The Illinois Partners for Clean Air and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency have called an Air Pollution Action Day for the Chicago Metropolitan area for Thursday, August 4, 2016. The regional air quality is expected to reach the “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” category on the national Air Quality Index.
This will be the sixth Action Day issued for 2016. Air monitors within in the Chicagoland area have already recorded air quality in the “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” category on 18 days since April 2016.
Why: In October 2015, the US EPA revised the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Ozone. Due to the tightened ozone air quality standards, citizens will notice more days registering orange (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups or USG) on the Air Quality Index, and more Air Pollution Action Days called. High temperatures often trigger Air Pollution Action Days.
What Does it Mean: On Air Pollution Action Days, ground-level ozone concentrations are forecasted to increase to levels posing a potential health hazard to sensitive populations, including individuals with respiratory or pulmonary conditions as well as active children and older adults. Sensitive individuals should take special precautions and follow their physician’s prescribed regimen. All residents should keep cool and limit physical activity when air pollution levels are high.
Monitoring stations throughout the region report local air quality. View sub-regional information here.
Stay Informed: Real-time air quality alerts are issued by the IEPA through the Illinois EnviroFlash system. Sign up to receive alerts here
Take Action: Sign up for direct, real-time air quality alerts through the Illinois EnviroFlash system alerts www.airnow.gov
Drive less: carpool, use public transportation, bike or walk
Keep your engine tuned, don’t let your engine idle
When refueling: stop when the pump shuts off, avoid spilling fuel, and tighten your gas cap
Inflate tires to the recommended pressure
Use low-VOC paint and cleaning products, and seal and store them so they can’t evaporate
Turn off lights when not in use
For more information and assistance, contact:Deirdre McQuillen
Illinois EPA/Illinois Partners for Clean AirOutreach Bureau of Air/Chair