Ozone Action Days (OAD) is a public awareness program of Metroplan, in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, Arkansas Department of Health, and the Arkansas Department of Transportation. The program is designed to keep you informed about potentially harmful ground-level ozone. Ground-level ozone is the bad type of ozone that is created when pollutants mix with sunlight. Breathing this type of ozone can cause a number of problems including chest pain, coughing, throat irritation, and congestion.
When ground-level ozone reaches moderate levels, an Ozone Action Day Alert will be issued. There are currently two basic types of Ozone Action Days:
An Ozone Action Advisory will be declared when the Air Quality Index (AQI) forecast is code orange, indicating that prolonged outdoor exertion is unhealthy for sensitive groups.
An Ozone Action Alert will be declared when the AQI forecast is code red, indicating that prolonged outdoor exertion is unhealthy for everyone.
The Ozone forecasting season is May 1st - September 30th, but you can check the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality website for air quality information throughout the year. To be notified of any Ozone Action Day alert you can sign up for EnviroFlash from EPA’s AirNow.
Ditch the Keys is an awareness-building campaign, sponsored by OAD, that encourages central Arkansans to protect air quality by using alternate modes of transportation to help reduce ground-level ozone.