U.S. Embassy Launching Air Quality Monitoring Program

On December 16, 2015, the U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar will formally launch an “Air Quality Monitoring Program” (AQMP).  The Embassy’s AQMP will include a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-certified measuring instrument (a MET One BAM 1020), a real-time air quality index website, and a Twitter feed.  The AQMP will continuously monitor and record the level of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the air outside the Embassy and continuously convert the data collected onto the EPA-created “Air Quality Index” (AQI) scale.  This information is open to the public and is intended to benefit Ulaanbaatar residents, including American citizens living and working in Ulaanbaatar, the local health community, and the Government of Mongolia.

We invite members of the media to explore the U.S. Embassy’s AQI website at www.stateair.mn and its Twitter feed at twitter.com/USEmbUBAir.  Since AQMP will be part of the U.S. EPA’s “AirNow” system, the air quality data generated on the U.S. Embassy neighborhood in Ulaanbaatar by the program is simultaneously published on www.airnow.gov.  Note that the Embassy reports its AQI as an hourly average and the EPA reports AQI as a 24-hour average.

BACKGROUND: Air pollution is a critical global health threat. In February 2015, the U.S. Department of State and the EPA formed a partnership with the goal of improving real-time air quality data from around the world by adding data from participating U.S. embassies to the EPA data already published on air quality conditions in the United States.

PLANNING NOTE: The Embassy will not host a media event on December 16, the day of the AQMP launch. An Embassy press tour will be planned in January to show the monitor and discuss air quality. We refer press-related inquiries to the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section at (976) 7007-6249 or paspress@usembassy.mn.