An Air Quality Action Day has been declared by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management for La Porte, St. Joseph, Elkhart, Huntington and Allen counties in Indiana…and is in effect for Friday April 14.

Ozone levels are expected to be in the Orange or unhealthy for sensitive groups range.

People and businesses are urged to avoid activities which lead to ozone and fine particulate formation. These activities include refueling vehicles or topping off when refueling, using gasoline powered lawn equipment and using charcoal lighter fluid.

Positive activities include car pooling, biking to work, delaying or combining errands and using water based paints.

It is recommended that people with respiratory diseases such as asthma limit prolonged outdoor exertion.

For additional information, please visit the IDEM SMOG Watch web site at or the EPA AIRNOW web site at and click on Indiana.

Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission gave the following tips to stay healthy:
  • Reduce physical exertion outside
  • Carpool, walk, bike, or use public transportation when possible.
  • Refuel vehicles after dusk.
  • Avoid excess idling and drive-through windows.
  • Consolidate trips and avoid fast-starts.
  • Postpone using gasoline-powered garden equipment or mowing the lawn until late evening, when temperatures are cooler.
  • Work from home to reduce vehicle emissions, if your employer provides the option.
  • Use energy efficient lighting and appliances recommended by the Energy Star Program.
  • Turn off appliances and lights when not in use to reduce emissions from energy production.
  • Adjust your thermostat by turning it up in the summer and down in the winter to reduce emissions from energy production.
  • Recycle to reduce emissions related to producing paper, plastic, glass bottles, aluminum cans, and cardboard.
  • Use “low VOC” or “zero VOC” paint and cleaning products.
  • Consider burning gas logs instead of wood to reduce smoke.
  • Avoid burning clean wood waste such as leaves and brush. If possible, recycle yard waste by shredding or chipping it at home or use a registered collection site. Never burn trash.

Air Quality Action Days
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.

Air Quality Action Days are days in which ground level ozone and particulate matter are predicted to reach unhealthy levels. The Air Quality Action Season for Indiana ozone concerns begins May 1 and ends September 30 of each year while PM 2.5 action days can occur year-round. Review your Action Day notification for information regarding what the primary pollutant for the day is. IDEM and the Illinois EPA employ a team of forecasters who analyze weather patterns, ozone concentrations, and PM 2.5 to determine if ground level ozone and PM 2.5 may reach unhealthy levels.