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People's Daily Online>>China Society

New rules to combat pollution

By  Zheng Xin and Lan Lan  (China Daily)

08:09, March 01, 2012

BEIJING - Stricter air quality standards will be adopted in cities, the State Council announced on Wednesday.

Readings for ozone and concentrations of PM 2.5, particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, will be included in the standards, according to a statement issued by the State Council after an executive meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao.

No details of the indices were revealed.

The four municipalities - Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing - and 27 provincial capitals, as well as three key regions, including the Yangtze and Pearl river deltas and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, will monitor PM 2.5 and ozone intensity this year.

More than 100 smaller cities will adopt the new air quality standards in 2013.

The standards will be extended to all cities by 2015 and will help allay public concern over official air quality readings, the statement said.

"Including PM 2.5 and ozone is definitely significant progress in pollution control and environmental protection," said Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs. "Many cities have already started preparations to monitor PM 2.5."

The fight against pollution has seen some success, especially in combating particles in the PM 10 range but "it's good to see stricter standards to reflect the real picture", Ma said.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection started gauging public opinion on revised standards in November and received more than 1,500 letters, e-mails and faxes from people expressing concern over air quality.

Cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, have started to monitor PM 2.5. The capital will set up more than 30 PM 2.5 monitoring stations by the end of this year.


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