Orange Air Quality Action Day in six midstate counties today

Written by Tim Lambert and Radio Pennsylvania | Jul 29, 2015 5:04 AM

Photo by Tim Lambert/WITF

(Harrisburg) -- An orange air quality action day for ozone has been declared for six midstate counties.

The state Department of Environmental Protection says unhealthy pollution levels for sensitive people are expected in Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties.

Ozone, a key component of smog, is expected to become elevated today as a ridge of high pressure extends across the northeastern U.S.

The system will keep the skies mostly sunny, allowing the temperatures and moisture levels to rise near the surface.

Winds will be light and out of the south, allowing afternoon temperatures to climb into the low 90s across portions of the midstate.

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

DEP spokesman John Poister says people should take certain steps on days like this.

"If you have young children or  if you are in an elderly age group or if you have a respiratory problem, the best thing to do would be to limit your outdoor activities," he says.

Poister adds people and businesses are encouraged to voluntarily limit certain pollution-producing activities by doing things like setting temperatures on air conditioning units and thermostats higher to reduce power usage and keeping lights and appliances off when not in use.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's standardized air quality index uses colors to report daily air quality. Green signifies good, yellow means moderate, orange represents unhealthy pollution levels for sensitive people and red warns of unhealthy pollution levels for all.


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