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Air Quality Action Day Forecast Thursday in All Regions
Date:9/3/2008

Residents, Businesses Encouraged to Reduce Air Pollution

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Environmental Protection and its regional air quality partnerships have forecast an air quality action day for Thursday, Sept. 4, in the Berks/Lehigh, Liberty/Clairton, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Susquehanna Valley regions.

The air quality forecast predicts Thursday will be code ORANGE for ozone in the Berks/Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Susquehanna Valley regions:

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

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

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

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

The air quality forecast predicts Thursday will be code ORANGE for particulate matter in the Liberty/Clairton region which includes the boroughs of Clairton, Glassport, Liberty, Lincoln and Port Vue in southeastern Allegheny 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). 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.

DEP and the Lehigh Valley/Berks County Air Quality Partnership encourage residents in Lehigh and Northampton counties to continue to ride public transit buses or use alternative transportation even though the Ride Free on Ozone Action Days Program ended for the season. Residents can continue riding LANTA buses or use alternative forms of transportation like cycling, walking or car-pooling to help improve air quality while saving gas money.

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 http://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 http://www.aqpartners.org.

CONTACT: Tom Rathbun

717-787-1323


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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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