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PM2.5 in air quality standards, positive response to net campaign

(Xinhua)

09:03, March 01, 2012

BEIJING, Feb. 29 (Xinhua) -- News spread quickly Wednesday evening on Weibo, a Twitter-style microblogging service in China, about the State Council including PM2.5 into the national air quality standards and that authorities would start monitoring it soon.

A stirring campaign on the country's social network websites since last autumn seemed to have gained a satisfying response from the country's policymakers.

As one of the first to bring the topic up publicly, real estate tycoon Pan Shiyi expressed his surprise about the decision in his microblog, "The order from the State Council? Was I dazzled?"

"Good news, applause," posted Xu Xiaonian, the renowned economist, in his microblog.

The State Council on Wednesday passed revised air quality standards which include an index for PM2.5, or fine particulate matter 2.5 microns or less in diameter.

The new standards include indices for the concentration of PM2.5 and ozone (O3) over a period of eight hours, according to a statement from the State Council issued after a meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao.

The country's highest state administrative body said the government planned to monitor PM2.5 in four municipalities, 27 provincial capitals, as well as three key regions -- east China's Yangtze River Delta, south China's Pearl River Delta, and Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area in the north, in 2012.

In 2013, the monitoring will be extended to 113 model cities on the state environmental protection list, and to all cities at prefecture level or above in 2015.

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