Last Updated on July 27, 2023 by Indiana Department of Environmental Management
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has extended the Air Quality Action Day (AQAD) forecast for today through Friday, July 28, for all of Indiana. Air quality is expected to reach the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (Orange) level.
IDEM is forecasting high ozone levels due to a significant increase in temperatures across the state and a continued air mass from Canadian wildfires in the following regions:
- Central/East Central Indiana, including the cities of: Bloomington, Brookville, Columbus, Frankfort, Indianapolis, Greensburg, Kokomo, Lebanon, Martinsville, Muncie, Richmond and all other cities within the area.
- 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.
- Southeast Indiana, including the cities of: Brownstown, Corydon, Jeffersonville, Madison, New Albany, Salem, Versailles and all other cities within the area.
- Southwest Indiana, including the cities of: Bedford, Bloomfield, Evansville, Huntingburg, Mount Vernon, Paoli, Princeton, Rockport, Tell City, Vincennes and all other cities within the area.
- Western/West Central Indiana, including the cities of: Crawfordsville, Covington, Delphi, Fowler, Greencastle, Lafayette, Newport, Monticello, Spencer, Sullivan, Terre Haute and all other cities within the area.
A state map including regions and affected counties is available at SmogWatch.IN.gov.
Note: IDEM forecasts are based, solely or in part, on data from air quality monitors located throughout the state. IDEM encourages residents of counties within or bordering the affected 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.
Air Quality Action Days are in effect from midnight to 11:59 p.m. (24-hours) on the specified date.
IDEM encourages everyone to help improve air quality by making changes to daily habits on Air Quality Action Days. You can:
- Carpool or use public transportation.
- Avoid using the drive-through and combine errands into one trip.
- Turn off engines instead of idling for long periods of time.
- Avoid using gas-powered equipment.
- Conserve energy by turning off lights and setting the air conditioner to a higher setting;
- Use propane gas instead of charcoal when grilling outdoors;
- Reminder: Indiana’s open burning laws make it illegal to burn trash and generally prohibit open burning, visit IN.gov/openburning for more information.
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.
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. Air Quality Action Days generally occur when weather conditions such as light winds, hot and dry air, stagnant conditions, or lower atmospheric inversions trap pollutants close to the ground.
To learn more about ozone, or to sign up for air quality alerts, visit SmogWatch.IN.gov.
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.
SOURCE: News release from Indiana Department of Environmental Management