Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and its regional air quality partnerships have forecast a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for ozone on Friday, July 19, 2019, for the Lehigh Valley (Berks, Lehigh, and Northampton counties) and the southeast region (encompassing the counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia).

A strong ridge of high pressure will bring sunshine and excessive heat to the commonwealth Friday into Sunday. High temperatures of around 100 degrees Fahrenheit are possible in southeastern parts of the state during this time, with heat indices close to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. On Friday, light southwest winds and the high temperatures will promote ozone development into the code ORANGE range. DEP will provide further updates tomorrow and over the weekend as this heat and air quality episode progresses. Further action day issuances will be sent as needed.

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 the Lehigh Valley-Berks Air Quality Partnership and the Air Quality Partnership for the Delaware Valley.

For more information, visit www.dep.pa.gov.  

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Rementer, 717-787-1323