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China to Create Air Pollution Monitoring Network
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The government plans to establish a comprehensive air pollution monitoring network in south China's Pearl River Delta region within five years. The plan awaits the approval of a key national technology project meant for regional air protection in the southern province of Guangdong early this year.

"This endeavor, which is the nation's largest scientific and research project in terms of regional air pollution control, will, by all means, help improve air quality in the PRD area," said Li Qing, director of the Guangdong Provincial Department of Environment Protection.

At the project's completion, they hope that the major sources of air pollution in the region will be detected, Li said.

The Pearl River Delta 

Air pollution, especially heavy smog, has been plaguing the PRD region, one of the most important industrial bases in the nation.

"Most importantly, a self-innovation technology system in terms of air pollution monitoring is expected to be set up after the completion of the project and we will develop a technological team consisting of young but experienced researchers," Li said, adding that a group of leading Chinese environmental experts will also take part in the project.

Li also revealed that some key technology and facilities to control air pollution would be developed as part of the project.

"The current air monitoring network in the PRD area is not in a position to detect multi-sources of air pollution. So we have to develop a more efficient system to detect all sources of air pollution," Li said.

Some 150 million yuan (US$19.2 million) from the central government's budget will be earmarked for the project, according to Li.

In addition, Guangdong will also invest more than 150 million yuan (US$19.2 million) in the project.

"It has so far been the nation's largest investment in an environmental protection project and all money will be used efficiently for development of state-of-the-art monitoring facilities and hardware equipment," Li said.

All cities in the PRD region will get involved in the project and a coordinative management system will be built, he added.

(China Daily HK Edition March 16, 2007)

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