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Are You One of the 89,000 Households to Be Connected to the Power Grid in 2021?

09 · Mar · 2021

Mонгол хэлээр эндээс уншаарай

By Oyun-Erdene (Oku) Sainbayar

Our bilingual air pollution map is the most comprehensive and easy-to-use tool for tracking air pollution in Mongolia. That is why we’re so excited to announce the launch of our new interactive zoning feature! 

Since the end of last year, our co-founder and IT lead Uyanga and designer Tergel have been working hard to integrate an “air quality improvement zones” layer onto our map, following the announcement of these zones by the government.

This new feature allows you to see which “air quality improvement zone” your khoroo belongs to and track corresponding air quality measures.

Your Residential Area (Khoroo) and the Breathe Mongolia Map 

Watch this video to see how you can use our map (English subtitles coming soon):

 

We recommend you use our map to check your local air quality every day. We are currently working to install new air quality monitoring devices. If you would like to display your device data on our map, please email your request to hello@breathemongolia.org.

Air Quality Improvement Zones and Your Residential Area (Khoroo) 

According to the Law on Air, air quality improvement zones are any boundary subject to area-specific regulations targeting the reduction of air pollution. Under this law, Ulaanbaatar was divided into the following four zones in October 2020:

Zone 1: Improved solid fuel consumption zone (burning raw coal is prohibited)

Zones 2 and 3: Zones to be connected to the central grid and other energy sources (improved coal use allowed until a connection is established)

Zone 4: Burning of all types of fossil and bio-fuel are prohibited

Zone 0: Unapproved zone where the prohibition of “Raw Coal in Stages” plan was not approved according to the October 2020 regulations

These approved zones encompass a total of 392,468 households. The number of khoroos (per each district) included under these zone regulations are listed as follows: 

  • 43 khoroos in Songinokhairkhan district,
  • 28 khoroos in Bayanzurkh district,
  • 19 khoroos in Chingeltei district,
  • 20 khoroos in Sukhbaatar district,
  • 23 khoroos in Bayangol district and
  • 21 khoroos in Khan-Uul district 

Initially, eight Nalaikh district khoroos were mandated under “Zone 1: Improved coal use to be implemented in phases (raw coal still in use)” according to the draft of the zoning regulation dated June 2020. However, the Nalaikh district was omitted entirely from the final list of air quality improvement zones released in October 2020. Thus, Nalaikh is listed as an unapproved zone (Zone 0) on our map. 

If the 10,248 households from the Nalaikh district had been listed under the zoning regulation as initially planned, a grand total of 402,716 households would have been included in zoning regulations instead of the current 392,468. 

67% of all households in Ulaanbaatar are in Zones 0, 1, 2, and 3, where burning fossil fuel is still allowed. This implies that even households currently connected to the power grid are not supplied with enough energy for heating and other household activities. 

10,248 households in Zone 0 are not under any fuel use regulation. It is uncertain when they will be connected to the power grid. 

171,482 households (42.6%) in Zone 1 will continue using improved coal. 

89,427 (22.2%) households in Zones 2 and 3 are planned to be connected to the grid in 2021. 

131,559 (32.7%) households in Zone 4 are prohibited from consuming any type of solid fuel. Make sure to submit a report to your khoroo or district administration or energy department if you see coal burning in this zone. By doing so, you are safeguarding your own and others’ health.

We advise you to find which zone your khoroo belongs to by checking out our map and ask your khoroo administrators and the district or energy department when and how you will be connected to the central power grid. 

Further information on the zoning regulation 

The zoning regulation approved in October 2020 consists of the following seven parts: 

  1. General provisions 
  2. Rights and responsibilities of citizens, legal entities, organizations, and part-time employees 
  3. Issuance and termination of coal transport permissions 
  4. Prohibition provisions 
  5. Monitoring and control 
  6. Reporting 
  7. Accountability 

As specified in the rights and obligations of citizens, everyone is:

  • responsible for the supervision of air quality improvement zones: breach of the regulations should be reported to khoroo or district administration and relevant state inspectors, and 
  • entitled to receive assistance and advice from public administrative bodies and local authorities on the protection of air quality.

The “Monitoring” section (shown below) outlines the distribution and sale of improved coal and supervision regulations related to the consumption of raw coal. However, how and when households from Zones 2 and 3 will be connected to the grid is uncertain. Furthermore, it is unclear what jurisdiction is responsible for carrying out such connections. Therefore, we will be investigating the matter further and we ask the public to send their thoughts to hello@breathemongolia.org


Five. Monitoring

5.1. Governors at all levels, relevant state inspectors, officers from specialized inspection agencies, and the police agency, as well as part-time employees, shall provide supervision on the following:

5.1.1. Whether the standardized stove, low-power electric generator, and improved coal are used within the air quality improvement zones; 

5.1.2. If there are any unauthorized or illegal consumption, storage, sales, and transport of raw coals; 

5.1.3. Whether the price, delivery, and distribution of improved coal, collection of resources for improved coal and relevant raw materials, as well as sales of improved coal are implemented in accordance with its schedule and plan; 

5.1.4. If the items under article 16 of the Law on Air is burned; 

5.1.5. If the families who received electric heaters, insulation materials, gas heaters, or improved stoves free of charge or at a discounted price from a government or municipal administration or any international organization are using such products according to regulations; 

5.1.6. If any legal entity, organization, or individual licensed to generate energy purchase, burn, transfer, transport, or sell raw coal; 

5.1.7. If the sales of improved coal are processed according to the registration card provided by coal manufacturers.


The “Reporting” section, shown below, states that the progress of the enforcement of zoning regulations should be reported on a monthly basis. The following agencies and officials are responsible for these reports: 

  1. The General Agency for Specialized Inspection – Gantulga Tudevkhuu 
  2. The National Police Agency – Bold Jamsranjav 
  3. Head of the Office of the National Committee for Reducing Environmental Pollution – Altanzul B.
  4. Ulaanbaatar Air and Environmental Projects Leader – Munkhjargal D. 

Six. Reporting 

6.1. The organizations mandated to enforce zoning regulations shall submit a comprehensive report to the National Committee for Reducing Environmental Pollution and the Governor’s Office of Ulaanbaatar. 

6.1.1. Relevant agencies with the authority to supervise the enforcement of the regulations shall submit a report concerning monitoring and supervision on a monthly basis; 

6.1.2. The Office of the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar shall report details regarding coals transported, stored, and used by legal entities and individuals with permission under provision 3.1.1 of this regulation on a monthly basis; 

6.1.3. Legal entities with the authority to manufacture improved coal shall report supply, storage, manufacturing, distribution, and sales of raw materials for improved coal every 14 days; 

6.1.4. Part-time employees shall report on the transport and use of improved coal from time to time. 

6.2. The National Committee for Reducing Environmental Pollution shall approve the relevant agencies who will report on the enforcement of present regulations and the information to be contained in these reports.


The Air Pollution Reduction Department of Ulaanbaatar City and the Head of the Office of the National Committee for Environmental Pollution Reduction are responsible for making regulation reports on their websites (www.agaar.mn and www.mne.mn, respectively). We advise you to visit them to access the reports. According to this monthly report, plans for connecting Zone 2 and 3 households to the grid remain uncertain. 

Finally, we want to remind you to check your local air quality on a daily basis, using our map. Remember to email us at hello@breathemongolia.org to display data from your air quality device on our map. To connect with others fighting air pollution in Mongolia, join our “Agaar Neg” Slack community

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