The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has forecasted another Air Quality Action Day (AQAD) for Friday, June 30. Current air monitor readings across the northern Indiana remain high for particulates and ozone as the Canadian wildfire plume continues to move slowly through the state. Particulates and ozone are expected to be in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups range (Orange) in the following areas:
- North Central Indiana, including the cities of: Elkhart, Goshen, Knox, Logansport, Plymouth, Peru, South Bend, Warsaw, Winamac and all other cities within the area.
- Northeast Indiana, including the cities of: Angola, Auburn, Decatur, Fort Wayne, Hartford, Huntington City, LaGrange, Marion, Portland, Wabash and all other cities within the area.
- Northwest Indiana, including the cities of: Crown Point, Gary, Hammond, Kentland, LaPorte, Michigan City, Portage, Rensselaer, Valparaiso and all other cities within the area.
A state map including regions and affected counties is available at SmogWatch.IN.gov.
Note: IDEM’s AQAD forecast is based solely on data from ozone and fine particulate air quality monitors located throughout the state. IDEM encourages residents of counties within or bordering the AQAD region(s) to heed the forecast. Air quality information for all Indiana counties can be found at SmogWatch.IN.gov.
Some municipalities have additional open burning restrictions on AQADs. For more information, see idem.IN.gov/openburning/laws-and-rules.
IDEM encourages everyone to help reduce ozone by making changes to daily habits. You can:
- Drive less: carpool, use public transportation, walk, bike, or work from home when possible
- Combine errands into one trip
- Avoid refueling your vehicle or using gasoline-powered lawn equipment until after 7 p.m.
- Keep your engine tuned, and don’t let your engine idle (e.g., at a bank or restaurant drive-thru)
- Conserve energy by turning off lights and setting the thermostat to 75 degrees or above
Air Quality Action Days are in effect from midnight to 11:59 p.m. on the specified date. Anyone sensitive to changes in air quality may be affected when particulate and ozone levels are high. Children, the elderly, and anyone with heart or lung conditions should reduce or avoid exertion and heavy work outdoors.
Ground-level ozone is formed when sunlight and hot weather combine with vehicle exhaust, factory emissions, and gasoline vapors. Ozone in the upper atmosphere blocks ultraviolet radiation, but ozone near the ground is a lung irritant that can cause coughing and breathing difficulties for sensitive populations.
PM2.5 is composed of microscopic dust, soot, and liquid that settles deep into the lungs and cannot be easily exhaled.
IDEM examines weather patterns and current PM2.5 and ozone readings to make daily air quality forecasts. Air Quality Action Days generally occur when weather conditions such as light winds, hot and dry air, stagnant conditions, and lower atmospheric inversions trap pollutants close to the ground. Those people at risk are particularly vulnerable after several days of high PM2.5 or ozone exposure. Sensitive Groups should reduce or avoid exertion and heavy work outdoors during these conditions. To learn more about ozone or to sign up for air quality alerts, visit SmogWatch.IN.gov.
About IDEM IDEM (idem.IN.gov) implements federal and state regulations regarding the environment. Through compliance assistance, incentive programs and educational outreach, the agency encourages and aids businesses and citizens in protecting Hoosiers and our environment.