Air quality action day for ozone in six midstate counties

Written by WITF Staff Report | Jun 12, 2015 9:47 AM

Photo by Tim Lambert/WITF

(Harrisburg) -- An orange air quality action day for ozone is forecast for several midstate counties today.

The state Department of Environmental Protection and its regional air quality partnerships say Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York counties are impacted.

Orange represents unhealthy pollution levels for sensitive people, according to the federal Environmental Protection Agency's standardized air quality index.

On air quality action days, young children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems, such as asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis, are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution and should limit outdoor activities.

The DEP says forecasts show ozone, a key component of smog, will become elevated today as a ridge of high pressure extends across the state.

The system will keep the skies partly to mostly sunny, allowing the temperatures and moisture levels to rise near the surface. Temperatures are likely to climb to 91 in the midstate.

The combination of these factors will cause ozone to elevate to an unhealthy level for sensitive people range during the afternoon hours.

To help keep the air healthy, people and businesses are encouraged by DEP to voluntarily limit certain pollution-producing activities by:

  • Setting air conditioning thermostats higher to reduce power usage;
  • Keeping lights and appliances off when not in use;
  • Delaying the filling of vehicle tanks until evening;
  • Carpooling or using public transportation; and
  • Combining errands to reduce trips.


These forecasts are provided in conjunction with the Air Quality Partnership of the Delaware Valley, the Southwest Pennsylvania Air Quality Partnership, the Lehigh Valley/Berks Air Quality Partnership and the Susquehanna Valley Air Quality Partnership.

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