Thursday, June 25, 2009
Today has been declared an "air quality action day" in 20 of Pennsylvania's counties, including Allegheny, Westmoreland, Washington, Beaver and Butler. Department of Environmental Protection spokesman John Repetz says today's action day was called because high ground-level ozone forced a "code orange" to be called -- warning at-risk people like the elderly, children, and those with respiratory problems. He says people can chip in by carpooling or taking public transportation, using less energy in their homes, and even filling up their gas tanks in the evening when less emissions will be absorbed by the air. Repetz says these days are usually called for high ozone levels but can also be due to fine particulate matter emmitted from diesel and combustion engines and electric generators. Heat generally exacerbates such engines, increasing their negative outputs.