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Sun, Apr 7, 2013

HPA Issued for Monday, April 8

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is issuing a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for Monday, April 8 for PM-10, or particulate matter 10-microns or less in size.

This HPA is being issued because a lengthy period of strong, gusty winds is expected throughout the region on Monday which will create a high risk for dense dust and unhealthy PM-10 concentrations in the air. 

“ADEQ meteorologists are forecasting a high risk of blowing dust due to high winds and minimal chances of rain throughout the region,” said ADEQ Air Quality Division Director Eric Massey.  “We are asking everyone who generates dust to take extra precautions to minimize emissions throughout the event.”

As a result, the Maricopa County Air Quality Department is enforcing the mandatory “No Burn Day” restriction for Maricopa County from midnight to midnight Monday. Businesses conducting dust-generating operations are urged to be vigilant in their dust control measures.

This HPA also includes the following restrictions:

Contractors cannot use leaf blowers on governmental properties on HPA days.

Open burning and residential fireplace burning is restricted in Maricopa County during a PM-10 HPA. This includes individuals and businesses which have burn permits for open burning.

Off-highway vehicles are prohibited from being used during a PM-10 HPA.

ADEQ recommends that children and adults with respiratory problems avoid outdoor activities on Monday and suggests the general public limit outdoor activity throughout the day.

Valley Metro requests employers activate their HPA Plan. Residents and employers are asked to use these tips to help make the air healthier to breathe:

Eliminate wood burning in fireplaces, stoves, chimineas and outdoor fire pits.
Drive as little as possible: car pool, use public transit or telecommute. Click here to find a carpool partner or seat in a vanpool.
Avoid using leaf blowers.
Avoid activities that generate dust, such as driving on dirt roads.

PARTICULATE MATTER BACKGROUND:  State and county agencies measure PM-10 and PM-2.5 which are extremely small solid particles and liquid droplets found circulating in the air.  PM, or particulate matter, comes from either combustion (cars, industry, woodburning) or dust stirred up into the air. High levels of PM are typically created when the air is especially stagnant or especially windy.

PM-10 stands for particulate matter measuring 10 microns or less.  PM-2.5 stands for particulate matter measuring 2.5 microns or less.  To put this in perspective, one strand of human hair is 70-100 microns in size. 


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