Maine DEP Issues Air Quality Alert for Wednesday, May 2, 2018

May 2, 2018

Contact: David Madore, Communications Director, david.madore@maine.gov or (207) 287-5842; Martha Webster, Meteorologist, martha.e.webster@maine.gov or (207) 287-8093; Tom Downs, Chief Meteorologist, tom.downs@maine.gov or (207) 287-7026

(AUGUSTA)-- Ground-level ozone concentrations will be climbing in Maine on Wednesday and are expected to reach unhealthy levels according to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Much of the state is expected to reach higher ozone levels due to a combination of transport, extremely warm temperatures along with little vegetation growth to absorb ozone. Ozone levels were climbing in Pennsylvania, New York & New Jersey on Tuesday. This regional load of ozone and its precursors is headed to Maine for Wednesday. Two regions are expected to only reach the Moderate range: Northern Maine is expecting clouds & showers and winds are less conducive for the Downeast Coastal region. Particle pollution levels are expected to be in the GOOD range statewide. High levels of ozone could continue into Thursday especially in southern regions of Maine. That forecast will be finalized by 3 PM on Wednesday.

At elevated ozone levels, children, healthy adults who exert themselves, and individuals suffering from a respiratory disease such as asthma, bronchitis or COPD can experience reduced lung function and irritation. When this happens, individuals may notice a shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation, and/or experience an uncomfortable sensation in their chest.

Some actions you can take to protect your health during periods of unhealthy air quality include:

In addition to those in a sensitive group, sports coaches, elder care workers, nurses and others who are responsible for the welfare of people impacted by poor air quality are urged to use one of the listed tools to follow the Air Quality Forecast:

For more information call the contacts listed above or go to DEP’s air quality web site http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/