China cracks down on air pollution with tough measures
October 25,2016 By:People's Daily Online
Oct. 25, 2016 -- China's Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) recently crafted out a series of tough measures to tackle heavy air pollution during the winter season.
According to the chief of MEP, Chen Jining, China has made remarkable progress since publishing a major action plan for air pollution in 2013. However, he noted that air pollution is still a challenging issue for the country, which is evident from the heavy pollution that occurred in September.
Statistics released by China National Environmental Monitoring Center showed a 23.6 percent decline in average PM2.5 concentration in 74 major cities between 2013 and 2015.
High emissions of pollutants have contributed to the three major bouts of severe pollution in Beijing since October, said Chai Fahe, a research fellow with the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences. Compared with the 1990s, the country is now seeing a sharp increase in pollutants emissions, Chai added. He explained that the increased PM2.5 particles in September and October were closely related to anthropogenic emissions, such as those from burning coal, industrial production, car exhaust and dust.
Autumn and winter are a critical period for air pollution in China due to the mass demand for heat. Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei are currently planning to limit coal-fired boilers to under 10T/h in urban areas. In addition, 18 cities and two municipalities, including Beijing and Tianjin, will transform their coal-power units above 10MW to low-emission ones before the end of October.
Meanwhile, cement, metal and brick production enterprises, as well as thermal power and steel plants failing to meet standards will reduce their production starting from this November.
"Reducing emissions is the only way to improve air quality," Chai said, adding that the country is striving for a totally unpolluted environment.