Several business owners gather with Mayor Ron Nirenberg after taking the pledge to take… more

Several companies from the Alamo City have taken a pledge to reduce their carbon footprint in order to improve regional air quality.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg led the San Antonio Air Quality Summit late Friday morning where more than 150 business leaders came to learn about ways to improve the region’s air quality and nine businesses signed pledges to reduce their carbon footprints.

The "Breathe Today SA Tomorrow" pledges ranged from switching to LED light bulbs to adopting alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles to buying bus passes for employees.

With stricter air quality standards in play, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected to designate San Antonio as a "non-attainment" city. Nirenberg and other city leaders are working with the Alamo Area Council of Governments and several other partners to reduce the smog in the city’s skies.

In his keynote address, Nirenberg told the crowd that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has asked the EPA in a Sept. 27 letter to not list San Antonio as a non-attainment city and give the state more time to deal with quality issues. The EPA failed to meet its own Oct. 1 deadline to issue its list of "non-attainment" cities but Nirenberg said the city will steer its course to reduce smog-causing emissions hand-in-hand with the business community.

"Our commitment to clean air does not come at the expense of our economy," Nirenberg said.

With more than 1 million people expected to move to San Antonio by 2040, VIA Metropolitan Transit Director of Government and Community Relations Leroy Alloway said the agency is moving towards an alternative-fuel fleet, adding more routes and light rail to relieve congestion and emissions.

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