INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WEHT) – The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has issued an Air Quality Action Day (AQAD) and is forecasting high ozone levels for June 14. IDEM has issued the advisory statewide.

This advisory affects the following counties in the Tri-State region.

  • Daviess
  • Dubois
  • Gibson
  • Greene
  • Knox
  • Perry
  • Pike
  • Posey
  • Spencer
  • Vanderburgh
  • Warrick 

IDEM encourages everyone to help reduce ozone by making the following changes:

  • 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.
  • Conserve energy by turning off lights and setting the thermostat to 75 degrees or above. 

AQADs are in effect from midnight to 11:59 p.m. on the specified date. IDEM said 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 according to IDEM.

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 sensitive populations said an IDEM spokesperson. 

IDEM examines weather patterns and current ozone readings to make daily air quality forecasts. AQADs generally occur when weather conditions trap pollutants close to the ground.

More information can be learned about ozone by visiting the IDEM website and SmogWatch.IN.gov. Sign-up for air quality alerts is also available on the website.