DEQ declares Air Action day for Lake Area

Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 7:15 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Air quality is a growing concern in many parts of the country because of wildfires in Canada. Friday is declared an air action day for Lake Charles.

The Lake Area has days when pollution makes it harder to breathe. An “air action” day is when the quality of the air goes into an unhealthy range.

Friday, the air quality will be fluctuating between moderate, which is yellow, and unhealthy for sensitive groups, coded orange.

Louisiana’s Department of Environmental Quality’s Jason Meyers said there are several reasons.

“Generally, in the Lake Charles area, it can be based on transport from Texas, and we have a little bit of smoke issues that may be pushing it up,” said Meyers.

And yes, he said some in Louisiana are affected by smoke from Canada, though nothing like New York. He said the transport from Texas discovered years back could be from several cities. Local monitors continuously check levels of six common pollutants.

“The natural wind pattern and weather pattern that we generally get blow from Texas into Louisiana, especially the Lake Charles area.”

People who are more sensitive, such as seniors, children and those with asthma or other lung disease, may want to avoid outside activity.

“You might want to limit your activities outdoors for the time period. Otherwise, just kind of watch your body and see if you have any effects,” he said.

The problem gets worse during the summer due to the interaction between the sun and pollutants, such as those in vehicle exhaust. There is a map that provides live monitoring at test stations that check for six common air pollutants. People can help by driving less, securing their gas cap, refraining from burning anything, refueling and mowing grass after 6 p.m. and postponing chores that use oil-based paint, varnishes and solvents.

Meyers said there are ways for people to keep up with it all. is very good. We also have all of our real time monitoring data on LDEQ website. You can always go there. You can sign up for our Enviroflash, and when you sign up for Enviroflash, you’ll get the forecast, and if we have any exceedances, you’ll get an email letting you know.”

For more information, the CDC also offers information about air quality.