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International Cooperation

Megacities Partnership for the Santiago Metropolitan Region

In January 2017, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Chilean Ministry of Environment (MMA) launched the Megacities Partnership for the Santiago Metropolitan Region, within the framework of the United States-Chile Environmental Cooperation Agreement. The Megacities Partnership is designed to enhance, adapt and share climate and air quality management tools, to help improve air quality, protect the climate and provide important public health benefits.

Through the Partnership, EPA and MMA teams collaborated on two projects.  First, researchers conducted a comprehensive assessment of the benefits and costs of air quality management in the Santiago Metropolitan Region. Over the past three decades, regulatory actions led to significant improvements in the region’s air quality. While these improvements are well documented, the benefits and costs of the regulatory action remained poorly understood. This assessment filled the gap.  Second, the team collaborated on a quantitative assessment of the effectiveness of MMA’s "critical episode management system," which restricts certain polluting activities in the region in anticipation of  days with very poor air quality during winter. The results of both these analyses were presented at a regional air quality management workshop held September 3-7, 2018 in Santiago.

The regional air quality management workshop represented the culmination of EPA’s Megacities Partnership with the Chilean MMA to support air quality management efforts for Santiago and build regional capacity to improve air quality throughout South and Central America. Air quality policy makers and technical analysts from government agencies, private industry, and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) learned from MMA and EPA staff about developing, employing, and assessing air quality management strategies, and also shared experiences on air quality management related issues in their respective countries. The event also included training on EPA’s BenMAP-CE benefits assessment software, a key tool for quantifying and communicating the benefits of improved air quality. 

The initial declaration and final report from this project are both available below.

Learn more about EPA Collaboration with Chile.

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