(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has issued an Air Quality Action Day and is forecasting high ozone levels for Friday, July 17, 2020 in the following areas:
- Central Indiana – Marion, Bartholomew, Boone, Brown, Delaware, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Madison, Monroe, Morgan and Shelby
- Southeast Indiana – Clark, Floyd, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Scott and Washington
- Southwest Indiana – Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Greene, Knox, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick
IDEM encourages everyone to help reduce ozone while remaining safe during the COVID-19 health crisis by making changes to daily habits. You can:
- 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.
- Turn off your engine when idling for more than 30 seconds (e.g., at a bank or restaurant drive-thru)
- Conserve energy by turning off lights or setting the air conditioner 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 ozone levels are high. Children, the elderly and anyone with heart or lung conditions should reduce or avoid exertion and heavy work outdoors.
IDEM examines weather patterns and current ozone readings to make daily air quality forecasts. To learn more about ozone or sign up for air quality forecasts, visit www.SmogWatch.IN.gov.
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.
IDEM (www.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.