Ozone high pollution advisory issued for May 29-30 by Arizona Department of Environmental Quality

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality issued a high-pollution advisory for ozone for the Phoenix metropolitan area for Friday, May 29-Saturday, May 30.

The advisory was issued because the high pressure system affecting Valley air flow is locking in ozone and its precursors, according to a press release.

“Ozone is a health risk to all of our residents and these weather conditions increase air pollution,” Maricopa County Air Quality Department Director Philip McNeely said in the release. “Please do your part by driving less, carpooling if possible and refueling after dark. Any activity to reduce ozone levels will make a big difference in helping keep our air clean and residents healthy.”

ADEQ recommends that children and adults with respiratory problems avoid outdoor activities Friday and also suggests that the general public limit outdoor activity.

The Maricopa County Air Quality Department will enforce its mandatory “No Burn Day” restrictions during the ozone HPA:

  • Contractors cannot use leaf blowers on governmental properties on HPA days.
  • Open burning and residential fireplace burning is restricted in Maricopa County during a HPA. This includes individuals and businesses that have burn permits for open burning.

Valley Metro requests employers activate their HPA Plan. Residents and employers are asked to use these tips to help make the air healthier to breathe:

  • Avoid waiting in long, drive-through lines like at fast-food restaurants or banks. Park your car and go inside.
  • Refuel your vehicle after dark.
  • Drive as little as possible: carpool, use public transit or telecommute. For information on transportation alternatives, visit Valley Metro: www.sharetheride.com
  • Use low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) or water-based paints, stains, finishes, and paint strippers.
  • Delay big painting projects until the HPA has passed.
  • Make sure containers of household cleaners, garage and yard chemicals and other solvents are sealed properly to prevent vapors from evaporating into the air.
  • To learn more about the air you’re breathing, visit: www.cleanairmakemore.com.

Ground-level ozone is formed by a chemical reaction that needs heat from sunlight, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds to form. The months of April through October make up our Valley’s longer-than-normal “ozone season,” according to the release.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality provides a daily forecast for air quality and issues HPAs or health watches when these conditions exist. Visit www.azdeq.gov/environ/air/ozone/ensemble.pdf or call 602-771-2367 for tomorrow’s forecast. To receive air quality forecasts via email and/or text message,  visit www.azdeq.gov/subscribe.html.

The Maricopa County Air Quality Department 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. Visit www.cleanairmakemore.com to learn more.

Valley Metro/RPTA provides public transit options to residents of greater Phoenix and Maricopa County, including a clean-fuel bus fleet, low-emissions light rail, online car-pool 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. Visit www.valleymetro.org to learn more.


The Queen Creek Independent is mailed each month to 24,000 homes.

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