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DEP Declares Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for Ozone for Saturday, May 21, 2022, in Multiple Areas of Pennsylvania

05/20/2022

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has declared a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for ozone for Saturday, May 21, 2022, in the following areas of Pennsylvania:

The Philadelphia Area, which includes the counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia; 
The Lehigh Valley-Berks Area, which includes the counties of Berks, Lehigh, and Northampton; and 
The Susquehanna Valley Area, which includes the counties of Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York.

Plenty of sunshine, light southwest winds, and high temperatures surpassing 90 degrees will likely contribute to 8-hour average concentrations of ozone in the Code Orange range on Saturday.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Air Quality Index (AQI) provides standardized color codes for forecasting and reporting daily air quality. Green signifies good air quality; Yellow means moderate air quality; Orange represents unhealthy pollution levels for sensitive groups of people; and Red warns of unhealthy pollution levels for all.

An Air Quality Action Day is declared when the AQI is forecasted to be Code Orange or higher. On an Air Quality Action Day, 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.

Residents and businesses within the Air Quality Action Day areas are strongly encouraged to voluntarily help reduce ozone air pollution by: 

Driving less by carpooling or using public transportation; 
Combining errands to reduce vehicle trips; 
Limiting engine idling; 
Refueling cars and trucks after dusk; and 
Conserving electricity by setting air conditioning to a higher temperature and turning off lights that are not in use.

For more information, visit DEP at www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/AQPartnersWeb, EPA’s AirNow at www.airnow.gov, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s Air Quality Partnership at www.airqualitypartnership.org, or Air Quality Partnership of Lehigh Valley-Berks at www.airqualityaction.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Neil Shader, nshader@pa.gov, 717-787-1323

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