INDIANA (WEHT) – The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has issued an Air Quality Action Day (AQAD) and is forecasting high ozone levels for June 30.

Affected regions include:

  • Central Indiana 
    • Marion, Bartholomew, Boone, Brown, Delaware, Hamilton, Hendricks, Howard, Madison, Shelby
  • North Central Indiana 
    • St. Joseph, Elkhart
  • Northeast Indiana 
    • Allen, Huntington, Wabash
  • Northwest Indiana 
    • Lake, Porter, LaPorte
  • Southeast Indiana 
    • Clark, Floyd
  • Southwest Indiana 
    • Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Greene, Knox, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh, Warrick
  • West Central Indiana 
    • Vigo, Carroll, Tippecanoe

IDEM encourages everyone to help reduce ozone by making changes to daily habits:

  • Drive less: carpool, use public transportation, walk, bike, or work from home when possible.
  • Combine errands into one trip.
  • Avoid refueling your vehicle or using gasoline-powered lawn equipment until after 7 p.m.
  • Keep your engine tuned, and don’t let your engine idle, like at a bank or restaurant drive-thru.
  • Conserve energy by turning off lights and setting the thermostat to 75 degrees or above.

The press release says 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 some people.

IDEM observes 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, and lower atmospheric inversions trap pollutants close to the ground.

To learn more about ozone or to sign up for air quality alerts, visit this website.