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Building 310, Suite 165
Austin, TX 78744

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In the News: News from April 2014

Law enforcement education in Central Texas: New round of cadet training underway

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

CAPCOG Regional Law Enforcement Academy’s day cadet class No. 72 began mid-April, with 30 aspiring Texas peace officers enrolled.

The six-month Basic Peace Officer Course, underway at CAPCOG’s Austin headquar-ters, includes sponsored cadets from the Caldwell Sheriff’s Office, San Marcos Police Department, Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, Lake Travis Fire Rescue, Llano Police Department, Travis County Constable Precinct No. 2 and Westlake Hills Police Department.

Registration for Class No. 73, the academy’s next part-time night cadet course, is open, and the class will be hosted by the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office.

> Discover CAPCOG's Regional Law Enforcement Academy
> Explore courses available for aspiring and current peace officers

From household hazardous waste to end-use markets, CAPCOG tackles ‘Recycling 101’

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Whether green-waste diversion, electronics recycling, household hazardous waste collection or end-use market development, explore the various components of material recovery programs with “Recycling 101: Tools for Local and Regional Governments,” presented by the Capital Area Council of Governments, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 15, 2014, at CAPCOG’s Pecan Room, 6800 Burleson Road, Building 310, Suite 165, Austin, TX 78744.

> Register by May 12, 2014

Doors open at 8:30 a.m. for check-in and refreshments.

Participation is open to the public, with emphasis on solid waste planners, industry contractors, elected officials and neighborhood leaders. The $35 admission includes refreshments, lunch and – for eligible participants – Texas Municipal League continuing education credits.

> Learn about the Regional Environmental Task Force

The full-day training, featuring government and industry experts such as David Yanke, director of NewGen Strategies & Solutions and Stacy Guidry, president of Texas Zero Waste Strategies, will provide candid tips and case studies on programs and tools to help participants increase solid waste diversion in their jurisdictions and across the region.

As the state-designated planning agency for solid waste management issues in the region, CAPCOG maintains the state-adopted Regional Solid Waste Management Plan, reviews applications for landfill permits, administers solid waste grants, provides education and technical assistance and supports the multijurisdictional Regional Environmental Task Force. 

> Discover CAPCOG's Solid Waste Program

National Air Quality Awareness Week, April 28-May 2: Help curb pollution as smog season arrives

Friday, April 25, 2014

As the season for increased ozone pollution settles in through early fall, the Capital Area Council of Governments, participants in the region’s Ozone Advance Program Action Plan and others around the country are promoting National Air Quality Awareness Week, April 28 to May 2, reminding folks to pitch in to keep pollution at bay.
“Whether carpooling, commuting by bike once a week, avoiding energy usage at peak times or taking other important steps to reduce ozone, all residents and businesses can make a difference,” said Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe, who chairs the Central Texas Clean Air Coalition. “Staying in attainment of federal air quality standards is important to protecting the health and the economy of Central Texas, so National Air Quality Awareness Week offers a timely opportunity for public outreach, education and engagement.”

> Discover the Central Texas Clean Air Coalition (CAC)
Ozone pollution results when emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOX) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from sources such as vehicles, power plants, factories, gasoline vapors and chemical solvents react in the presence of sunlight. Ground-level ozone can cause health problems, especially among more vulnerable populations such as children, older adults and people with lung diseases. Ozone pollution also affects animals and the environment.

The Central Texas Clean Air Coalition, a regional collaboration of 11 cities and all five county governments in Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties in partnership with CAPCOG, recently won a 2014 Clean Air Excellence Award for its innovative work to help decrease area emissions, but the work to reduce pollution continues.

> Get the details on CAC's 2014 EPA Clean Air Excellence Award  

CAPCOG’s ozone-monitoring network – a system of eight stations in Bastrop, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties – is collecting data to help support regional air quality research and planning initiatives.

