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United States DOS and EPA Launch Partnership to Improve Air Quality Data

World Affairs – Environment

Open Eyes Opinion {source: DOS/EPA

 

February 18, 2015:  Statement by Secretary Kerry and Administrator McCarthy

U.S. Department of State and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Launch Partnership to Improve Air Quality Data

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 U.S. diplomatic missions overseas.

This partnership will enhance the availability of outdoor air quality data and expertise at a number of U.S. diplomatic missions.

The U.S. Department of State has a keen interest in providing sufficient air quality information to U.S. 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 U.S. embassies overseas. AirNow publicly shares air quality data,enabling viewers to reduce their exposure to poor quality air.

In the United States, 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 U.S. 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.

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