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November 26th, 2007
EPA Unveils New Tools to Understand Air Quality

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PR — Ever used your computer to "fly" through the mountains, or zoom in
on a satellite picture of your house? Now you can use the same
technology to learn more about emissions and air quality across the country and where you live.

EPA has developed two tools that let computer users "see" air quality
information on a virtual globe. Both tools are available to the public
starting today.

"Google has changed the way people use the Internet. By
combining their innovative mapping tools with our air data, EPA and
Google are changing the way people use the Internet to protect their health" said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson.

The first tool is part of the new "Air Emission Sources" Web
site, which is designed to make emissions data for six common
pollutants easy to find and understand. Based on the latest National
Emissions Inventory, the site uses charts and Google Earth files to
answer a user’s questions. Users can look at overall emissions,
emissions by type of industry, or emissions by largest polluter. 

Want to know what industry emits the most sulfur dioxide in your
state? Select your state from a map, pick a pollutant, and the site
creates a chart showing you emissions by industry. Want to "see" which
refineries in your state emit the most sulfur dioxide? Use the "tilt"
feature in Google Earth to quickly find the largest emitter. Then click
on the balloon to get more details about emissions from that facility.

EPA also is providing Air Quality Index (AQI) information in the
Google Earth format. Use the AQI tool to quickly see air quality across
the country, then click on a specific location to see that city’s AQI
forecast and current levels of ozone or particle pollution. 

The AQI is EPA’s color-coded tool to inform the public about
daily air pollution levels in their communities. EPA, in collaboration
with state and local governments, provides AQI forecasts and conditions
for more than 300 cities across the United States.

On the web:

Go to the Air Emissions Sources Web site: http://www.epa.gov/air/emissions

View information in Google Earth format about which facilities emit any of six common pollutants: http://www.epa.gov/air/emissions/where.htm

See AQI forecasts and current conditions: http://www.airnow.gov

View air quality information in Google Earth format: http://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=google_earth.main

EPA is also using the Google Earth platform to display Acid Rain Program data: http://epa.gov/airmarkets/progress/interactivemapping.html

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