HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania will join states across the nation this week in recognizing April 29 through May 3 as Air Quality Awareness Week.
Air Quality Partnership teams across the state will host events to teach the public how to stay safe on air-quality action days and how to reduce air pollution. The Department of Environmental Protection’s website lists details of various events.
“Through smart and sensible policies, we’ve continued to see air quality improve across the state,” DEP Acting Secretary Chris Abruzzo said. “But there are still some days when the air quality is poor, and so we work with our partners to forecast and advise Pennsylvanians to take precautions.”
DEP makes air quality forecasts for fine particulate matter year-round and for ozone in the spring and summer months. Air Quality Awareness Week will mark the return of ozone forecasting in Pennsylvania for 2013.
The forecasts, developed in conjunction with local Air Quality Partnerships, use a color-based air quality index. Green signifies good; yellow means moderate; orange represents pollution levels that could trigger health effects for sensitive people, such as the very young, the elderly and those with respiratory ailments; and red warns of pollution levels that could trigger health effects for all members of the population.
These forecasts are provided in cooperation 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.
In July 2012, DEP announced it would forecast for ozone in eight additional areas: Altoona, Erie, Johnstown, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, State College and Williamsport cities and Mercer and Indiana counties.
To sign up to receive air quality forecasts via email, visit www.enviroflash.info.
For more information about air quality or the local partnerships, visit www.dep.state.pa.us and click the “Air Quality Awareness Week” banner at the top of the page, or call 717-787-9495.