A color-coded flag program is reflecting the air quality forecast. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency wants businesses statewide to participate in the Air Quality Flag Program. “Each afternoon the Illinois EPA issues an air quality forecast, which covers the next day,” says state EPA director Lisa Bonnett.
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“That forecast is based on the Air Quality Index, a national guide which classifies air quality from good to hazardous and uses a color for each category.” In order of best to worst, the colors are green, yellow, orange, red, and purple. Those last two have not been needed in years, Bonnett says, pointing to four decades of environmental vigilance.