Air Quality Alert: DEEP Forecasts Elevated Levels of Ozone for southern Connecticut Monday August 27, 2018 through Wednesday August 29, 2018
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is forecasting ozone levels across southern Connecticut will be Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (USG) beginning today August 27, 2018 and continuing through Wednesday August 29, 2018.
“On these hot summer days, you could turn off every power plant and factory, and park every car and our air would still be unsafe to breathe as a result of emissions coming from other states,” said DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee. “While we do everything within our power at the state level to keep our air clean, it is incumbent upon the federal government to protect the health and safety of all residents regardless of where they live.”
Health Effects of Air Pollution
When air quality is in the USG categories, there is the likelihood of respiratory symptoms and breathing discomfort for sensitive groups. The elderly, children, and people with pre-existing lung or breathing issues like asthma or bronchitis, are most at risk for experiencing acute symptoms when ozone levels reach USG. Active children, adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, are strongly advised to limit prolonged outdoor exertion today through Wednesday. Peak ozone levels are predicted to occur each day between 12-8 PM EDT. However, since temperatures will still be very warm and residual elevated ozone levels during the evenings and early morning hours, be advised to limit your outdoor activity or exercise even before and after times of peak ozone levels to minimize health effects.
This late season heat wave will continue through Wednesday before a cold front will usher in a cleaner and cooler air-mass bringing an end to the high heat and lower ozone levels on Thursday. High pressure setting up off the east coast will provide lots of sunshine, a southwest wind, and hot temperatures during the next couple of days. These factors will combine to transport poor air quality into Connecticut beginning today and lasting into Wednesday.
What You Can Do to Help
DEEP recommends simple, common sense steps to reduce your contribution to air pollution:
- Drive Clean –considered purchasing or leasing a plug-in electric vehicle. Learn more by visiting: www.driveelectricus.com;
- Drive Less - consider carpooling, vanpooling, using public transit or even telecommuting;
- Save Energy- setting air conditioners to 78o and “Wait ‘til 8” to use energy intensive appliances like washing machines, dryers and dishwashers;
- Be Aware of Your Air -Understand the Air Quality Index and sign up to receive alerts so you will know when air quality is predicted to be unhealthy; and
- When you know there will be an unhealthy air day-make small changes to your routine:
- Refuel your vehicle after dusk and stop refueling when the nozzle clicks off,
- Avoid idling your vehicle unnecessarily,
- Delay mowing your lawn or using other lawn and garden equipment until evening
- Limit your outdoor activity in the heat of the day,
- Refrain from recreational wood burning;
- Remember that knowledge is power! Ask your school if they participate in the School Flag Program, EPA’s Air Quality awareness tool that uses colored flags based on the AQI to notify teachers, students, administrators and the local community of air quality conditions.
Stay connected and access the daily AQI forecast and real-time air quality data
- Follow us on Twitter
- Sign up to get Air-Quality alerts through Enviroflash
- Visit DEEP’s AQI webpage or call 800-249-1234
- Go to EPA’s AIRNow web page
- Download EPA’s AIRnow app for your phone
Ozone Monitoring Season
DEEP monitors, tracks and forecasts daily air quality levels across Connecticut for ozone from May 1 through September 30 each year and for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) each day of the year. On April 30, 2018, DEEP began informing Connecticut’s regulated community and the general public of the ozone season via the State of Connecticut E-mail list serve and posting air quality forecasts on the DEEP web page, available here.
DEEP encourages daycare providers, summer camps and elder/senior centers to subscribe to the Air Quality Index (AQI). Subscribing to the AQI is fast and easy and will provide you with important information each day about Connecticut’s air quality through the spring and summer. The AQI link provides facts and information regarding ground-level ozone, its’ health effects, what today on high ozone day, and most importantly what you can do to help reduce ground level ozone in your backyard.