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USAID-Funded Report Provides Roadmap For Improved Air Quality Management
Report quantifies the real costs of air pollution for the first time in India

NEW DELHI 29 June 2004-- A report released in New Delhi today provides Indian policymakers with a roadmap to reduce the negative effects of air pollution on the environment, human health and economic development. Supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other U.S. government agencies, the report quantifies the real costs of air pollution for the first time in India.

The report uses an integrated environmental strategies (IES) approach, developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), to present the "whole" picture of the costs of air pollution. It combines conventional air quality measurements, such as data from emissions inventories, with quantified estimates of the human health and economic costs associated with increasing air pollution. Illness, mortality and lost wages are some of the costs included in the analysis.

Based on a study of the rapidly growing Indian city of Hyderabad, the report indicates high levels of airborne particulate matter from "smoking" vehicles - especially those that use adulterated fuel and two-stroke engines - and industrial emissions. Accordingly, it stresses the need for improved transportation and alternative industrial scenarios such as the use of natural gas as a primary fuel.

It also makes specific recommendations in the context of Hyderabad city, where an IES education campaign is soon to be launched. The report was released at an environment policymakers meeting in New Delhi today. At the event, USAID official John Smith-Sreen said, "This report contains significant, scientific bases for greater investments in pollution control measures in urban centers. We hope that policymakers will begin to use the integrated environmental strategies (IES) approach in their local air quality management plans." Dr. Prodipto Ghosh, Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, received the report on behalf of the Government of India.

The IES approach has been successfully applied in other developing nations, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, China, the Philippines and South Korea. The $500,000 IES effort in India is part of a larger U.S.-India partnership to mitigate the effects of climate change. In addition to the USEPA, the program draws on the expertise of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and works in partnership with a wide variety of government, nongovernmental and civil society
partners to combat air pollution in India.

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