Lingering smoke from Canadian wildfires leads to Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for June 19th

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has announced a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for Monday, June 19th due to sunny skies, temperatures in the upper 80s, and lingering smoke from the wildfires in Canada. These conditions are expected to contribute to an 8-hour average concentration of ozone. Montgomery County is included within the impacted area, along with Philadephia, Bucks, Chester, and Delaware counties. The issue is also expected to affect the Lehigh Valley-Berks, Susquehanna Valley, and Pittsburgh areas.

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 fine particulate matter air pollution by: 

• Reducing or eliminating fireplace and wood stove use;
• Avoiding the open burning of leaves, trash, and other materials; and
• Avoiding the use of gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.

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