Smoke due to wildfires in eastern Canada prompts DEP to declare Code Orange

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has declared a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for fine particulate matter for Tuesday, June 6, 2023, in the following areas of Pennsylvania:

The Philadelphia Area, which includes the counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia; The Lehigh Valley-Berks Area, which includes the counties of Berks, Lehigh, and Northampton; The Susquehanna Valley Area, which includes the counties of Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York; and The Pittsburgh Area, which includes the counties of Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland.

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Smoke due to wildfires in eastern Canada will likely contribute to daily average concentrations of fine particulate matter in the Code Orange range on Tuesday.

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.

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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
Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly is an independent and locally owned digital newspaper covering the City of Reading and Berks County. Subscribe today: berksweekly.com/subscribe
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