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.
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
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:
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
Wildfire and Smoke in Colorado
- Access resources about wildfire smoke and public health
- Learn more about Colorado's Smoke Management Program
- Get up-to-date information about Colorado's smoke outlook
- Wildfire smoke guide: resources to help support your health when wildfires are burning
- Learn more about how smoke from fires can affect your health
Clean Air Resources
- Air quality and health: a wide range of health resources from AirNow, a partnership between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Park Service, NASA, Centers for Disease Control, and tribal, state, and local air quality agencies
- Access clean air resources from the American Lung Association
- Get up-to-date details about the state of your air
- Learn more about how air pollution can impact your health and environment
- Access air-aware resources from the CDC