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Frequently Asked Questions


What is the current attainment status in Maricopa County?

A: Portions of Maricopa County have been designated nonattainment for three pollutants: particulate matter (PM-10), carbon monoxide (CO) and ozone (O3). For more information on the nonattainment status for these pollutants, please click here
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What's the difference between the state and county air quality departments?

A: The Maricopa County Air Quality Department regulates and enforces air quality standards for businesses and individuals in Maricopa County (link to county map). The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality expands their coverage to the entire State of Arizona. The county air quality department does not fall under the state's jurisdiction. For more on ADEQ, click here.
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Is today a “no burn day”?

A: No Burn Day restrictions are put into effect when air pollution is expected to reach or exceed the federal standard. While No Burn Day restrictions are typically issued in conjunction with a High Pollution Advisory, the Air Quality Department director has the authority to call a No Burn Day and enforce wood-burning restrictions. Residents are asked to refrain from wood-burning in fireplaces, woodstoves and outdoor fire pits during a No Burn Day, otherwise be subject to fines.
All wood-burning restriction notices will be posted to our home page. You may also call (602) 506-6400 to listen to the latest wood-burning restrictions.
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What types of pollution do you measure?

A: The Maricopa County Air Quality Department monitors the following pollutants:
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Nitrogen Dioxide
  • Ozone
  • Particulates Matter (PM-10 and PM-2.5)
  • Sulfur Dioxide
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What is the air quality in my neighborhood?

A: The Air Quality Department has 24 air monitoring stations throughout Maricopa County. You may look at monitoring station site results any time of the day or night. We do caution you however to take a look at the big picture. Pollutants such as ozone and dust can move from city to city depending on the weather conditions. So, just because you may be having a great “air” day in your city, you will want to see what's happening in surrounding areas. We measure air quality standards over the entire county.
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What can I do to help reduce air pollution?

A: Dust Pollution Prevention Tips:
  • Use a rake or broom instead of using a leaf blower.
  • Avoid using gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.
  • Avoid using wood-burning fireplaces or stoves on no burn days.
  • Drive slowly or not at all on unpaved roads and vacant lots.
  • Avoid driving off-road vehicles in the dirt or on unpaved roads.
  • Consolidate errands into one trip.
A: Ozone pollution prevention tips:
  • Drive less. When possible, carpool, van pool or use public transportation. To find a carpool or van pool partner, visit Valley Metro's website at www.sharetheride.com or call (602) 262-RIDE.
  • Avoid waiting in long drive-thru lines, for example, at coffee shops, fast-food restaurants or banks. Park your car and go inside.
  • Refuel 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 high-pollution advisories have passed.
  • Make sure that containers of household cleaners, garage and yard chemicals and other solvents are sealed properly to prevent vapors from evaporating into the air.
  • Conserve electricity.
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Whatdo I do if I see someone polluting the air?

A: Call the Maricopa County Air Quality Department to report a violation at (602) 506-6010 or file a report on-line.
Violation categories:
  • Dust from construction, vacant lots or processing plants
  • Improper gaseous emissions from businesses
  • Illegal open surface coating/painting
  • Illegal open burning
  • Smoking vehicle
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What is the difference between a Health Watch and a High Pollution Advisory?

A: A "Health Watch" means the highest concentration of pollution may approach the federal health standard.  Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion during a health watch.
"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 Trip Reduction Program are asked to activate their HPA plans on high pollution advisory days.
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Where can I find more information?

A: Maricopa County is committed to educational outreach. For more information about air pollution or what you can do to help clean our air, please visit www.CleanAirMakeMore.com.
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Please keep in mind, our jurisdiction covers the Maricopa County area (link to county map). Any complaints outside of the county boundary should be directed to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality [ADEQ] www.azdeq.gov