• Please join us for the CAB Community Meeting, usually held on the first Thursday of every month at 7:00PM. Please check Posts for speaker information, time, and location.

    Community meetings are generally held at Second Presbyterian Church, 528 Garland Drive, Carlisle, PA

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DEP Issues a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day Forecast for Southcentral Counties for June 16-18, 2018

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and its regional air quality partnerships have forecast a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for ozone on June 16, 2018 for the Pittsburgh region (encompassing Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Indiana, Mercer, Washington, and Westmoreland counties). A Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for ozone is also forecast on June 17 and 18 for the Pittsburgh region, southcentral counties (Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York counties) and the Lehigh Valley (Berks, Lehigh, and Northampton counties).

Forecast
Sunday, Jun 17: 115 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Ozone
62 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Extended Forecast
Monday, Jun 18: 106 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Ozone
66 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Tuesday, Jun 19: 92 AQI Moderate Ozone
68 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

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.

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Smog Alerts Coming

Summer will soon be here and that can mean high levels of air pollutants in our air, specifically ozone and small particles, commonly known as smog.

Meteorologists declare “Air Quality Action” days when they project that weather conditions are conducive for unhealthy air pollution. In 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) called six action days for the Susquehanna Valley.

We should heed those warnings. Recent scientific studies conclude that short-term exposure to unhealthy air pollution can have significant adverse effects on pregnant women, children, the elderly, and even the general population–especially those with pre-existing conditions such as asthma. Short term symptoms resulting from breathing high levels of ozone and fine particulate are chest pain, coughing, nausea, throat irritation, and congestion. These pollutants also aggravate bronchitis, heart disease, emphysema, and asthma—and can increase risks of stroke. Children, senior citizens, and those with asthma or other respiratory problems are urged to limit outdoor activities when an action day is predicted.

Air Quality Action days are often declared when there is little wind and when the amount of ozone or particles in stagnant air could exceed federal health standards. The DEP monitors local and regional air quality. Local television and radio stations alert the public when an Air Quality Action day is predicted. Check your newspaper’s websites as well. The Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania also monitors pollution levels and posts notices at this website when DEP declares an Air Quality Action day.  Stay informed!

Breathe less … or ban cars: cities have radically different responses to pollution

When thick smog recently hit, Londoners were advised to avoid exercise, while Parisians got free public transport. Which is the best solution?

When a thick cloud of air pollution settled in over London last week, experts warned those with health problems to avoid strenuous exercise. The advice to Londoners essentially boiled down to this: breathe less.

Meanwhile, as Paris suffered a similar pollution episode – its worst in a decade – officials swung into action, waiving charges for public transport and restricting the number of cars allowed on roads, alternately barring those with odd and even license plates.

At the same time Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo joined officials from Madrid, Athens and Mexico City in announcing plans to get all diesel vehicles off the roads by 2025. Diesel is highly polluting, emitting far greater amounts of dangerous nitrogen dioxide and tiny pollution particles than petrol, and can cause cancer to heart attacks.

Read more … The Guardian

Take time to give

#GivingTuesday is the 5th annual global day of giving that occurs the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Now is a time when we are asking for your help to continue doing the day to day work of protecting and improving our air quality.  We exist through the efforts of community members who make small donations.

Help us continue our work in monitoring air quality, providing educational programs to schools, and sharing medical research. Support the Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania:

Make a donation through PayPal today!

CAB is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, contributions to which are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. The official registration and financial information of CAB may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

Air Pollution in India Reaches Dangerous Levels

The city’s high levels of fine particles — the most deadly because they penetrate more deeply into the lungs — have now soared off the charts, even by New Delhi’s standards, because of seasonal smoke from the burning of leftover crops by farmers in nearby states and from firecrackers set off to celebrate the Diwali holiday.

Levels of the smallest particles, called PM 2.5, recently hit an astounding 688 micrograms per cubic meter of air in one New Delhi neighborhood http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/08/opinion/choking-in-new-delhi.html

Smog Chokes Delhi, Leaving Residents ‘Coweringby Our Air Purifiers’

Levels of the most dangerous particles soared over the weekend in some places to more than 16 times the limit India’s government considers safe.

Read full story:  NY Times, Nov. 8, 2016

How do we get clean air from the VW dirty diesel settlement? CAB discusses options

The Volkswagen cheating scandal was in the news last year. Now VW has agreed to put $14.7 billion into a settlement fund after it admitted to installing software that allowed 475,000 U.S. vehicles to emit up to 40 times legally allowable emissions. You have a say about how this trust money will be spent to improve air quality.  Join us on November 3, 7 pm,  in Carlisle to discuss the options.

Clean Air Board community meeting – Nov. 3, 7 pm, Second Presbyterian Church, Carlisle, PA 17013

Air Quality Action Day has been declared for Susquehanna Valley on Friday, Jul 22

Forecast
Friday, Jul 22: 105 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Ozone
85 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Extended Forecast
Saturday, Jul 23: 90 AQI Moderate Ozone
85 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Current Conditions: As of 2 PM on Thursday, mostly sunny skies persist across the region as an area of high pressure continues to reside over the Mid-Atlantic region. Right now, southwesterly wind flow over the region is helping to drive temperatures into the upper 80s. The combination of the sunshine and the warm temperatures are helping to force ozone concentrations toward the Code YELLOW / ORANGE threshold. Expect deteriorating air quality to unfold tomorrow as high pressure continues to dominate our weather. *** Friday’s Forecast: So for Friday, sunny skies will continue to prevail across eastern PA as higher pressure pushes off to our east. The movement of the high will allow our winds to stay out of the southwest, forcing hotter, more humid conditions into the region. As a result, afternoon temperatures are likely to peak in the 90s. With increasing moisture levels and even hotter temperatures building in, expect ozone concentration to peak in the Code ORANGE status. PM 2.5 levels will also be on the increase due to the increasing humidity. *** Extended Outlook: Over the coming days, expect to see temperatures remain seasonably warm higher pressure builds in over the region. After the frontal passage on Friday, high pressure will move through the area. A slow moving front will begin to push in late in the weekend from the west. This front will provide more cloud cover and an increased chance of rain as it moves east through our area. After the front moves through, a new area of high pressure will build in over the Great Lakes area and continue to provide us with seasonably warm temperatures through the weekend. There will be another chance of rain by week’s end as a new storm system makes its way east. Overall, air quality levels during the week will be driven by warm and humid conditions over the area. However, it will likely be the level of activity across the region (with two new storm systems moving in early and late next week) that will keep air quality concentrations from exceeding the moderate threshold. –Nolan

Here are some Air Quality Action Day tips you can follow to help reduce pollution:

Days when ozone levels are expected to be high:

* Conserve electricity and set your air conditioner at a higher temperature.
* Choose a cleaner commute—share a ride to work or use public transportation. Bicycle or walk to errands when possible.
* Refuel cars and trucks after dusk.
* Combine errands and reduce trips.
* Limit engine idling.
* Use household, workshop, and garden chemicals in ways that keep evaporation to a minimum, or try to delay using them when poor air quality is forecast.

This forecast is brought to you by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) and the Air Quality Partnership of the Susquehanna Valley.
* 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 Southwest PA Region, visit us online at the PA DEP Forecast and Monitoring Site.