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For Release: Saturday, July 1, 2023

Updated: Air Quality Health Advisory Issued for New York City Metro and Long Island Regions for Ozone

In Effect for Saturday, July 1, 2023

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos and State Department of Health (DOH) Commissioner Dr. James McDonald issued an updated Air Quality Health Advisory for ozone in the New York City Metro and Long Island regions for Saturday, July 1, 2023. This is in addition to the air quality health advisory in effect for certain regions for fine particulate matter and ozone for Saturday, July 1.

The pollutant of concern is: Ozone

The advisory will be in effect through 11:59 p.m.

DEC and DOH issue Air Quality Health Advisories when DEC meteorologists predict levels of pollution, either ozone or fine particulate matter (PM2.5) are expected to exceed an Air Quality Index (AQI) value of 100. The AQI was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale, with a higher AQI value indicating a greater health concern.


Summer heat can lead to the formation of ground-level ozone, a major component of photochemical smog. Automobile exhaust and out-of-state emission sources are the primary sources of ground-level ozone and are the most serious air pollution problems in the northeast. This surface pollutant should not be confused with the protective layer of ozone in the upper atmosphere.

Ozone and PM2.5 are two different pollutants that form in different ways: PM2.5 is often produced directly as smoke from wildfires and other sources of small particles emitted into the air. Ozone is not a direct emission, and is produced indirectly when sunlight chemically reacts with nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from automobile exhaust and industrial emissions. High ozone isn't as visible as PM2.5 because it's a colorless gas, but it will produce hazy skies and reduce visibility in high concentrations.

The smoky and hazy sky in an otherwise mostly sunny, stagnant air mass can be very conducive for ozone production. The wildfire smoke can enhance the ozone production, but it's not the primary component.

People, especially young children, those who exercise outdoors, those involved in vigorous outdoor work and those who have respiratory disease (such as asthma) should consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity when ozone levels are the highest (generally afternoon to early evening). When outdoor levels of ozone are elevated, going indoors will usually reduce your exposure. Individuals experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain or coughing should consider consulting their doctor.

Ozone levels generally decrease at night and can be minimized during daylight hours by curtailment of automobile travel and the use of public transportation where available.

Additional information on ozone and PM 2.5 is available on DEC's website and on DOH's website (PM 2.5) / DOH's website (ozone).To stay up-to-date with announcements from DEC, sign up to receive Air Quality Alerts through DEC Delivers: DEC's Premier Email Service.

The full Saturday, July 1, Air Quality Health Advisory regions consists of:

  • Adirondacks, which includes Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, northern Herkimer, Lewis, St. Lawrence, and Warren counties;
  • Upper Hudson Valley which includes Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, and Washington counties,
  • Lower Hudson Valley, which includes Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Ulster, and Sullivan counties;
  • New York City Metro, which includes New York City, Rockland, and Westchester counties; and
  • Long Island which includes Nassau and Suffolk counties.
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