HARRISBURG – Air quality forecasts predict Friday, Aug. 24, to be code Orange for ozone in nine regions across the state, the Department of Environmental Protection announced today.
DEP and its regional air quality partnerships have forecast an Orange air quality action day for ozone for Friday in the Lehigh Valley, Liberty-Clairton, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Susquehanna Valley regions.
DEP has also issued code Orange air quality forecasts for ozone for Friday in State College, as well as Erie, Indiana and Mercer counties.
On days forecast for code Orange air quality, 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 Lehigh Valley region is Berks, Lehigh and Northampton counties. The Susquehanna Valley region is Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties.
The Philadelphia region is Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.
The Pittsburgh region is Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties. The Liberty-Clairton region is the municipalities of Clairton, Glassport, Liberty, Lincoln and Port Vue, all in southeastern Allegheny County.
The State College forecasting area includes all of Centre County.
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.
Ground-level ozone, a key component of smog, forms during warm weather when pollution from vehicles, industry, households and power plants “bakes” in the hot sun, making it hard for some people to breathe.
To help keep the air healthy, residents and businesses are encouraged to voluntarily limit certain pollution-producing activities by:
• Mowing the lawn in the late evening;
• Sharing a ride or using public transportation to run errands or get to work; and
• Refueling vehicles after dusk.
The air quality action day 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.
DEP also issues air quality forecasts for Altoona, Johnstown, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, State College and Williamsport.
For more information, visit www.dep.state.pa.us, keyword: Air Quality Partnership.