The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has issued a PM-2.5 High Pollution Advisory for Friday, December 23 to Sunday, December 25.
Children, the elderly, and people with heart and/ or lung disease should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.
- Wood burning in residential fireplaces, chimeneas, outdoor fire pits and similar outdoor fires is prohibited. 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 during HPAs.
- Off-road vehicles are prohibited from being used during the HPA.
- Eliminate wood burning in fireplaces, stoves, chimeneas, and outdoor fire pits.
- Convert your wood burning fireplace to natural gas or propane. Check if you are eligible to receive up to $2,000 to upgrade your fireplace to natural gas by visiting CleanAirMakeMore.com/fireplace.
- Drive as little as possible: carpool, use public transit, or telecommute. For information on transportation alternatives, visit www.ShareTheRide.com.
- Avoid using leaf blowers. Use a rake or broom to keep debris out of the road and away from storm drains, ditches, and streams.
- Use electric lawn and garden equipment. Check if you are eligible to receive up to $200 to replace gasoline powered lawn equipment by visiting CleanAirMakeMore.com/lawn.
- 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.
- Fuel your vehicle after dark or during cooler evening hours.
- Use low-VOC (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.
Due to unhealthy levels of particulate matter, 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.
PM-2.5 stands for particulate matter measuring 2.5 microns or less. State and county agencies measure PM-10 and PM-2.5 which are extremely small solid particles and liquid droplets found circulating in the air. PM, or particulate matter, comes from either combustion (cars, industry, woodburning) or dust stirred up into the air. High levels of PM are typically created when the air is especially stagnant.
"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.