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US Consulate in HCMC Now Provides Real-Time Air Quality Readings

As Hanoi's less-than-stellar air quality index (AQI) readings are starting to put the capital on par with Beijing, the United States Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City is now providing local residents with hourly AQI readings.

The US Embassy in Hanoi has been keeping track of air pollution in the capital for a while now, but this is the first time in recent history that Saigon residents have had access to real-time information regarding the air quality around them. The air quality readings are taken from within the consulate compound on District 1's Le Duan Street.

Though the Ho Chi Minh City Environmental Protection Agency monitors Saigon's air quality on a regular basis, this information is only released a few times a year on its website, making the data less practical for the average city dweller. This limited access to information is in part due to the disrepair which plagues Saigon's air quality monitoring system.

Late last month, however, Saigon officials put forth a VND495 billion (US$22.2 million) plan to upgrade the city's air and water quality monitoring systems. Though the proposal still requires funding, city officials are beginning to acknowledge the increasing need for up-to-date information regarding Saigon's air.

[Image via AQICN]

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