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Indiana Department of Environmental Management

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 13, 2016

IDEM issues Air Quality Action Day today for three Indiana regions

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has issued an Air Quality Action Day and is forecasting high ozone levels for today, Monday, June 13, 2016 in the following metropolitan areas:

Greater Louisville – Clark, Floyd, Harrison, Scott, and Washington counties

Southwest Indiana – Dubois, Gibson, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh, and Warrick counties

Central Indiana - Marion, Hamilton, Hancock, Shelby, Johnson, Morgan, Greene, Monroe, Owen, Madison, Delaware, Hendricks and Boone counties

IDEM encourages everyone to help reduce ozone by making simple changes to their daily habits. You can:


Walk, bike, carpool or use public transportation



Avoid using the drive-through and combine errands into one trip



Avoid using gasoline-powered lawn equipment until after 7 p.m.



Turn off your engine when idling for more than 30 seconds



Conserve energy by turning off lights or setting the air conditioner to 75 degrees or above

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.

Ground-level ozone is formed when sunlight and hot weather bake 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.

About the ozone standard: On October 1, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) finalized the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone. The new rule sets more stringent standards, lowering both the primary (health-based) and secondary (welfare-based) standards from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 ppb. Because of the stricter standard, it is possible that Indiana may see an increase in the number of air quality action days in 2016 due to ozone. IDEM encourages all Hoosiers to be proactive and help reduce ozone for those who may be sensitive.

About IDEM

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.

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