Faulty air quality sensors gave misleading high readings of pollutants in the Bethlehem area starting at 9 p.m. on May 4.
Air quality in Bethlehem was labeled “Hazardous” by an environmental data organization that measures the air quality, known as BreezoMeter. “Hazardous” is the worst possible rating on BreezoMeter’s scale. This was a drastic change from the “Good” air quality in the same location at 3 p.m. earlier in the day.
Lehigh University Police Chief Jason Schiffer said LUPD received over a dozen calls regarding the alarming air quality readings.
The LUPD spoke with a Northampton County Emergency Management supervisor regarding the air.
“The supervisor confirmed to us that a faulty air quality sensor is responsible for the high readings,” Schiffer wrote in an email. “We have no information of the existence of any air quality concerns in the Bethlehem area.”
Meteorologist John Hickey from WNEP-TV, based in Scranton, addressed “a lot of inquiries” regarding the high Air Quality Index (AQI) reading on Twitter. He said there is no need to panic.
Getting a lot of inquiries about “why is the Air Quality Index (AQI) so high in the Allentown area”? While the normal answer would be inversion and lack of wind, tonight’s culprit is easily chalked up a couple of faulty sensors. No need to panic. pic.twitter.com/VuJru7SsvC
— John Hickey (@JohnWNEP) May 5, 2022
“While the normal answer would be inversion and lack of wind, tonight’s culprit is easily chalked up (to) a couple of faulty sensors,” Hickey wrote in a Tweet.