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Jan. 5, 2017

Environmental Education Center raises air quality awareness, along with special flags

Residents driving past Chandler’s Environmental Education Center (EEC) at Veterans Oasis Park might notice green, yellow, orange or red flags flying over the park – a visual guide for those concerned about local air quality. 

The EEC has adopted the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s (ADEQ) program of flying flags to signify air quality levels. The colors indicate the severity of local air quality – green for “good” quality and ascending to yellow, orange and red for “hazardous.”

“The reason for the alerts is to help people alter their activities to reduce not only their risk to outdoor air pollution but also their contribution,” explained Daniella Rodriguez, recreation coordinator at the EEC. “We hope the flags will engage the community, raising questions and promoting environmental education.”

The flags are located on the north side of the lake near Phainopepla Pavilion. Days with an orange flag and above are considered “unhealthy” and the EEC recommends modifying your outdoor activities. Consider shortening your exercise time or moving fitness activities indoors. It’s also important to consider carpooling, riding a bike or driving less, as these are things all of us can do to protect the community’s health.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Director, Gregory Green, has recognized the EEC’s participation and commitment to protecting the health of the Chandler community and sharing information and resources on outdoor air quality.

“It’s with the highest regards that the EPA acknowledges your contributions, not just locally, but collective with other participating schools and organizations across the cou