An official website of the United States government.

We've made some changes to EPA.gov. If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.

News Releases

News Releases from Region 01

Poor Air Quality Expected in Much of New England on Tuesday, August 7, 2018

08/06/2018
Contact Information: 
David Deegan (deegan.dave@epa.gov)
(617) 918-1017

BOSTON - New England state air quality forecasters are predicting air quality that is unhealthy for sensitive groups, due to ground-level ozone, on Tuesday Aug. 7.  The following areas are predicted to exceed federal health standards for sensitive groups for ground level ozone on Tuesday: All of Connecticut and Rhode Island; Central and Eastern portions of Massachusetts; South-Central, Southeastern and elevated sections of New Hampshire; and coastal areas of Maine, including Mt. Desert Island and Acadia National Park.

During hot days when reduced air quality is predicted, EPA and the medical community suggest that people limit their strenuous outdoor activity. On these days, people can also help reduce emissions by choosing to carpool, use public transportation, and limit the use of electricity during peak electrical use hours.

Ground-level ozone forms when volatile organic compounds and oxides of nitrogen (ozone precursors) interact in the presence of strong sunshine. Cars, trucks and buses give off the majority of the pollution create ozone. Gasoline stations, print shops, household products like paints and some cleaners, as well as lawn and garden equipment also add to the ozone problem.

Exposure to elevated ozone levels can cause breathing problems, aggravate asthma and other pre-existing lung diseases, and make people more susceptible to respiratory infection. When ozone levels are elevated, people should refrain from strenuous outdoor activity, especially sensitive populations such as children and adults with respiratory problems.

When ozone is forecast to be unhealthy for sensitive groups, members of the public are encouraged to help limit emissions and reduce ozone by:

  • using public transportation if possible;
  • combining errands and car-pooling to reduce driving time and mileage;
  • using less electricity by turning air conditioning to a higher temperature setting; turning off lights, TVs and computers when they are not being used; and
  • avoiding using small gasoline-powered engines, such as lawn mowers, string trimmers, chain saws, power-washers, air compressors and leaf blowers on unhealthy air days.

More information:

Also map graphic available at https://www3.epa.gov/region1/airquality/forecast.html