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Indiana Department of Environmental Management Press Releases

April 13, 2023

IDEM extends Air Quality Action Day for Friday in two counties due to recycling plastics warehouse fire in Richmond

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has issued Air Quality Action Days (AQAD) through Friday, April 14, 2023, in two eastern Indiana counties. IDEM is forecasting elevated levels of fine particles (PM2.5) in the air due in part to smoke from a fire at a recycling plastics warehouse in Richmond. Weather conditions will continue to spread the smoke. IDEM will continue to monitor air quality and weather patterns to make AQAD decisions.

  • Wayne, Randolph 

IDEM encourages everyone to help reduce PM2.5 by making changes to daily habits. You can:

  • Avoid burning wood in fireplaces or wood-fired boilers and any other unnecessary fires.
  • Reminder: Indiana’s open burning laws make it illegal to burn trash and generally prohibit open burning, visit IN.gov/openburning for more information.
  • Reduce activity time outdoors to reduce unhealthy exposure to PM2.5 and avoid exercising near busy roads.
  • Combine errands into one trip.
  • Avoid using gasoline-powered snow removal equipment or gas-powered recreational vehicles.
  • 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 or setting the thermostat to 70 degrees or lower.

PM2.5 is composed of microscopic dust, soot, and liquid that settles deep into the lungs and cannot be easily exhaled. Those people at risk are particularly vulnerable after several days of high PM2.5 exposure.

IDEM examines weather patterns and PM2.5 readings to make daily air quality forecasts. Air Quality Action Days generally occur when weather conditions such as light winds, snow cover, higher humidity, and lower atmospheric inversions trap pollutants close to the ground. To learn more about PM2.5 or 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.  


Media contact:
Barry Sneed
Public Information Officer
[email protected]



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