Heat Wave Forecast To End Saturday Night

The National Weather Service is again calling for an excessively hot day today, with temperatures for the Pottstown area expected to reach 96 but feel like 108 thanks to the high humidity.  There is a 40 percent chance of scattered showers or thunderstorms this afternoon with more rain expected tonight.

An Excessive Heat Warning is in effect for the area through 8 p.m. tonight.  Montgomery and Chester counties have issued Code Red hot weather advisories each day of this week through Saturday from noon until 8 p.m., the hottest parts of the day.  Area residents who are without air conditioning should seek shelter in a cool place and pets and children should not be left in hot cars, the weather service and counties advised.

“A cold front from the Northwest is expected to arrive on Saturday night and it should bring an end to the heat wave,” the weather service wrote in its latest advisory.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130719/NEWS01/130719219/heat-wave-forecast-to-end-saturday-night-(live-blog)#full_story

‘Code Orange’ Issued As Air Quality Expected To Be Poor Today

The Department of Environmental Protection and its regional air quality partnerships have forecast an orange air quality action day for ozone on Thursday, July 18, for Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.

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.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130718/NEWS01/130719364/-code-orange-issued-as-air-quality-expected-to-be-poor-today#full_story

U.S. Steel Touts Coke Plant Project As Good For Jobs, Air

UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION COKE PLANT IN ...

UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION COKE PLANT IN A VALLEY SURROUNDED BY HOMES AT CLAIRTON, PENNSYLVANIA. LOCATED 20… – NARA – 557213 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

U.S. Steel today formally commissioned a new battery of ovens at its Clairton coke plant, a $500 million project the company said will preserve steelmaking jobs in the Mon Valley and improve the region’s air quality.

The project is a scaled back version of the $1 billion proposal the Pittsburgh steelmaker announced in late 2007, before the global recession decimated steel demand and caused the industry to retrench.

President and CEO John P. Surma said even after the scope was reduced, the project was the largest in the history of the Clairton plant and one of the largest in U.S. Steel’s 112-year history.  He said it secures the jobs of 1,300 Clairton employees as well as the 1,400 who work at the company’s Edgar Thomson plant in Braddock and the Irvin plant in West Mifflin.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/breaking/us-steel-touts-coke-plant-project-as-good-for-jobs-air-672843/#ixzz2Jb0uFLsx

Berks County Takes No Delight In Exide Workers’ Plight

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In two years, the Berks County commissioners have positioned themselves squarely against Exide Technologies lead smelting plant in Laureldale.

But a day after Exide announced plans to idle the plant and lay off 150 employees by March 31, the commissioners said Friday that they were not celebrating the news.

“We take no joy in the loss of jobs in Berks County,” Commissioner Mark C. Scott said, “but I don’t think we’re willing to trade public health for jobs.”

In the past two years, the county has appealed two separate permits issued to Exide.  According to the commissioners, the permits fell short of what is needed to comply with national air standards and do not require the company to continue operating a network of air monitors around the plant.

Read more:   http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=426525

Lehigh Valley Air Quality Not Good

US Air Quality Index Map-1/23/2009

Image via Wikipedia

Like Lancaster, the Lehigh Valley does not have good air quality.  The Lehigh Valley was rated 13th on the list of smoggiest mid-sized metropolitan areas in the nation.  Lancaster was ranked 10th. 

Pennsylvania ranks as the sixth smoggiest state in the U.S.  Air pollution is linked to respiratory problems such as asthma and allergies.

Lancaster PA 10th-Smoggiest Midsized Metropolitan Area In The United States

Sign No. 270 – no traffic allowed due to smog

Image via Wikipedia

Despite continuing air-quality improvements, Lancaster was the 10th-smoggiest midsize metropolitan area in the United States during 2010, according to a report.

Using data from government air-quality monitors, the Philadelphia-based group PennEnvironment also found the Lancaster area tied with Pittsburgh for the second-most number of unhealthy smog days among all metropolitan areas in Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia had the worst smog in the state, according to the report, “Danger in the Air: Unhealthy Air Days in 2010 and 2011.”

Top 20 States With Toxic Air List

Yet another list, but not a good one.

Which states have the most toxic air?

Ohio leads the pack, followed by Pennsylvania and Florida.  The leading culprit in these states is power generation facilities that are coal and oil-fired.

Electricity generation and chemical processing were the top two offenders for dangerous emissions that cause ailments like asthma and cancer.

Other states rounding out the top 10 are:

Kentucky, Maryland, Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina.

The bottom 10 states are:

South Carolina, Alabama, Texas, Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Iowa

Metropolitan Philadelphia Air Quality Alert!

...AIR QUALITY ALERT IS IN EFFECT FOR TUESDAY, JULY 12...

THE DELAWARE VALLEY REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION HAS ISSUED
A CODE ORANGE AIR QUALITY ALERT TUESDAY FOR THE PHILADELPHIA
METRO AREA.

A CODE ORANGE AIR QUALITY ALERT MEANS THAT AIR POLLUTION
CONCENTRATIONS WITHIN THE REGION MAY BECOME UNHEALTHY FOR
SENSITIVE GROUPS. SENSITIVE GROUPS INCLUDE CHILDREN...PEOPLE
SUFFERING FROM ASTHMA... HEART DISEASE OR OTHER LUNG
DISEASES...AND THE ELDERLY. THE EFFECTS OF AIR POLLUTION CAN
BE MINIMIZED BY AVOIDING STRENUOUS ACTIVITY OR EXERCISE OUTDOORS.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON GROUND-LEVEL OZONE AND FINE
PARTICLES...