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DEP extends air quality action day to July 21

Harrisburg, PA.  An Air Quality Action Day for fine particulate matter will be in effect once again in the Susquehanna Valley for Wednesday, July 21. A cold front pushing to the south and east will improve conditions and help to move the wildfire smoke out of the area, but this feature will not arrive until the afternoon to early evening hours. A slight chance for showers and possibly a few thunderstorms will occur in advance of the arrival of this front, but these will not be widespread enough to help to clean out the air prior to the frontal passage.

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DEP declares air quality action day for July 20

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has issued a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for fine particulate matter for Tuesday, July 20, 2021, in the following areas of Pennsylvania:

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

Smoke from wildfires in northern and western Canada, along with light winds, will likely contribute to daily average concentrations of fine particulate matter in the Code Orange range on Tuesday.

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CAB comments on State Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Jan. 14, 2021 —  The Clean Air Board submitted comments to the Environmental Quality Board on Pennsylvania’s proposed rules to join and implement the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.  In 2019, Governor Tom Wolf directed the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to develop a cap-and-invest program to control carbon pollution from power plants in Pennsylvania  CAB supports Pennsylvania the plan to join a regional emissions cap and trade program composed of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.  “It is critically important that Pennsylvania starts to meaningfully address its contribution to climate change,” CAB stated in its comments.

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DEP declares Air Quality Action Day of Dec. 21

A(n) Air Quality Action Day has been declared for Susquehanna Valley, PA, on Monday, Dec 21
Tomorrow’s Forecast
Monday, Dec 21: 103 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Extended Forecast
Tuesday, Dec 22: 40 AQI Good Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Current conditions: ***An Air Quality Action Day is in effect for Monday***. Calm to very light westerly winds, another strong morning inversion, and increasing weekday emissions from mobile and stationary sources will all act to create fine particulate concentrations in the code ORANGE range Monday. Fine particulate concentrations are expected to be at their highest during the morning hours. *
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PA DEP has declared Air Quality Action Day on Nov. 9

A(n) Air Quality Action Day has been declared for Susquehanna Valley, PA, on Monday, Nov 9
Tomorrow’s Forecast
Monday, Nov 9: 120 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Extended Forecast
Tuesday, Nov 10: 65 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Current conditions:**An Air Quality Action Day will be declared for the day Monday** Fine particulate concentrations are elevated in the code ORANGE range across most of the area this Sunday afternoon, and these levels will continue into the day Monday as a stagnant weather pattern continues. *** Monday’s forecast: A strong temperature inversion in tandem with weak low and mid level winds will allow for PM2.5 buildups during the day Monday. Code ORANGE concentrations of this pollutant are likely with mostly sunny skies and unseasonably warm temperatures. The highest concentrations will likely be across Lancaster County during the morning hours. *** Extended forecast: Air quality will improve Tuesday as a strong upper level ridge starts to break down and allows for an increase in low level winds, mixing, and dispersion. Nonetheless, moderate air quality is still likely. Further improvements to the good range will occur by Wednesday as a cold front approaches and brings an opportunity for some needed rainfall. Cooler air will follow this front late this week, with temperatures moving down closer to November normals.—McAuliffe
Days when particle pollution levels are expected to be high:

* Reduce or eliminate fireplace and wood stove use.
* Avoid using gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.
* Avoid burning leaves, trash and other materials.

This forecast is brought to you by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP).
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PA DEP has declared Air Quality Action Day for Nov. 8

Air Quality Action Day has been declared for Susquehanna Valley, PA, on Sunday, Nov 8
Forecast
Sunday, Nov 8: 104 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Extended Forecast
Monday, Nov 9: 100 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Tuesday, Nov 10: 65 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Current conditions: **An Air Quality Action Day is in effect for Sunday ** Air quality with respect to fine particulate is deteriorating this Saturday across the area as a powerfully strong ridge of high pressure builds across the commonwealth. This high is expected to hold in place through the day Sunday. The result will be very light winds, strong temperature inversions, and further PM2.5 buildups, likely into the code ORANGE range during the day Sunday, with the highest concentrations occurring during the morning hours. *** Extended forecast: The upper level high will hang on for another day on Monday with similar meteorological conditions expected which may be favorable for another code ORANGE day. We will be issuing an updated forecast later on Sunday in regard to the PM situation. The ridge will finally start breaking down and air quality improving with increasing low level flow by Tuesday, and a cold front then brings an opportunity for showers by Wednesday.—McAuliffe

 

Residents and businesses within the ozone Air Quality Action Day area are strongly encouraged to voluntarily help reduce air pollution by:

• Conserving electricity by setting air conditioning to a higher temperature;
• Combining errands to reduce vehicle trips;
• Limiting engine idling; and
• Refueling cars and trucks after dusk.

Days when particle pollution levels are expected to be high:

* Reduce or eliminate fireplace and wood stove use.
* Avoid using gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.
* Avoid burning leaves, trash and other materials.

 

This forecast is brought to you by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP).

* For more information on the health effects of PM 2.5 and ozone, visit the EPA Airnow website.
* To see the current forecast and monitoring information for the Susquehanna valley Region, visit us online at the PA DEP Forecast and Monitoring Site.

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Wildfires can affect air hundreds of miles away

Wildfires can cause temporary large increases in outdoor airborne particles, and substantial increases in gaseous air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, and acetaldehyde.  Large wildfires can increase air pollution over thousands of square kilometers [or thousands of square miles].

https://iaqscience.lbl.gov/cc-wildfires#:~:text=Wildfires%20can%20cause%20temporary%20large,acetaldehyde%20%5B40%2D43%5D.

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PurpleAir Can Warn of Hazardous Air

I Live in California. How Do I Know It’s Safe to Go Outside?

A high-tech sensor network brought me closer to the natural cycles of my environment.

NY Times, Sept. 4, 2020.

By 

Contributing Opinion Writer

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CAB installs PM2.5 monitor

The Clean Air Board announced that it has installed a new air quality monitor in downtown Carlisle near the Square.  The PM2.5 sensor will report its readings 24 hours a day.  The real-time data can be viewed on the PurpleAir network.  The PurpleAir™ sensor is a device that uses two laser particle counters to capture and record data about microscopic particulate matter (PM2.5) suspended in the air.  The sensor uses WiFi connectivity to display real-time air quality readings on the PurpleAir™ Map, which is a  world-wide map of monitors where data can be shared with the public.

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CAB files comments on DEP’s proposed methane rules

June 24, 2020 – The Clean Air Board testified at an Environmental Quality Board hearing on DEP’s proposed rules to reduce hydrocarbons and methane leaks from existing oil and gas operations. CAB asked that certain exemptions be removed from the proposed rules. Read CAB’s methane rule comments