Wildfires, traffic emissions and industrial air pollution have created several summer smog events in recent years and the Environmental Protection Agency is now proposing downgrading our Front Range from serious to severe. Listen and read more about the EPA story from CPR Reporter Sam Brasch here and his report on the EPA objections to Suncor’s newest air pollution permit. Colorado companies may face a tougher permitting and compliance process in the future.
What can we do to know when it is safe to work and play outdoors or best to stay indoors?
The staff at Denverite complied a list of resources in this August 2020 story by Kevin Beatty which includes a monitor system set in local neighborhoods. Purple Air is a real time air quality map providing moment to moment readings from both government data and sensors from a community of citizen scientists – 2 in Hilltop!
Simple Steps. Better Air. is a public awareness and outreach program created by the Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC) to educate residents in the greater Denver Metropolitan area about ground-level ozone pollution and actions to improve air quality. If you would like to sign up for the email or text alerts distributed by RAQC you can do that on their website at https://simplestepsbetterair.org/signup-for-alerts/ or you can text BETTERAIRCO to 21000.
Michael Ogletree, runs the city’s air quality program and helped create the Love My Air program, which uses custom sensors to measure air quality at 33 Denver schools. Palmer Elementary is the closest station to Hilltop. Ogletree also recommends AirNow, an EPA website that combines sensor data and presents AQI through a simple color spectrum.
Learn more about these tools/dashboards to help you track AQI and protect yourself and your loved ones from the Denver Air Quality program, part of the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE).