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 below to see details about today's air quality on the Front Range and around Colorado.

Advisory Opens in new window Current Air Quality Conditions Opens in new window

The U.S. Air Quality Index

The 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 color 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 / Good

0 to 50

Air quality is satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk.

Yellow /  Moderate

51 to 100

Air 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 Groups

101 to 150

Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is less likely to be affected.

Red / Unhealthy

151 to 200

Some members of the general public may experience health effects; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.

Purple / Very Unhealthy

201 to 300

Health alert: The risk of health effects is increased for everyone.

Maroon / Hazardous

301 and higher

Health 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 the these pollutants:

  1. Colorado Air Quality
  2. Wildfire and Smoke
  3. Air Quality Resources

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.

Colorado Clean Air Resources