Other participants in the Ozone Advance Program Action Plan include CAPCOG, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, Capital Metro, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, the Lower Colorado River Authority, the CLEAN AIR Force of Central Texas, the Lone Star Clean Fuels Alliance, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Texas Department of Transportation, the Texas Lehigh Cement Company and the Texas Nursery and Landscaping Association.
Here’s how residents and businesses across Central Texas can “Be Air Aware”:

  • Drive less – Avoid unnecessary driving by bringing your lunch to work, combining errands, carpooling and trying out transportation alternatives such as walking and cycling.
  • Drive clean – Avoid driving during peak congestion times, make sure to properly maintain your vehicle, avoid idling and use the lowest-emission vehicle available when necessary to drive. 
  • Conserve – Reduce electricity consumption, water consumption and natural gas consumption.
  • Know before you go – Before going out, know what the ozone forecast is for the day by signing up for ozone notifications or downloading the U.S. Environmental Protections Agency's AirNow app.
  • Learn more – Explore additional air quality resources at  CAPCOG's Air Quality Program page.

> Download the AirNow mobile app
CAPCOG, one of 24 regional planning commissions organized under state law, administers programs on several regional issues including air quality. The agency established its Air Quality Program in 2002 to coordinate regional planning efforts and receives a recurring grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to assist areas at risk of violating federal pollution standards.
The Clean Air Coalition comprises elected officials from the five-county Austin-Round Rock metropolitan statistical area who represent governmental parties to the Central Texas Ozone Advance Program Action Plan, the region’s voluntary ozone management plan.

> Learn about CAPCOG's Air Quality Program

Air monitoring: 2014 ozone season begins

Thursday, April 24, 2014

As April marks the beginning of the ozone season for the region, CAPCOG’s ozone monitoring network comes back online this month to help support regional air quality research and planning activities.

This year, CAPCOG will operate eight ozone monitoring stations in the region, including one each in Bastrop, Caldwell, Fayette and Travis counties and two each in Hays and Williamson counties.

These stations will help supplement the two regulatory monitoring stations operated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in Travis County to provide a better picture of ozone within the region.

The next three-year period will likely prove crucial in maintaining the region’s status as compliant on federal ozone standards.

Efforts across the region to drive less, drive cleaner, conserve and know when ozone action days are forecast will help keep the air in Central Texas healthy.

> Learn about CAPCOG's Air Quality Program
> Explore ways to reduce ozone pollution in Central Texas

Honoring our seniors: May marks Older Americans Month

Friday, April 18, 2014

Did you know that May 2014 marks Older Americans Month? Join Central Texas, the state and the nation in honoring our seniors.

With the theme of "Safe Today, Healthy Tomorrow," the national Older Americans Month celebration includes logos, posters, safety-tip sheets and other resources to help communities and organizations tailor their activities. CAPCOG's Executive Committee has approved a resolution recognizing the monthlong observance. The City of Austin and Gov. Perry also have issued proclamations.

The annual observance, launched in 1963, recognizes the contributions, sacrifices and achievements of older Americans from the past and present.

More than 304,841 adults aged 60 and older call the 10-county CAPCOG region home, according to the Executive Committee resolution, offering an opportunity to learn from area elders, help them remain healthy and active and benefit from their participation in every aspect of Central Texas living. 

CAPCOG's Area Agency on Aging, for example, offers programs and services to support the health, safety, and well-being of older individuals. 

> Read the Texas proclamation
> See the City of Austin's proclamation
> Discover volunteer opportunities with CAPCOG's Area Agency on Aging
> Explore Older Americans Month activity ideas and materials at the national website 

Criminal Justice Advisory Committee prioritizes grants

Friday, April 11, 2014

CAPCOG's Criminal Justice Advisory Committee has reviewed and prioritized more than 40 applications totaling $2,655,000 in fiscal 2015 funding requests to provide criminal justice programs, juvenile services programs and victim services programs throughout the 10-county region.

