I love my fabulous state of Texas for many reasons! And here’s another reason to add to the list. Did you know that if your car is ten years or older, or has failed an emissions test, you may qualify for up to $3,500 towards replacing your vehicle or up to $600 to repair it? The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has created the Air Check Texas Drive a Clean Machine program. This program is designed to remove older, more polluting vehicles from Texas roadways in counties with high ground-level ozone. Ozone is necessary to maintain a normal life balance on earth. Its purpose is to protect the earth from the sun’s harmful rays when it is up high in the stratosphere where it belongs. But, when it is low, close to the ground, it mixes with smog and creates a hazardous environment for all living things. Apparently, ground-level ozone, as it is called, is formed when nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds such as car exhaust come in contact with each other in a heated environment, such as natural sunlight.

If you are interested in learning more about the Drive a Clean Machine program, there is a link you can access through the http://drivecleantexas.org website, or you can go directly to the TCEQ website at http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/airquality/mobilesource/vim/driveclean.html and check it out for yourself.

Emissions from cars and trucks are responsible for half of all the air pollution in some parts of Texas, according to the TCEQ. I have always been curious what one can do to report a smoking vehicle. There are several options. You can call 1-800-453-SMOG, go online and file your report, fax your complaint or you can mail your complaint to the TCEQ in Austin.

I have considered reporting a smoking vehicle in the past and then had second thoughts about it. What if that was my car being reported? It’s likely that the car is in ill repair because the owner simply cannot afford to get the thing fixed. And I wouldn’t want to kick someone while they’re already down. But now, with this fabulous program, they can get assistance to either get their car repaired or even get funds to help replace it with a newer, shiny, environmentally safe vehicle. Either way, this will likely get them not only on board with making our environment a cleaner, healthier one, but will also make them proud to be an environmentally conscious citizen of this amazing Lone Star State!

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Drive a Clean Machine – Comedy Defensive Driving