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Improving air quality

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


US Secretary of State John Kerry and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy have signed a statement of intent to launch a new air quality partnership between the US DoS and EPA. The effort will provide US citizens and government personnel with better information on air quality at select embassies and consulates around the world to reduce health risks from outdoor air pollution, and will offer greater opportunities for the US to create partnerships on air quality with other nations.

Air pollution is a serious and growing health threat around the world, yet in many areas, real time air quality data is not available. The DoS has a keen interest in providing sufficient air quality information to US citizens and government personnel overseas to enable informed health decisions. Also the partnership will use the EPA’s existing domestic AirNow system, which is an online platform that helps Americans understand how clean or polluted their outdoor air is. To build on this successful network, the DoS is planning to place air quality monitors at select American diplomatic posts where continuous fine particle pollution data is currently of limited availability, and to publicly share this data through the EPA’s AirNow website.

In the US, state and local officials have considerable experience in developing and implementing programs to monitor, improve and meet air quality standards. A new fellowship program will enable technical experts in the US to visit participating diplomatic missions to help transfer skills and build capacity for air quality monitoring data analysis and maintenance. These visits will also include the opportunity for training and exchanges with the host governments and other participants.

Statement by Secretary Kerry and Administrator McCarthy

“Air pollution is a serious and growing health threat worldwide, yet in many areas, real time air quality data is not available. We are pleased to announce that today we signed a statement of intent to launch a new partnership between our agencies and our US diplomatic missions overseas. This partnership will enhance the availability of outdoor air quality data and expertise in a number of US diplomatic missions. The US Department of State has a keen interest in providing sufficient air quality information to US citizens and government personnel overseas to empower them to make informed health decisions.

“One key feature of our partnership is expanding EPA’s existing AirNow system to include data from participating US embassies overseas. AirNow publicly shares air quality data, enabling viewers to reduce their exposure to poor quality air.

“In the US, we are fortunate to have state and local officials with considerable experience in developing and implementing programs to monitor, improve, and meet air quality standards. A new fellowship program will enable US technical experts to visit participating diplomatic missions to help transfer skills and build capacity for air quality monitoring data analysis and maintenance. These visits will also include the opportunity for training and exchanges with the host governments and other participants.

“This partnership reflects efficient use of government resources and a whole of government approach to diplomacy. It not only helps us better protect the health of our personnel overseas, but also contributes to the global scientific community and President Obama’s Open Government Initiative. We are very excited about this partnership and look forward to our two agencies continuing to build this program.”


Edited from press releases by Claira Lloyd

Read the article online at: https://www.hydrocarbonengineering.com/the-environment/19022015/epa-dos-air-improvements/


 

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