Increase in Houston Ozone Violations Hits Communities of Color Hardest

Air quality monitors in the greater Houston area measured ozone levels that violated health-based standards on 55 days in 2023, more than any other year since 2011. Scorching temperatures combined with air pollution triggered the buildup of ozone across the region, which includes Harris, Galveston, Brazoria, and Montgomery Counties. Although the worsening air pollution affected everyone, some neighborhoods were hit harder than others: people of color and low-income residents were more likely to live where ozone reached the highest levels this summer and over the three years from 2021 to 2023.