PHOENIX (December 30, 2020) – The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is issuing a particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5 - smoke) High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for December 31, 2020 and a PM10 (dust)/PM2.5 HPA for January 1, 2021 for Maricopa County, Arizona. These HPAs have been issued because particle pollutant levels are expected to exceed the federal health standard for PM10 and PM2.5.
The Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) has declared a “No Burn Day” in Maricopa County and the following mandatory restrictions are in effect during the HPAs:
- Wood burning in residential fireplaces, chimineas, outdoor fire pits, and similar outdoor fires (including hotels and restaurants and individuals/businesses that have permits for open burning) is prohibited.
- Use of leaf blowers on governmental properties is prohibited.
- Use of off-road vehicles is prohibited.
People with heart or lung diseases, older adults, and children are most likely to be affected by particle pollution. Particulate matter less than or equal to 2.5 microns (PM2.5) can travel deeply into the respiratory tract and 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 HPAs are in effect, especially children and adults with respiratory problems.
ADEQ and MCAQD encourage residents and employers to use the following tips and resources to help improve air quality:
- Visit CleanAirMakeMore.com to learn more about reducing air pollution.
- Drive as little as possible, carpool, use public transit, or telecommute.
- Visit 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 (HPA): An alert that notifies the public that the level of an air pollutant is expected to exceed 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, refers to dust particles 10 microns or less, and PM2.5, or soot particles, are 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 High Pollution Watches when these conditions exist. Please visit azdeq.gov/PHOENIX/Forecast for tomorrow’s forecast or SUBSCRIBE to receive air quality forecasts via email and/or text message.
CONTACT: ADEQ Public Information Officer - 602-540-8072 cell or email@example.com
MCAQD’s mission is to improve the air of Maricopa County so customers, residents, and visitors can live, work, and play in a healthy environment. MCAQD is governed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and follows air quality standards set forth by the federal Clean Air Act. For air quality information and resources, visit CleanAirMakeMore.com.
CONTACT: Maria Bonilla - 602-506-7856 desk / 602-396-0527 cell or firstname.lastname@example.org
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