ODESSA, Texas — It’s summer time and for a lot of us that means it’s time to roll our windows down and enjoy the fresh air as we hit the road, but in some parts of the state the air isn't so clean.
“We’re lucky enough out here in West Texas that our wind blows a lot so we don’t have we don’t have a lot of problems with air quality yet," said Gene Powell with TxDOT.
Emissions from cars and trucks can make up to close to half of the air pollution in some parts of the state.
“The environment is fragile enough as it is. It's kind of our role and responsibility to do what we can to help protect the environment," said Powell.
There are things people can do that will help protect the environment.
“Even drive-throughs at restaurants can do this sort of thing so go ahead and park and go inside. Even strange things like topping off the tank when you fill up the gas, that increases emissions from the vapor, running your vehicle with low tires increases emissions," said Powell.
Keeping your vehicle well-maintained and inflating the tires to the right air pressure levels will help.
Tightly sealing your gas cap, obeying speed limits, and not idling your car even in the summer heat will also help.
“Midland-Odessa is going to be over half million within the next 15-20 years, right now we are sitting at about 300,000... doubling the size of the population will obviously increase the emissions," said Powell. "So we all need to do our little part if we can to reduce emissions as much as we can."
It might take a little bit of money to keep your vehicle well maintained, but some would see it as an investment with the potential health benefits.