San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution District officials extended the current Air Alert through Friday because of increasing ozone levels, and they stressed the importance of the public’s participation in minimizing emissions.The air basin is on the verge of going into a third year where, for the first time, attainment of the federal 1-hour ozone standard is possible and the Valley will be relieved of monetary penalties. In order to reach attainment and avoid these penalties, each of the air basin’s monitoring stations must not exceed the ozone threshold of 125 parts per billion more than three times in three years.With 2010 and 2011 setting clean-air records for the Valley, this is the first time in recorded history that the Valley is in a position to be able meet the standard, according to a district news release.The district is remindied all Valley residents that the next three days are critical to reaching attainment at the end of 2012 and making the $29 million penalty go away two years sooner than anticipated. Residents can reduce 1-hour ozone smog-forming emissions by refraining from idling when dropping off or picking up students, carpooling or vanpooling, and refraining from using drive-through services.Businesses and municipalities can reduce emissions by shifting operations to early morning or late evening, as in lawn care; offering flexible work schedules, and encouraging carpools and vanpools for employees. Businesses can also enroll at no cost in the Healthy Air Living Partner program (to enroll, visit www.healthyairliving.com).Below is a list of the current number of exceendances at district monitors as of Wednesdaymorning: Sites with four exceedances: none — this means that the Valley can still reach attainment by the end of 2012; sites with three exceedances: Clovis — this means that Clovis can have no exceedances in 2011 or 2012; sites with two exceedances (these sites are allowed one exceedance in either 2011 or 2012): Central Fresno, North Fresno, Parlier (exceeded the standard Tuesday); Hanford; Arvin — Bear Mountain; sSites with one exceedance (these sites are allowed a total of two exceedances between 2011 or 2012): Edison; Southeast Fresno (exceeded the standard Tuesday); sites with no exceedances in 2010 (three exceedances allowed): Arvin-Di Giorgio; Ash Mountain; Bakersfield; Lower Kaweah; Madera; Maricopa; Merced; Modesto; Oildale; Porterville; Shafter; Stockton; Tracy; Tranquillity; Turlock; Visalia.istrict officials are continuing to analyze the data, which they speculate may be affected by natural events such as smoke. Exceedances that are the result of natural events such as fires are not counted against the air basin by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.Air Alert episodes are called Valley-wide when conditions may lead to ozone (smog) formation that results in exceeding the 1-hour standard.For more information about Air Alerts, visit http://www.valleyair.org/AirAlert/AirAlert_Landing.htm. To subscribe to the email notification system, visit http://www.valleyair.org/lists/list.htm.