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Beijing to shut down polluting industries to improve PM2.5

By Yan Shuang (Global Times)

08:36, May 10, 2012

(Photo from Global Times)

Beijing has announced a new crackdown on polluting industrial businesses which are major contributors to the capital's PM2.5 emissions, Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau (EPB) said yesterday.

The bureau will conduct environmental checks and shut down any businesses failing to meet the new requirements, said the EPB.

Some 66 polluting businesses, including chemical plants and wooden furniture manufacturers, mostly in districts such as Daxing and Fangshan, were ordered to make changes or they will be forced to close and will also be banned from relocating. A total of 1,200 companies might face the same punishment if there are no improvements before 2015, the EPB said.

Pollution such as dust, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds are a by-product of industrial production and lead to more pollutants through chemical reactions, such as PM2.5 (fine particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns), said an EPB official at a press conference yesterday.

About 75 percent of Beijing's PM2.5 emissions come from local sources, and industrial pollution accounts for 16 percent.

In a bid to cope with the increasing pollution, the EPB has made plans to conduct inspections among industrial businesses including environmental impact assessments and pollutant emission checks. Companies that fail will not be allowed to be listed for financing or will be prohibited from participating in bidding for projects or contracts.

Some residents, who live near the sites of some of these polluting industries, still doubt whether the measures will have any effect.

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