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Beijing bordering province to clear air


08:35, June 05, 2012

SHIJIAZHUANG - Hebei, the northern Chinese province that surrounds Beijing and Tianjin, will roll out tough measures, including restrictions on highly polluting industries, to clear the air, a local official said Monday.

Seven local cities started releasing the PM2.5 air quality readings in June, but most of the readings do not meet the national standard, said Yang Zhiming, a deputy director of the Hebei provincial bureau of environmental protection.

The PM2.5, much stricter than the PM10, applies to fine particles 2.5 microns or less in diameter that are believed to pose greater health risks than larger particles.

The local authorities will tighten approvals for new projects of polluting industries, including steel, cement, glass, coal chemical and electrolytic aluminum, Yang said.

In addition, the authorities will order local coal-fired power plants and steel and petrochemical companies to greatly cut the emissions of sulfur and nitric oxides and particles, he said.

The local governments will shut down polluting coal-fired boilers and push for the use of clean energy, including natural gas and solar energy, he said.

The province also will outdate older, polluting cars to cut auto exhaust emissions that are a major source of pollution in the big cities, he added.

Beijing led other cities nationwide in releasing PM2.5 readings in January following public outcry over the inaccuracy of PM10 readings. Also several neighboring regions are blamed partly for the severe air pollution that has haunted the national capital for years.


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