Air Quality

Emissions from industrial facilities and electric utilities, motor vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapors, and chemical solvents are some of the major sources of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC).

About Air Quality

San Antonio is home to a pleasant, warm climate, booming economy and growing population. In fact, San Antonio stands to welcome one million more residents by the year 2040. With these new residents come challenges for transportation, providing services and keeping the air we breathe clean.

San Antonio’s air doesn’t look dirty, but the truth is we have surpassed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) health-based clean air standards. We must work together to reduce pollution and clean up our air. Clean air benefits the entire community.

Specifically, Bexar County is in exceedance of ground-level ozone standards. Ground-level ozone forms when Nitrogen Oxides (such as from burning fossil fuels in combustion engines) combine with Volatile Organic Compounds in the air and sunlight to make ozone.


Put simply, air pollution damages lung tissue in ways similar to second hand tobacco smoke. Air pollution triggers heart attacks and strokes. It causes diseases like bronchitis and lung cancer. It sends people to the emergency room with respiratory problems such as asthma attacks.

Beyond impacting your health, poor air quality is bad for our economy. A stricter federal air quality standard means additional regulations for businesses that want to expand or relocate to San Antonio, putting new jobs and investment in the area at risk. Join us as we work together to clean up our air quality.


San Antonio Metro Health has developed an Ozone Attainment Master Plan. Review the Ozone Attainment Master Plan (PDF).


COSA works with area partners to enact policies and programs that mitigate air pollution through regulatory and voluntary actions. The City’s SA Tomorrow Sustainability Plan (adopted in 2016) outlines desired Outcomes and Strategies in critical focus areas to keep the city’s natural resources, including clean air, healthy and available for all present and future residents. In 2016, San Antonio and Bexar County passed anti-idling legislation for large trucks and buses. The SA Climate Ready Plan (adopted October 2019) describes mitigation and adaptation strategies with a grand goal of making San Antonio carbon neutral by 2050. In addition to carbon neutrality, the City, through SA Climate Ready, aims to improve air quality through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Breathe Today. SA Tomorrow. Clean Air for Kids! School Anti-Idling Program

The Clean Air for Kids! Program helps kids and parents understand how to prevent air pollution caused by the idling of cars, trucks and buses, especially around schools.

Excessive and unnecessary vehicle idling is a serious, avoidable contributor to environmental pollution and poor human health. This behavior occurs throughout virtually all transportation activities, including parents picking up children after school, customers waiting in line at a drive-through ATM or restaurant, trucks delivering goods, and buses waiting to pick up passengers.

Unnecessary idling significantly contributes to air pollution, which in turn worsens environmental and health problems, including contributing to the dramatic rise of childhood asthma.

You can make a big difference with little changes to your lifestyle!

Clean Air For Kids! School anti-idling program

The program includes little changes like adding idling reduction signs in drop-off/pick-up areas and sending homes quick facts for parents. Kids and parents can sign an anti-idling pledge to help improve air quality in San Antonio.

If your school wants to learn about idling behavior, understanding air quality data and working together to create big changes to small behaviors Harley Hubbard, City of San Antonio Office of Sustainability.

School Toolkit

School Anti-Idling Toolkit

  1. Clean Air for Kids! Presentation (PDF)
  2. Making It a Student Project (PDF)
  3. How to Conduct Observations (PDF)
  4. Observation Form (PDF)
  5. Parent Pledge Form (English & Spanish - PDF)
  6. Anti-Idling Sign (PDF)

This toolkit is provided for schools who want to improve air quality, and provides an easy-to-follow methodology to help all people become aware of ways they can help reduce air pollution.

Anti-Idling Ordinance

For Vehicles Operating in San Antonio and Bexar County. Visit Anti-Idling Ordinance.

Anti-Idling Administrative Directive

For City-Owned Vehicles. Visit the AD 1.3 Anti-Idling for City-Owned Vehicles (PDF).

Funding opportunities for emissions-reducing opportunities are available through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ.) In addition, these TCEQ resources are available

Contact the Program

Program-related questions: 210.207.4052
Payment-related questions: 210.207.8732