for immediate release
Maricopa County Homepage   MARICOPA COUNTY
Air Quality Department, Bob Huhn, PIO
1001 North Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ  85004
Ph 602-506-6713

PM-2.5 High Pollution Advisory/No Burn Day issued for 1/1/16

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is issuing a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for New Year’s Day, Fri., Jan. 1, 2016, for fine particulate matter (PM2.5), also known as soot, for the Phoenix metropolitan area.

The HPA is being issued due to a sharp rise in particulates caused by stagnant weather conditions and strong temperature inversions exacerbated by increased wood burning associated with holiday celebrations.

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 HPA is in effect, especially children and adults with respiratory problems. ADEQ also urges businesses conducting dust-generating operations to be vigilant in their dust control measures.

During this HPA, Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) has declared a “No Burn Day” in Maricopa County and the following mandatory restrictions are in effect:

  • Wood burning in residential fireplaces, chimineas, outdoor fire pits, and similar outdoor fires (including at hotels and restaurants and individuals/businesses that have permits for open burning);
  • Use of leaf blowers on governmental properties; and
  • Use of off-highway vehicles.

ADEQ, MCAQD and Valley Metro encourage residents and employers to use these tips and resources to help make the air healthier to breathe:

  • Visit to learn more about reducing air pollution.
  • Drive as little as possible, carpool, use public transit, or telecommute.
  • Visit and to plan a transit trip or seek a carpool or vanpool.
  • Avoid activities that generate dust, such as driving on dirt roads.


High Pollution Advisory or HPA: The highest level of an air pollutant may 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, which commonly is called dust, and PM2.5, commonly called soot. PM10 refers to dust that is 10 microns or less and PM2.5 soot that is 2.5 microns or less. For 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 and issues HPAs or health watches when these conditions exist. Please visit or call (602) 771-2367 for tomorrow’s forecast or to receive air quality forecasts via email and/or text message.

CONTACT: Caroline Oppleman – (602) 771-2215 desk/(602) 540-8072 cell

The Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) 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:

CONTACT: Bob Huhn – (602) 506-6713 desk/(602) 526-7307 cell

Valley Metro 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. Please visit to learn more.

CONTACT: Corinne Holliday – (602) 322-4492 desk/(623) 293-0335 cell

# # #


   << Back