The Broward Air Quality Index (AQI) Flag Program is a partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The Broward Air Quality Index (AQI) Flag Program helps children, parents, the community, and staff become aware of daily outdoor air quality conditions using brightly colored flags. Each day, a flag is raised in front of participating entities that signal the level of air pollution for that day. The flag colors correspond to the colors used in the Environmental protection Agency's (EPA) Air Quality Index, which tells how clean or polluted the air is for that day. When members of the surrounding community know what the daily air quality is, they can adjust their activities to reduce their exposure to air pollution. Regular physical activity - at least 60 minutes a day - promotes health and fitness. The purpose of the flag program is to help people continue to excercise and work outside while protecting their health when the air quality is unhealthy.
Each day, schools raise a colored flag that corresponds to the local air quality forecast:
- Green flag – good air quality
- Yellow flag – moderate air quality
- Orange flag – unhealthy for sensitive groups (including all children and people with asthma)
Note: There is a fourth and fifth color – red and maroon respectively-- used in EPA’s Air Quality Index. They indicate unhealthy (red) and very unhealthy (maroon) air quality. They are not included in the Broward County AQI School flag program because these conditions are rare in South Florida. In the event we do experience unhealthy or very unhealthy air quality, health advisories will be issued from the Environmental Engineering and Permitting Division (EEPD) in the local media.
Air quality can become unhealthy due to pollutants such as ground-level ozone and particle pollution. Ozone is especially damaging to the lungs of children and those who work and play outside. Particle pollution - especially fine particles such as those found in smoke, haze or dust - contains microscopic solids or liquid droplets that are so small that they can get deep into the lungs and cause serious health problems. Children (including teenagers) are at greater risk from air pollution because their lungs are still developing and they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults. People with asthma are also more likely to have symptoms when pollution is in the air. Children, including those with asthma, can continue to stay active even when air quality is unhealthy by modifying their activities or, in some cases, moving their activities indoors.
- Anyone that is interested in participating in the Broward AQI Flag Program can email the Environmental Engineering and Permitting Division (EEPD) at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Once selected EEPD will register your school on EPA’s website.
- EPA will add your organization to the online table of participating organizations and will send you an official participation certificate for display.
- EEPD will provide the selected organizations, FREE of charge, with all the materials needed to implement the program including Green, Yellow, and Orange flags, an Air Quality Information Board, and other informational material.
- The program will require each participating organization to:
- Select a AQI Flag Program Coordinator.
- Have the AQI Flag Program Coordinator work closely with EEPD staff to establish the program.
- Check the air quality each morning via one of the following options:
- Broward County Environmental Engineering and Permitting Division’s website
- AirNow website
- Subscribing to EnviroFlash which allows anyone to get the daily air quality forecast sent to your email, cell phone or Twitter.
- Through the Air Now Mobile Application (available on Android and Apple).
- EEPD staff will also notify participating schools if we see the AQI go out of the good (green) range.
- Coordinate with their staff to hang the corresponding flag that represents that particular day’s air quality.
Post the Air Quality Information Board either in a high traffic area to educate the staff and community about the AQI.
Schools interested in participating can view the handbook here.
Organizations (other than schools) interested in participating can view the handbook here.
Frequently Asked Questions
- My organization is interested in participating so how do we register?
Your organization can register with the Broward Environmental Engineering and Permitting Division by emailing email@example.com
- How much do the flags cost?
A set of 3 flags (1 green, 1 yellow, and 1 orange) will be provided FREE of charge by the Broward Environmental Engineering and Permitting Division
- If I need assistance or have any questions relating to the program who do I contact?
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 954-519-1483
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