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DEP declares Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for Thursday

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The state Department of Environmental Protection declared a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for fine particulate matter for Thursday.

The declaration affects three areas, including the Susquehanna Valley, which encompasses Cumberland, Dauphin, York, Lancaster and Lebanon counties. Also affected are the Philadelphia area and Lehigh Valley-Berks area.

The DEP said a moderately strong temperature inversion Thursday morning with calm or very light wind will likely contribute to daily average concentrations of fine particulate matter in the Code Orange range. Orange represents unhealthy pollution levels for sensitive groups of people in the Air Quality Index of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The DEP said young children, elderly and those with respiratory problems will be especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution Thursday and should limit outdoor activities.

Residents and businesses are also encouraged to help reduce fine particulate matter air pollution by reducing or eliminating fireplace or wood stove use, avoiding open burning of leaves or other materials, and avoiding the use of gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.

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