Beijing to launch clean air action plan

14:03, April 19, 2011      

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Beijing will release the "Beijing Municipal Clean Air Action Plan" in the near future in an attempt to increase the percentage of annual blue-sky days to 80 percent by 2015, said Chen Tian, head of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau (BMEPB), on April 18.

Chen said that under the "Beijing Municipal Clean Air Action Plan," coal will no longer be used in Beijing’s six urban districts by 2015. Beijing will first control coal-smoke pollution by transforming the equipment of large coal-fired power plants in the six urban districts as well as 520 coal-fired boilers and coal stoves of local households.

Beijing has four large coal-fired power plants in Chaoyang and Shijingshan districts. Chen said that these power plants, except for the Guohua Power phase I project, should complete clean energy transformations over the next five years.

Furthermore, a total of 520 coal-fired boilers will be replaced by pollution-free boilers, including all boilers with a steam flow of more than 20 tons and some with a steam flow below 20 tons

Chen said that more than 90,000 households in new the Dongcheng and Xicheng districts, including those living in economy buildings, will all use clean energy instead of coal by 2014.

Households near the Fifth Ring Road that currently use coal stoves for heating will first have access to the central urban heating supply and gradually have gas-fired or other clean energy-fired urban central heating. Furthermore, Beijing will introduce a stricter urban access system for enterprises, no longer permitting high-pollution chemical and metallurgical enterprises to build plants in Beijing.

Chen said that according to the clean air action plan, Beijing will ban 400,000 old vehicles that cannot meet emissions standards from the city roads by 2015. Meanwhile, the municipal environmental protection authorities will conduct regular inspections and impose stricter emissions restrictions on new vehicles.

Furthermore, environmental protection agencies at all levels will make greater efforts to reduce the level of dust, smoke and soot in the air. The Ministry of Environmental Protection is drawing up plans to carry out joint prevention and control of air pollution in key areas of northern China including Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei Province.

Chen predicted that in the next five years, the concentrations of six pollutants, including sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide will meet Beijing's air quality standards, and the annual average concentration of the total suspended particulates and breathable particles in the air will both drop by around 10 percent. Ozone pollution will be gradually reduced, and the percentage of days meeting class 1 and class 2 air quality standards will reach 80 percent by 2015.

By People's Daily Online
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