Morelia, Mexico, 27 June 2007: The environmental officials of Canada, Mexico and US have collaboratively launched initiative on tracking air pollution in North America. The three countries have introduced an interactive Google Earth mapping tool, which will expand public access to information on air pollutants.
The officials had gathered in Morelia, for the regular annual meeting of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), an organization created by Canada, Mexico and US to address regional environmental concerns as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The talks focused on harmonizing air quality data between the three countries and strengthening Mexico’s pollutant monitoring and reporting ability.
Using the Google Earth mapping service, the CEC’s map layer plots over 33,000 North American industrial facilities that reported releases and transfers of pollutants in 2004, the most recent data available from all three countries.
The tool allows viewers to find industrial facilities located near their homes, their workplaces, or their schools. They can learn about the pollution profile of each facility, including which pollutants are generated and how the facility handles them.
Information used in the mapping tool comes from publicly accessible “pollutant release and transfer registers,” or PRTRs, maintained separately by the three North American countries: the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) in Canada, the Registro de Emisiones y Transferencias de Contaminantes (RETC) in Mexico, and the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) in the United States.
The mapping tool developed by the CEC, can be downloaded from: