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IDEM extends statewide Air Quality Action Day for Sunday, July 16 and Monday, July 17, 2023 due to Canadian wildfires

INDIANAPOLIS – Smoke and particulate matter will be moving into the state on Sunday raising particulate levels to unhealthy for sensitive groups (USG). The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) issued an Air Quality Action Day (AQAD) for Sunday, July 16, 2023 and is extending Sunday’s statewide Air Quality Action Day (AQAD) through Monday. IDEM is forecasting high levels of fine particles (PM2.5) in the air for Sunday and Monday, July 16-17, 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.

Smoke and particulate matter will be moving into the state on Sunday raising particulate levels to unhealthy for sensitive groups (USG).

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 reduce PM2.5 by making changes to daily habits. 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.

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. Sensitive Groups should reduce or avoid exertion and heavy work outdoors during these conditions. 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.  

SOURCE: News release from Indiana Department of Environmental Management