Air Quality

The Air Quality Program at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment aims to protect and improve air quality in Colorado by monitoring, permitting, and inspecting air pollution sources. The CDPHE responds to resident complaints concerning dust control, open burning, and prescribed burning. We do not currently have our own Air Quality Program. but work with local land use agencies to incorporate good air quality protection practices into new development planning documents.

Select an image for detail's about today's air quality:

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Air Quality Index

The U.S. Air Quality Index is the Environmental Protection Agency's method for reporting air quality. Compare it to a yardstick that runs from 0 to 500. The higher the AQI value, the greater the level of air pollution and the greater the health concern. For example, an AQI value of 50 or below represents good air quality, while an AQI value over 300 represents hazardous air quality. Air quality can change from day to day.

The AQI is divided into six categories, each with a different level of health concern and a specific color. The EPA color-coding makes it easy for people to quickly determine whether air quality is reaching unhealthy levels in their communities.

Color / Level of Concern

Index Value

Description of Air Quality

Green/Good0-50Air quality is satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk.
Yellow/Moderate51-100Air quality is acceptable. However, there may be a risk for some people, particularly those who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.
Orange/Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups101-150Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is less likely to be affected.
Red/Unhealthy151-200Some members of the general public may experience health effects; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.
Purple/Very Unhealthy201-300Health alert: The risk of health effects is increased for everyone.
Maroon/Hazardous301-higherHealth warning of emergency conditions: everyone is more likely to be affected.

Pollutants Measured to Determine Air Quality

The EPA establishes an AQI for five major air pollutants. Each of these pollutants has a national air quality standard set by EPA to protect public health. More information on these pollutants:

Wildfire and Smoke

Learn more about how wildfire smoke has a serious impact on the air quality and health of people living in Colorado.

State and Local Agencies

Colorado Air Quality Control Commission: oversees Colorado’s air quality program according to the Colorado Air Pollution Prevention and Control Act

Regional Air Quality Council: the lead air quality planning agency for the Denver metropolitan area and the Denver Metro/North Front Range Ozone Non-Attainment Area.

Air Quality Resources

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