Poor air quality expected in York County, Code Orange Day declared

Anthony Maenza
York Dispatch

The state Department of Environmental Protection has declared Thursday a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day, meaning York County residents who are sensitive to bad air quality should limit outdoor activities.

Young children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems, such as asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis, are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution. 

Lee Beard, 81, a 42-year resident on Stuart Drive in Springettsbury Township, describes the smell of air pollution in his neighborhood, which he and neighbors attribute to KTB Foods in Springettsbury Township, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. The company, an extension of That’s How We Roll, LLC, based in New Jersey, has been in York for about a year. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The DEP said a strong overnight and morning temperature inversion and light winds will likely contribute to daily average concentrations of fine particulate matter in the Code Orange range on Thursday. 

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index provides standardized color codes for forecasting and reporting daily air quality. Orange represents unhealthy pollution levels for sensitive groups of people. 

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An Air Quality Action Day is declared when the index is forecasted to be Code Orange or higher.   

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. 

For more information, visit DEP at www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/AQPartnersWeb