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China to adopt a tighter air quality index

(Global Times)

08:36, December 08, 2011

Photo: Xinhua

On the basis of public feedback, China will likely adopt new air quality standards, which for the first time will include readings of concentrations less than PM2.5, a major indicator of pollution harmful to health, according to a report from the Beijing Morning Post Wednesday.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) began soliciting public opinion on November 16 on the draft of the revised Environmental Air Quality Standards, which includes measurements of PM2.5 (particulate matters smaller than 2.5 micrometers) and ozone density. As of Monday, the ministry had received more than 1,500 letters and emails, which generally approved the new standards, the MEP said on Tuesday.

The ministry said the new and tighter measures will be fully implemented nationwide in 2016, adding that the central government may designate certain regions to adopt the new standard ahead of the national deadline, while provincial-level governments have the option to implement it earlier.

The proposed revision follows the public's challenges on the country's standard of measuring air quality and official statistics released by local authorities in Beijing.

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