Pima County, Ariz. (September 13, 2017) – The Tucson area will soon be receiving 5-day air quality forecasts from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) thanks to a collaborative effort between ADEQ and Pima County Department of Environmental Quality. ADEQ has been providing air quality forecasts for Maricopa and Pinal counties for almost two decades and, beginning Monday, September 18, 2017, this service will be available for the Tucson area. This is the first time that ADEQ has initiated air quality forecasts for a region that is attaining the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Both ADEQ and PDEQ hope this program will help the region stay in attainment of those EPA health standards.
“We are excited to have this five-day forecast in place to give residents time to modify their plans and protect their health as well as the health of their loved ones,” said Beth Gorman, Senior Program Manager at Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ). “ADEQ has the staff and expertise necessary to develop the forecasts,” Gorman said. “Providing a forecast several days in advance allows ample time to get the word out to people who might have health issues associated with elevated levels of air pollution, and provides enough time to arrange carpools and other transportation alternatives to reduce driving-related emissions.” Motor vehicle use is the largest single source of air pollution in Pima County.
“The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is proud to announce the launch of the new Tucson Area Air Quality Index (AQI) Forecast. This program is the result of the great partnership between ADEQ and the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality,” said Timothy Franquist, ADEQ Air Quality Division Director. “One of our key goals at ADEQ is to provide PDEQ with additional resources to assist them in their efforts to protect and enhance the health of Tucson area residents. It’s all part of a systematic, statewide approach to providing all Arizonans with the most up-to-date air quality information. The AQI forecasts will enable all Tucson area residents adequate time to make plans to protect their respiratory health and well-being,” Franquist explained.