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China releases air pollution reduction plan, vows PM2.5 cut


09:25, December 06, 2012

BEIJING, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government plans to further cut emissions of gas and pollutants in economically dynamic areas.

According to the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP)'s plan for reducing overall air pollution for the 2011-2015 period on Wednesday, China will cut the PM2.5 intensity by at least 5 percent by 2015 in 13 major areas covering 117 cities.

It also made a commitment to reduce the intensity of PM10, sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide by 10 percent, 10 percent and 7 percent, respectively.

PM2.5 refers to fine particulate matter 2.5 microns or less in diameter, while PM10 refers to particulate matter 10 microns or less in diameter.

For the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta region and the Pearl River Delta region, the PM2.5 intensity will be cut by at least 6 percent, the plan said.

The 13 major areas produce nearly half of the nation's SO2, nitric oxide, smoke and dust.

For PM2.5 issues, the plan not only sets an improvement target, but also lays equal stress on treating primary and secondary pollution. Smoke, dust and VOC (volatile organic compounds) are also included in its emissions reduction agenda.

The State Council, or China's Cabinet, passed revised air quality standards that include indices for ozone and PM2.5 earlier this year and stipulated a deadline of Jan. 1, 2016 for its implementation throughout the nation.

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