State DEP issues Code Orange ozone air-quality forecast for Thursday

HARRISBURG — The state Department of Environmental Protection has forecast a Code Orange Air Quality Protection Day for ozone on Thursday for Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Cumberland and York Counties, along with the five-county Philadelphia area.

Strong sunshine, light winds, and temperatures in the high 80s to near 90 degrees are expected to cause ozone levels to rise into the Code Orange level.

Elevated ozone levels are expected to last only one day. More clouds will move in on Friday, with a cold front coming in from the Great Lakes as well as the remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy coming northward out of the Gulf of Mexico. The clouds and rain will act to bring ozone back down to low levels.

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.

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.

To help keep the air healthy, residents and business are encouraged to voluntarily restrict certain pollution-producing activities by:

  • Refueling cars and trucks after dusk
  • Setting air conditioner thermostats to a higher temperature
  • Carpooling or using public transportation; and
  • Combining errands to reduce trips.

These forecasts are provided in conjunction with Air Quality Partnerships for the Delaware Valley and Susquehanna Valley.