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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Environment cleaner but public still unsatisfied

By Wen Ya (Global Times)

14:05, December 14, 2011

A recent survey shows the number of people satisfied with air quality dropped by roughly 20 percent compared to 2009. The drop comes despite official figures suggesting air quality improved last year. The survey was conducted for the National Bureau of Statistics.

About 71 percent of the days in 2010 were labeled as "good air quality days," according to a report from the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) released Monday, an increase of 4 percent over the previous year. Infrastructure built to aid environmental protection has also become better, said the report. It said the concentrated disposal rate of domestic sewage in 2010 was 65 percent, an increase of almost 2 percent over 2009.

But, despite the drop, more than half of those surveyed say they are happy with air quality, the Beijing Times reported yesterday. As well, 90 percent of respondents said they consider themselves to have strong environmental protection awareness, the survey showed.

The contrast between environmental protection enhancement and the increased dissatisfaction is due to different factors, said Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs in Beijing.

"Such pollutants like PM 2.5 and ozone are not monitored, and the standard of environmental quality was lowered by the MEP several years ago. Therefore, to some extent, the data is incorrect," Ma told the Global Times yesterday.

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