PRESS RELEASE | ADEQ Issues Ozone High Pollution Advisory for Maricopa County | September 2018

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is issuing a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for ozone in Maricopa County, effective Sept. 14, 2018. This HPA is due to levels expected to exceed the federal health standard for ozone.

People most affected by ozone include children, senior citizens, people who work or exercise outdoors and people with pre-existing respiratory disease. Ozone can irritate the respiratory system, aggravate asthma and reduce the immune system’s ability to fight off respiratory infections. Ozone-related health problems include shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, headaches, nausea, plus throat and lung irritation.

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, Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) and Valley Metro recommend residents and businesses use the following tips and resources to reduce ozone pollution and make the air healthier to breathe:

  • Drive as little as possible, carpool, use public transit or telecommute
  • Re-fuel your vehicle after dark
  • Avoid waiting in long drive-thru lines, for example, at coffee shops, fast-food restaurants or banks – park your car and go inside
  • Visit valleymetro.org and ShareTheRide.com to plan a transit trip or find a carpool or vanpool
  • Use low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) or water-based paints, stains, finishes and paint strippers – delay big painting projects
  • Make sure containers of household cleaners, garage and yard chemicals and other solvents are sealed properly to prevent vapors from evaporating into the air
  • Visit cleanairmakemore.com to learn more about reducing air pollution

BACKGROUND

High Pollution Advisory (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
Ozone: Ground level ozone is formed by a chemical reaction among sunlight, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and VOCs

For the month of September, ADEQ has also issued HPAs for Maricopa County on:

  • No other HPAs have been issued in September

CONTACTS

ADEQ provides a daily forecast for air quality and issues HPAs or Health Watches | View Forecast >

Receive air quality forecasts via email and/or text messages for Maricopa County | Subscribe >

ADEQ PIO | E-mail > | 602-771-2215 (office) | 602-540-8072 (cell)

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: cleanairmakemore.com.

Bob Huhn | E-mail > | 602-506-6713 (office) | 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. Please visit valleymetro.org to learn more.

Corinne Holliday | E-mail > | 602-322-4492 (office) | 623-293-0335 (cell)