North Texas Daily

UNT’s clean air efforts gain recognition

UNT’s clean air efforts gain recognition

November 27
23:33 2012

Daniel Bissell / Staff Writer

The North Texas Commission has named UNT the best university in its eighth annual “Working for Clean Air” competition, citing exemplary progress in improving air quality throughout the region. UNT was up against 30 organizations in the competition.

The commission, founded in 1971, is a nonprofit organization that works with businesses, schools, airports, cities and counties in the region to improve infrastructure and economic activity. The Working for Clean Air competition recognizes efforts to improve air quality.

Office of Sustainability Outreach Coordinator Nicole Cocco said the university has taken steps to encourage the use of public and alternative means of transportation. Partnerships with the Denton County Transit Authority and the Dallas Area Rapid Transit provide the UNT community with a more environmentally friendly alternative to cars.

“DCTA owns all of the UNT buses, but the university operates them, so students and faculty members are provided with free bus transportation,” she said. “We also have a partnership with DART, which provides students and faculty with a discount for the A-Train to Dallas.”

Cocco said the university is installing six electric vehicle stations around campus, and the city is installing 10 to 14 more throughout the city.

“There are two currently available near Wooten Hall, and more being built around the RTVF and Life Sciences buildings,” she said.

North Texas is considered a nonattainment area, which means it does not meet healthy air quality standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency. In 2011, the Dallas-Fort Worth area did not meet the standard set in 1997 for ambient ozone air quality by 2010, according to the EPA.

Cocco said organizations like the North Texas Commission are aiming to reverse that trend.

“We are working with the North Texas Commission to make the DFW area a place of responsible energy use,” she said.

Cocco said she was proud of the university’s efforts. She said the efforts prove the community’s commitment to improving environmental conditions throughout the region.

“This award shows that people in our community are going above and beyond to improve the air quality in North Texas,” Cocco said. “We will continue working with the university, local businesses and nonprofits to fix the air quality problems in the region.”

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