The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has issued an Ozone High Pollution Advisory for Monday, May 22 and Tuesday, May 23.
- Wood burning in residential fireplaces, chimeneas, outdoor fire pits, and similar outdoor fires is prohibited in Maricopa County. This includes individuals and businesses which have burn permits for open burning.
- Employees and contractors of government entities are prohibited from operating leaf blowers. Residents are encouraged to avoid leaf blowing.
- Off-road vehicle use should be avoided.
- Drive as little as possible: carpool, use public transit, or telecommute. For information on transportation alternatives, visit Valley Metro: www.ShareTheRide.com.
- Fuel your vehicle after dark or during cooler evening hours.
- Reduce your time waiting in long drive-thru lines. For example, at coffee shops, fast-food restaurants, or banks. Park your vehicle and go inside.
- Use low-VOCs (volatile organic compounds) or water-based paints, stains, finishes and paint strippers.
- Delay big painting projects until HPAs have 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.
- Eliminate wood burning in fireplaces, stoves, chimeneas, and outdoor fire pits.
- Avoid using leaf blowers. Use a rake or broom to keep debris out of the road and away from storm drains, ditches, and streams.
- Conserve electricity.
Due to unhealthy levels of ozone, Maricopa County Air Quality Department requests all Transportation Coordinators to email employees and activate your HPA plans. The department encourages the use of alternative modes of transportation, especially when pollution levels are expected to be on the rise.
Remind employees that they are encouraged to make more clean air. By taking small, simple steps every day, we can all make a difference. Additional tips on how to reduce air pollution can be found at www.CleanAirMakeMore.com.
Ozone: Ground level ozone is formed by a chemical reaction that needs heat from sunlight, nitrogen oxides and VOCs to form. The months of April through September make up our Valley’s longer-than-normal "ozone season."
"High Pollution Advisory" or "HPA" means the highest concentration of pollution may exceed the federal health standard. Active children, adults and people with lung disease such as asthma should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion. Maricopa County employers enlisted in the Travel Reduction Program are asked to activate their HPA plans on high pollution advisory days.