The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is issuing a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for Friday, Nov. 15 in the Phoenix metropolitan area for Particulate Matter-10.
The HPA is being issued because a powerful cold front from the northwest is expected to bring a lengthy period of strong and gusty winds to the area along with a very high potential for significant amounts of blowing dust.
"Our forecasts indicate the probability that this front will stir up a great deal of dust," said ADEQ Air Quality Division Director Eric Massey. "We are asking everyone who generates dust to take extra precautions to minimize emissions throughout this wind event."
As a result, the Maricopa County Air Quality Department is enforcing the mandatory "No Burn Day" restriction for Maricopa County for Friday. Businesses conducting dust-generating operations are urged to be vigilant in their dust control measures.
This HPA also includes the following restrictions:
• Contractors cannot use leaf blowers on governmental properties on HPA days.
• Open burning activity is restricted in Maricopa County. This includes individuals and businesses which have burn permits for open burning.
• Off-highway vehicles are prohibited from being used during a PM-10 HPA.
ADEQ recommends that children and adults with respiratory problems avoid outdoor activities on Friday and suggests the general public limit outdoor activity throughout the day and evening hours.
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:
• Eliminate wood burning in fireplaces, stoves, chimineas and outdoor fire pits.
• Drive as little as possible: car pool, use public transit or telecommute. For information on transportation alternatives, visit Valley Metro: www.valleymetro.org.
• Avoid using leaf blowers.
• Avoid activities that generate dust, such as driving on dirt roads.
• To learn more about the air you’re breathing, visit: www.CleanAirMakeMore.com
PARTICULATE MATTER BACKGROUND: 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 or especially windy.
PM-10 stands for particulate matter measuring 10 microns or less. PM-2.5 stands for particulate matter measuring 2.5 microns or less. To put this in perspective, one strand of human hair is 70-100 microns in size.
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality [ADEQ] provides a daily forecast for air quality. When conditions exist, ADEQ will issue high pollution advisories or health watches. Daily air quality forecasts are on ADEQ’s Web site at www.azdeq.gov/environ/air/ozone/ensemble.pdf or by calling (602)771-2367. Those interested in receiving the air quality forecast via email can subscribe to
ADEQ’s forecast list at www.azdeq.gov/subscribe.html .
Maricopa County Air Quality Department issues No Burn Day restrictions based on a high pollution advisory or health watch. These No Burn Day restrictions typically occur during the winter months. To find out if any burn restrictions are in place, call (602) 506-6400 or visit www.cleanairmakemore.com. Information is given in both English and Spanish. You may report an air quality problem or polluter on our website or by calling (602) 372-2703.
To learn more about the Maricopa County residential woodburning restriction ordinance, view a copy on our website www.maricopa.gov/aq. Click on the direct link to the residential woodburning restriction ordinance: http://www.maricopa.gov/aq/divisions/planning_analysis/rules/docs/P26-0803.pdf
Valley Metro/RPTA provides eco-friendly public transit options to residents of greater Phoenix and Maricopa County, including a clean-fuel bus fleet, low-emissions light rail, online carpool 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. www.ValleyMetro.org
Arizona Department of Environmental Quality [ADEQ]
Mark Shaffer - 602-771-2215 desk / 480-433-9551 cell
Maricopa County Air Quality Department
Bob Huhn - 602-506-6713 desk / 602-526-7307 cell
Susan Tierney - 602-523-6004 desk / 602-292-4093 cell