City to debut air quality flags with ceremony

The city of Merced will conduct a flag raising ceremony to unfurl the new Air Quality Flag program at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The ceremony will be held at the flag pole in front of the Merced Civic Center, 678 W. 18th St. The program involves flying color-coded flags keyed to the day’s air quality.

The program was created at the request of the Merced-Mariposa County Asthma Coalition, which is supplying the flags to the city.The flag colors are: green for good air quality, yellow for moderate air quality, orange for air that’s unhealthy for sensitive groups and red for unhealthy air.

Each flag represents a specific level of air quality as determined by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

Information on the daily air quality forecast can be found at: http://www.valleyair.org/aqinfo/forecast.htm.

The flags will be flown at the following city facilities:

- Merced Civic Center, 678 W. 18th Street

- Public Works Department Corporation Yard, 1776 Grogan Ave.

- Fire Station 51 (Main station) 99 E. 16th St.

- Central Police Station, 611 W. 22nd St.

The flag program is currently in place at 20 school districts in Merced County, along with Mercy Medical Center Merced and the Golden Valley Health Center.