Code Orange air quality alert issued for Berks County Saturday

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has declared a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for fine particulate matter for Saturday, June 17, 2023, in the following areas of Pennsylvania:

The Lehigh Valley-Berks Area, which includes the counties of Berks, Lehigh, and Northampton; and The Susquehanna Valley Area, which includes the counties of Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York. Scranton-Wilkes Barre Area, which includes the counties of Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties

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Due to lingering fine particulate matter (PM2.5) values across Quebec and Ontario, Canada daily average concentrations of fine particulate matter will occur in the Code Orange range on Saturday. Residents are encouraged to check for current conditions in their area.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index 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.

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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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Berks Weekly
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