The annual CJAC application review and prioritization process is facilitated per CAPCOG’s contract with the Governor’s Office, Criminal Justice Division, and follows the state office's funding schedule. 

Once approved by the CAPCOG Executive Committee, which will consider the grant recommendations during its regular meeting on May 14, the prioritized lists will be submitted to the CJD for potential funding.

> See the prioritized funding list, pending final Executive Committee approval

National Telecommunicator Week: April 13-19, 2014

Thursday, April 10, 2014

As the annual National Telecommunicator Week gets underway April 13-19, 2014, CAPCOG salutes public safety communications professionals!

The Capital Area Emergency Communications District (CAECD) Board of Managers has adopted a resolution recognizing the region's more than 600 telecommunicators, who serve as an important bridge between people needing emergency assistance and the response agencies reaady to help. 

In addition, the CAECD will host an event for all 9-1-1 telecommunicators in the region to attend a Texas Stars hockey game April 19 at Cedar Park Center.

Telecommunicators will have the opportunity to present the American flag on the ice during the National Anthem before the game.

> Read Gov. Perry's proclamation for Public Safety Telecommunicators Week 2014
> Get a behind-the-scenes look at 9-1-1 call takers at your service across the region
> Discover CAPCOG's Emergency Communications Division

Signed up with CAPCOG’s Regional Notification System yet? Just 15 minutes could save a life.

Monday, April 07, 2014

More than 10,000 people across Central Texas have signed up with the Capital Area Council of Governments’ newly updated Regional Notification System (RNS) – and friends, neighbors and relatives are encouraged to join in today.

No Internet access? No problem. To register for the Regional Notification System by phone, just call toll free 866-484-3264, and you’ll be prompted for your contact information.

“It takes just 15 minutes to register on the free Regional Notification System, but the benefits last forever,” said CAPCOG Homeland Security Task Force Chair Johnny Campbell of Marble Falls Area Emergency Medical Services. “People want to be in the loop if a large emergency or major incident were happening in their area or a loved one’s area, and the RNS helps make that happen.”

 > Spare 15 to prepare - sign up today for the RNS!

CAPCOG’s system, formerly called the “Emergency Notification System,” previously was limited to telephone calls to people that were included in the 9-1-1 database and to those who had registered their cellular telephones on CAPCOG ENS. The new RNS includes capacity to send messages by email or text and – eventually – Twitter and Facebook. Residents can register their cellphones, landlines, email addresses, pagers and other devices that receive text-based messages.

The improved system also will allow local officials to send a wider range of notifications. The previous system could only be used in situations in which life and property were directly threatened. Instead, the upgrades permit delivery of messages that may not comprise an emergency but nonetheless are important to public health, well-being and convenience. These could include restrictions on water usage, traffic disruptions due to major events and weather-related cancellations of public events.

> Get the RNS frequently asked questions sheet in English or Spanish

How has the CAPCOG Regional Notification System helped Central Texans? Some examples:

  • During the Labor Day wildfire outbreak of 2011, the CAPCOG RNS was used to make telephone calls to more than 9,000 residences and businesses in Bastrop, Travis, Fayette, Caldwell, Hays and Burnet counties to warn of the danger posed by rapidly moving wildfires.
  • The system has been used on numerous occasions to instruct residents to lock their doors and remain inside in the area of an ongoing law enforcement SWAT operation.
  • The system has been used to notify persons in the path of floodwaters to take immediate action to protect lives and property.

So, don't delay. Sign up today, and spread the word!

Don’t delay – sign up at today. And to learn more about the Regional Notification System, download the frequently asked questions sheet in English or Spanish at
About CAPCOG: The Capital Area Council of Governments, governed by elected officials from the 10-county region it serves, has worked for more than 40 years as an advocate, planner and coordinator on important regional issues. Programs and services related to public safety and emergency response, environmental planning, economic and community development and the elderly are delivered at a regional level to leverage funding, maximize cooperation and eliminate duplication. CAPCOG serves Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, Travis and Williamson counties. Learn more at

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