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EPA and State Department to partner on overseas real-time air quality monitoring; AirNow-International

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and State Department signed a statement of intent to launch a new partnership between the two agencies and US diplomatic missions overseas. This partnership will enhance the availability of outdoor air quality data and expertise at a number of US diplomatic missions. The State Department says it has an 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 the partnership will be 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.

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.

In 2010, the EPA and the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau (EPB) launched AirNow-International, with real-time air quality data reporting from the 2010 World Expo. The Shanghai EPB uses technology developed by EPA to send air quality data to Shanghai citizens through the Internet.

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