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China decides to accept PM2.5

By Guo Kai  (Global Times)

08:10, December 23, 2011

The Chinese government has released a four-step schedule to monitor the PM2.5 pollution indicator in the next five years, the minister of environmental protection announced Wednesday.

In a speech at a national environment protection conference, Minister Zhou Shengxian said that indicators for PM2.5, ozone and carbon monoxide will be added to the national standard.

To fulfill the monitoring of PM2.5 and ozone, Zhou gave a four-step plan: from next year, PM2.5 and ozone will be monitored in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province, the Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta, municipalities and other capitals.

In 2013, 113 key cities and environmental protection model cities will be added. In 2015, all prefecture-level cities will come into the program before a 2016 nationwide rollout.

Zhou said the country will also improve a joint mechanism on air pollutants in key areas and a warning system will be set up to advise the public when heavy pollution shrouds the skies.

PM2.5, particles with a diameter less than 2.5 microns, aroused public attention in late October after different results of air quality monitoring tests were simultaneously released by Beijing's weather forecast station and the US embassy in Beijing.

"At that time, I dared not to go outside, as the haze covered the city, but the official data said the pollution was not so heavy," Chen Zhenyun, a resident in Beijing, told the Global Times yesterday.

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