A DEP air quality alert is in effect for Sunday along the coast of Maine

July 23, 2022

Ground-level ozone concentrations will be climbing in Maine late Saturday evening, dropping off overnight then building up again on Sunday along the coast of Maine from Kittery through Acadia NP and are expected to reach unhealthy levels on Sunday according to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Ozone levels have been at or near unhealthy levels in southern New England for days. Winds Saturday evening will turn toward Maine in the Gulf of Maine continuing into Sunday. This will allow transport of ozone and its precursors from upwind sources such as southern New England and beyond to Maine. Meanwhile, particle pollution levels will likely be in the moderate range in southern portions of Maine.

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:

  • Adjusting your schedule to avoid strenuous outdoor activity during the afternoon.

  • Please consult the Maine CDC website for information on the health impacts of extreme heat and appropriate actions to take http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/environmental-health/heat/ .

  • The Maine CDC Asthma Prevention and Control Program has asthma information available at their web site: https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/population-health/mat/

  • For more information on asthma control visit EPA's Web site epa.gov/asthma to find information about asthma triggers and lessons on asthma management.

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:

Air Quality Forecast page: http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/ which has links to:

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

For additional information, contact: David R. Madore, Deputy Commissioner david.madore@maine.gov