Norte—with Ciudad Juárez, located directly across the Rio Grande. Air pollution generated in one city can get transported to the other city, the direction depending on seasonal changes in wind patterns. For this reason, knowledge of emission sources throughout the basin is valuable for the development of control strategies that could help keep El Paso in attainment for ozone under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

Both phases of the project have received funding from EPA, and the TCEQ has contracted with the Center for Energy and Environmental Resources (CEER) at the University of Texas at Austin for implementation. CEER has in turn sub-contracted with ERG, a consulting firm with significant experience working with Mexico on emission inventories.

Under current ozone standards, El Paso has been in attainment for ozone for several years.  Should EPA decide to make the standards stricter in the next few years, it will be important to the TCEQ to have a sense of what emissions are occurring in the Mexican part of this air basin in addition to the emissions in El Paso itself.

The first phase of this effort was carried out in fiscal year 2011 and focused on generating data for four categories of emission sources—area, on-road motor vehicles, nonroad mobile sources, and biogenic. The second and current phase is generating data on point sources. This project will be completed by July 2013.

Even though the TCEQ only has jurisdiction over emissions on the U.S./Texas side of the border, the existence of the binational Joint Advisory Committee Exit the TCEQ on Air Quality Improvement in the Paso del Norte means that cooperation on the development of programs on both sides is quite possible. Mexico of course would like to improve air quality in Juárez and there is a history of complementary actions on the two sides of the border.