PRESS RELEASE | ADEQ Launches New High Pollution Watch (HPW) Air Quality Alert -- New HPW will provide communities in the Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma and Nogales air quality forecast areas with early notice of potential poor air quality conditions

ADEQ officials announced today a new High Pollution Watch (HPW) air quality alert. The new HPW will provide communities in ADEQ’s Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma and Nogales air quality forecast areas with early notice of potential poor air quality conditions based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Air Quality Index (AQI).

When ADEQ air quality meteorologists identify the potential for a forecasted pollutant to exceed the federal health standard (100 AQI), ADEQ will issue an HPW. The HPW serves as an early outlook and provides people with advance notice of potential poor air quality -- information they can use to plan activities, like being outdoors, carpooling and teleworking.

As the date of an issued HPW nears and additional data are available to strengthen the forecast analysis, if appropriate, ADEQ will upgrade the HPW to a High Pollution Advisory (HPA). ADEQ issues an HPA when exceedance of the federal health standard for a forecasted pollutant is imminent or there is a high probability.

An AQI value of 100 generally corresponds to the national air quality standard for the pollutant -- the level EPA set to protect public health. AQI values at or less than 100 are considered satisfactory. When AQI values are greater than 100, air quality is considered to be unhealthy—at first for certain sensitive groups of people, then for everyone as AQI values increase.

With the new HPW alert in place for advance notice of potential poor air quality (>100 AQI), ADEQ will no longer issue an air quality alert for AQI values of 90-100, previously issued as health watches.

“Providing our communities with timely and accurate air quality forecasts is central to ADEQ’s mission to protect and enhance public health and the environment,” said Daniel Czecholinski, ADEQ Air Quality Division Director. “Serving as an early notice of a potential High Pollution Advisory, ADEQ’s new High Pollution Watch gives people straightforward, easy-to-understand air quality information they can factor in when making plans related to their work and outdoor recreation.”

View High Pollution Watch (HPW) Explained to learn more about ADEQ’s HPW.

Air Quality & Your Health

People most vulnerable to the impacts of air pollution include children, older adults, adults exercising outdoors, people with heart or lung disease and those suffering from asthma and bronchitis. Exposure can increase the number and severity of asthma attacks, cause or aggravate bronchitis or other lung disease and reduce the body’s ability to fight infection. Symptoms may include itchy eyes, nose, and throat, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain and upper respiratory issues.

Learn more about EPA's AQI | View AQI Guide >

Get the Facts about Air Pollutants of Concern

Particulate Matter Fact Sheet | View >
Ozone Fact Sheet | View >

Air Quality Forecasting & Alerts

ADEQ provides hourly air quality forecasts for certain areas of the state and issues HPWs and/or HPAs when forecasted conditions warrant. | Learn More >

High Pollution Watch (HPW) | Notifies the public when there is potential for a pollutant to exceed the federal health standard.
High Pollution Advisory (HPA) | Notifies the public when it is imminent or there is a high probability for a pollutant to exceed the federal health standard.

Find Your Local Air Quality Forecast

Phoenix | View >
Yuma | View >
Nogales | View >
Tucson | View >

Sign Up to Receive Air Quality Forecasts

Receive ADEQ air quality forecast notifications by email or text | Subscribe >

Stay informed -- download the Air Arizona Mobile App | Learn More >

Apple iTunes >
Google Play >

Be Air Aware!

Together we can make a difference to improve air quality for everyone in Arizona. | Learn More >

Contact

Public Information Officer | 602-540-8072 | Email >