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PM2.5 density drops in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area

(People's Daily Online)    13:17, June 17, 2014

Density of PM2.5, or particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, has dropped 7.6 percent from previous year in Beijing-Tianjing-Hebei region in the first five months of 2014, China’s Environment Minister Zhou Shengxian said Thursday.

Density of PM2.5 dropped 7.5 percent year-on-year in 74 cities

From January to May, the density of PM2.5 has dropped 7.5 percent year-on-year in 74 cities monitored, and the average PM10 reduced 6.9 percent. The average PM2.5 density has dropped 7.6 percent in 13 cities in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, and 1.4 percent in the Yangtza River Delta, according to Zhou.

“The area affected, duration of the pollution, and the pollution degree have reduced; environmental quality is showing positive change,” Zhou said. “To fight air pollution is a hard and prolonged battle; we need to have determination and patience to deal with air pollution.”

186 people sentenced to prison for environment-related crimes

In 2013, the Ministry of Environmental Protection investigated 3,395 enterprises that violated environmental law; 3,690 construction sites and 26,000 catering companies that failed to meet environmental standards, and shut down 3,102 small workshops.

The ministry also inspected high-metals-emission industry, uncovered 6,499 cases involving environmental problems. A total of 706 cases related to environmental violations were transferred to the police; the police dealt with 637 environmental cases, and arrested 186 people in 109 cases on charges of environmental pollution in 2013, said Zhou.

19 companies were fined 410 million yuan

The ministry has suspended environmental approvals for new construction projects with chemical oxygen demand and ammonia nitrogen emissions in four cities - Jixi, Lianyungang, Yueyang and Yulin, and suspended approvals for new construction projects with sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions in Shantou city, as the five cities failed to pass the annual evaluation on pollutant emission reduction for 2013, Xinhua reported.

Some state-owned power companies, including the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Datang, Shenhua were also banned from environmental approvals for new refining projects due to their failure in the evaluation.

Another 19 companies will face a fine of 410 million yuan for weak desulfurization. 

The article is edited and translated from 《前5月京津冀PM2.5同比降7.6%》, source: Beijing Youth Daily

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