Here are some common air quality terms and what it all means for you.

What is an “airshed”?

An airshed is the mass of air that is in and around a community. You can learn about airshed in the Corpus Christi area in the annual reports

What is “ozone”?

Ground-level ozone is ozone that is in the air from the ground up to about 2 miles in the air. It is formed when Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) come together on hot, sunny days.

What are local NOx and VOC sources?

  • On-road vehicles: cars, trucks and motorcycles
  • Non-road sources: planes and boats
  • Construction equipment
  • Pumping or transferring gasoline products
  • Use of paints and solvents
  • Gas-powered lawn and landscape equipment
  • Power plants
  • Industrial operations
  • Use of cleaners and disinfectants
  • Spraying aerosols
  • Chemical processing

How is ozone measured?

Ozone is measured on a rolling 3-year average by specific monitoring stations called Continuous Air Monitoring Stations (CAMS). The two Corpus Christi-area monitoring stations are located at 902 Airport Road and 9866 La Branch Street. The data collected here determines our airshed compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Status (NAAQS).

To maintain compliance, our air’s rolling 3-year average for ozone measurements must not exceed 70 parts per billion (ppb). To help understand in common measurements, this would be like making sure there was a contaminant volume no bigger than a sugar cube in an entire standard swimming pool! Learn more about air quality and monitoring.

Community Impact

Our Health

Ozone that is close to the ground can be detrimental to our health. Long-term exposure to ground-level ozone is linked to asthma and other respiratory illnesses, particularly in children and the elderly. Why? Children spend more time outdoors and their lungs are still developing. The elderly may have a weakened respiratory system that is more sensitive to ground-level ozone. Learn more about the health effects of ground-level ozone.

Our Economy

Not complying with EPA standards for ground-level ozone is very costly for our community. New rules and requirements, restrictions, and loss of funding can be imposed on a community that is no longer in compliance.

Nueces and San Patricio counties would experience additional costs of up to $1.7 billion annually for a minimum of 23 years due to possible loss of Federal funding, curtailed construction activities, curtailed or cancelled expansion for area businesses, required transportation accommodations, additional permitting requirements and more. Citizens of our counties would see an increase of $1,115–$3,299 annually in their cost of living for a minimum of 23 years.

Reference: Study performed by Dr. Jim Lee at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

Make a Difference

How can you help?

When it comes to maintaining our air quality, it’s up to all of us. We engage in activities every day that can help or hurt our local air quality.

Make Clean Air Choices by:

  • Reducing vehicle time on the road by combining several trips into one outing.
  • Considering car-pooling, walking for short errands, bicycling or using mass transit.
  • Avoiding idling your vehicle.
  • Driving the speed limit and avoiding jackrabbit starts.
  • Teleworking or telecommuting when you can.
  • Driving during off-peak times when there is less congestion and idling in traffic.
  • Refueling your vehicle before sunrise or after sunset.
  • Finishing your fueling once the pump clicks off.
  • Using low VOC paint and solvent products and keeping their containers tightly sealed.
  • Keeping your tires properly inflated and your vehicle well-maintained.

Stop by a free AutoCheck event to see if your vehicle is polluting, where you may be eligible for free repairs. See the full list of emissions testing events.

Corpus Christi Urban Airshed

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) defines our area as the Corpus Christi Urban Airshed, which includes all of Nueces and San Patricio Counties.

CBAQP County Map

Ozone Averaging and Trending

For our air to comply with ozone standards, our air’s rolling 3-year average for ozone measurements by area monitors must not exceed 70 parts per billion (ppb). This means that in 1 billion units of air, there must not be more that 70 units of ozone within that 1 billion units of air.

Corpus Christi Urban Airshed
3-Year Rolling Average for Ozone

Monitor 2019* 2020* 2021* 3-year average
Monitor #4
902 Airport Blvd.
parts per billion
parts per billion
parts per billion
parts per billion
Monitor #21
Tuloso 9860 LaBranch
parts per billion
parts per billion
parts per billion
parts per billion
*4th highest ozone reading shown for each year