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Air Quality Action Day Forecast Saturday in Four Pennsylvania Regions

Saturday, July 12, 2008 General News J E 4
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Residents, Businesses Encouraged to Reduce Air Pollution



HARRISBURG, Pa., July 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Environmental Protection and its regional air quality partnerships announced today that an air quality action day is forecast for Saturday, July 12, in the Berks/Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Susquehanna Valley regions.



The air quality forecast says Saturday will be code ORANGE for ozone in all four areas.



-- The Berks/Lehigh Valley region includes Berks, Lehigh and Northampton counties;

-- The Philadelphia region includes Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties;

-- The Pittsburgh region includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties; and

-- The Susquehanna Valley region includes Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties.



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). Air quality action days are declared at orange and red when fine particulate matter reaches unhealthy levels.



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.



On air quality action days, young children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems, such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis, are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution and should limit outdoor activities.



To help keep the air healthy, residents and businesses are encouraged to voluntarily limit certain pollution-producing activities by taking the following steps:



-- Ride the bus or carpool to work;

-- Avoid burning leaves, trash and other materials;

-- Wash dishes and clothes with full loads; and

-- Save energy -- do not overcool your home.



These 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.



For more information on ozone, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: Ozone. To view the air quality forecast, for more information on the Air Quality Partnerships, or to sign up to receive free daily forecasts by e-mail, visit www.aqpartners.org.



CONTACT:

Tom Rathbun

717-787-1323





SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
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