U.S. Department of State and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Launch Innovative International Air Quality Program
Secretary of State John Kerry and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy signed a statement of intent today to launch a new air quality partnership between the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The effort will provide U.S. 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 United States to create partnerships on air quality with other nations.
- Air pollution is a serious and growing health threat worldwide, yet in many areas, real-time air quality data is not available. The Department of State has a keen interest in providing sufficient air quality information to U.S. citizens and government personnel overseas to enable informed health decisions.
- The partnership will use 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 Department of State plans to place air quality monitors at select American diplomatic posts where continuous fine particle pollution (PM 2.5) data is currently of limited availability, and to publicly share this data through EPA’s AirNow website.
- In the United States, 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 here in the United States to visit our 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.