HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has issued a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for ozone for today, July 22, 2020, for the counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia in southeastern Pennsylvania.
The Air Quality Action Day is based on DEP’s forecast: sunshine for most of the day, with light southwest winds, high temperatures expected in the mid 90’s. These conditions will create rapid ozone formation within the Air Quality Action Day area. Any thunderstorms will not arrive until the early evening, so ozone concentrations will reach into the Code Orange range during the afternoon.
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 issued when the AQI is forecasted to be code orange or higher. 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.
Residents and businesses within the Air Quality Action Day area are strongly encouraged to voluntarily help reduce air pollution by:
- Conserving electricity by setting air conditioning to a higher temperature;
- Combining errands to reduce vehicle trips;
- Limiting engine idling; and
- Refueling cars and trucks after dusk.
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