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China launches war against PM2.5

(People's Daily Online)

15:08, January 25, 2013

(Photo/People's Daily)

Recently, many places across the country were shrouded by long-term wide-range fog and haze. The culprit that causes such weather condition is PM2.5, which once again becomes the focus of social concern.

On Jan. 24, Minister of Environmental Protection Zhou Shengxian said in a meeting on national environmental protection affairs that the monitoring, information dissemination, and pollution prevention concerning PM2.5 shall be the top priority in the environmental protection tasks in 2013. The ministry shall ensure the 496 monitoring sites in the 74 cities in the first stage operate stably, on which basis to carry out the monitoring of six indicators including PM2.5 in 113 cities, monitoring results to be released before the end of December this year.

Various places come up with new measures

In order to gain the initiative, various places have not only launched emergency response measures against hazy weather but also begun to explore and implement new methods on monitoring, prevention, and control of PM2.5.

Tianjin will strengthen the monitoring on PM2.5 by the construction of “Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei air quality monitoring network” to share air quality monitoring information and realize the “real-time monitoring and warning” of off-site air quality.

The meteorological department of Liaoning set up 36 haze monitoring stations along Shenyang-Shanhaiguan Highway, Shenyang-Dalian Highway, and other main highways to monitor and upload a number of meteorological elements in real time.

Beijing will speed up the reconstruction of the coal-fired boilers in urban area, to substitute electricity for coal as energy sources for the 44,000 residents in Dongcheng district and Xicheng district so as to lower PM2.5 by reducing coal consumption; eliminate old motor vehicles and update to new ones; realize afforestation of 300,000 mu in the plain area in 2013 while intensify the monitoring efforts on the emission of various pollutants and punish with utmost severity the behaviors that cause environmental pollution.

Ministry of Environmental Protection

China will carry out comprehensive control on PM2.5 through measures such as improvement of automobile-used fuel quality to ensure that the annual average concentration of PM2.5 in the air in key regions will drop by 5 percent in 2015, and 6 percent in three regions namely Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, the Pearl River Delta, and the Yangtze River Delta.

It is reported that the Ministry of Environmental Protection will guide and urge local governments to develop and timely implement contingency plans, timely and accurately release air pollution information, and properly carry out air pollution emergency response through such measures as stoppage of work, production limits, discharge limits, and traffic control. In addition, travel recommendations will be provided to different groups regarding health protection to safeguard the masses’ right to know the environmental situation and physical health.

Read the Chinese version: 治理PM2.5中国在行动; Source: People's Daily Overseas Edition

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