PRESS RELEASE | GateWay in Phoenix is the first higher-education institution to fly an ADEQ Air Quality Flag

A GateWay Community College student’s personal experience led to the college being the first higher-education institution to join the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s (ADEQ) Air Quality Flag Program. Brightly colored flags will hang on campus to raise awareness of air quality conditions within the community.

“After my grandfather was hospitalized for respiratory complications, I was looking for a way to help inform my classmates and people in the community about air quality and how we can work together to  make it better,” said Britain Guliford, Respiratory Care Program student at Gateway Community College. “My grandfather is out of the hospital now, but hanging these flags is my first step in helping him and others stay out of the hospital in the future.”

By staying informed about air quality, people can make choices to protect themselves and their families from the impacts of air pollution. As part of a Service Learning project, students in the Respiratory Care Program will display two flags on the main campus located at 108 North 40th Street in Phoenix. One flag can be seen from the Valley Metro lightrail on Washington Street, also informing commuters and people traveling to and from the Phoenix International Airport. In addition, the daily air quality forecast will be visible on monitors in common areas and an outdoor marquee.

“GateWay Community College is honored to be a part of this milestone for the Flag Program in Arizona,” said Dr. Steven Gonzales, President of Gateway Community College. “Service learning is part of our curricula, but the students here have shown leadership above and beyond what is required by launching this awareness campaign that will benefit not only students and instructors on campus, but the people that live, work and travel in our community.”

Each school day, students will hang a flag matching the colors of the Air Quality Index (AQI). ADEQ issues a daily AQI forecast that shows concentrations of PM-10 (dust) or ozone. By comparing the colored flags to the AQI, residents will know what actions to take to protect their health. Green signals good air quality, yellow is moderate, orange means unhealthy for sensitive groups (such as children and people with asthma) and red signals unhealthy air for everyone and outdoor exertion should be limited.

Additional Resources

ADEQ Phoenix Air Quality Hourly Forecast | View >

ADEQ Air Quality Flag Program | View >

Gateway Community College | View >


ADEQ Public Information Officer | 602-771-2215 (office) | 602-540-8072 (cell) | E-mail >