ADEQ is issuing a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, and Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) for Maricopa County, Ariz. This HPA is due to particle pollutant levels expected to accumulate enough to exceed the federal health standard for PM2.5.
During this HPA, Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) declares a “No Burn Day” in Maricopa County, which puts the following mandatory restrictions in effect:
- Avoid or limit wood burning in residential fireplaces, chimineas, outdoor fire pits and similar outdoor fires (including at hotels and restaurants and individuals/businesses that have permits for open burning)
- Avoid using leaf blowers
- Avoid activities that generate dust, such as driving on dirt roads and using off-road vehicles
- Drive as little as possible, carpool, use public transit or telecommute
People with heart or lung diseases, older adults and children are most likely to be affected by particle pollution. Particles in PM2.5 size range are able to travel deeply into the respiratory tract, reaching the lungs and can cause short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath. Exposure to these fine particles can also affect lung function and worsen medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease.
Employers and Travel Reduction Program Transportation Coordinators are advised to activate their HPA Plans immediately. ADEQ further recommends that the general public limit outdoor activity while the HPA is in effect, especially children and adults with respiratory problems.
ADEQ, MCAQD and Valley Metro encourage residents and employers to use the following tips and resources to help make the air healthier to breathe:
- Visit cleanairmakemore.com to learn more about reducing air pollution
- Drive as little as possible, carpool, use public transit, or telecommute
- Visit valleymetro.org and ShareTheRide.com to plan a transit trip or find a carpool or vanpool
- Avoid activities that generate dust, such as driving on dirt roads
High Pollution Advisory or HPA: Notifies the public that the level of an air pollutant is expected to exceed the federal health standard.
Health Watch: Notifies the public that the level of an air pollutant is expected to approach the federal health standard.
Particulate Matter: State and county agencies measure levels of particulate matter (PM) in the air. PM is extremely small solid particles and liquid droplets that circulate in air. PM comes from combustion (cars, industry, wood burning) or dust stirred up into the air. High levels of PM occur when air is especially stagnant or windy. Two types of PM are measured: PM10 , commonly called dust, and PM2.5 , commonly called soot. PM10 refers to dust particles 10 microns or less and PM2.5 to soot particles 2.5 microns or less. For perspective, one strand of human hair is 70 – 100 microns in size.
ADEQ provides a daily forecast for air quality and issues HPAs or Health Watches when these conditions are expected.
ADEQ daily air quality forecast | View >
Contact: Caroline Oppleman – 602-771-2215 desk/602-540-8072 cell
MCAQD — The Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) is a regulatory agency whose goal is to ensure federal clean air standards are achieved and maintained for the residents and visitors of Maricopa County. The department is governed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and follows air quality standards set forth by the federal Clean Air Act. The department offers air quality information and resources on its Clean Air Make More website.
Contact: Bob Huhn – 602-506-6713 desk/602-526-7307 cell
Valley Metro provides eco-friendly public transit options to residents of greater Phoenix and Maricopa County, including a clean-fuel bus fleet, low-emissions light rail, online carpool matching and bus trip mapping, and bicycle and telework assistance. Funding is provided by local, state and federal revenues; and administered by a board of 16 governments working to improve and regionalize the public transit system.
Contact: Corinne Holliday – 602-322-4492 desk/623-293-0335 cell