The State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA)
released the names of the 113 most polluted cities in the country
on Tuesday, according to Thursday's China Daily.
The publication of the list is part of SEPA's efforts to improve
air quality across the country.
North China's Shanxi
Province, well known for its coal industry, had the dubious
honor of claiming the top three spots on the 2003 blacklist with
Linfen, Yangquan and Datong.
Beijing, despite substantial improvements to air quality in
recent years, was still listed at number 28.
Shi Hanmin, head of the city's environmental protection
authority, said Beijing's goal is to have 80 percent fairly good to
excellent air quality days a year by 2008. However, existing
pollution control methods and the sheer size of the capital have so
far kept such days below 60 percent.
SEPA's "dirty city" list was released as part of its 2003 report
on management and comprehensive improvement in environmental
protection. The report, which covers key cities, is delivered
"These cities must step up efforts to improve air quality," said
Wang Jirong, SEPA's deputy director.
Areas with increasing concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
in the air, including Nanjing, Guangzhou and Xi'an, were advised to
develop pollution reduction plans, she said.
Although overall environmental quality has improved steadily in
the past year, Wang said, environmental infrastructure in 47 key
cities has to be strengthened. Several provincial capitals,
including Changchun in northeast China's Jilin Province and Wuhan
in central China's Hubei Province, have poor sewage disposal
systems and others are struggling with residential waste.
Those with most advanced environmental infrastructure are
Dalian, Yantai, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Haikou, all of which are coastal
The top five environmentally friendly cities are all in south
Forested areas grew 0.7 percent nationwide in 2003, faster than
in 2002, according to the report.
Average environmental investment rose 0.1 percent and accounted
for 2.4 percent of GDP.
SEPA began to test the environment in cities around the country
in 1989. The inspection includes such items as pollution reduction,
infrastructure construction and environmental management. So far,
608 cities, or 91 percent of the country's total, have been
Worst Air Quality
Linfen, Shanxi Province
Yangquan, Shanxi Province
Datong, Shanxi Province
Shizuishan, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region
Sanmenxia, Henan Province
Jinchang, Gansu Province
Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province
Xianyang, Shaanxi Province
Zhuzhou, Hunan Province
Luoyang, Henan Province
Most Environmentally Friendly
Haikou, Hainan Province
Zhuhai, Guangdong Province
Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province
Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
Beihai, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
Most Effective Pollution Controls
Nantong, Jiangsu Province
Lianyuangang, Jiangsu Province
Shenyang, Liaoning Province
Suzhou, Jiangsu Province
Fuzhou, Fujian Province
(China Daily July 15, 2004)