Spring sandstorms helped sweep away air pollutants and reduce
the number of heavy pollution days at the beginning of the year,
but the nation's overall environmental situation continues to
deteriorate with several major rivers and lakes clogged with heavy
discharges of industrial waste, the country's environment watchdog
said in Beijing today.
"Pollution worsened in many parts of the country in the first
quarter of the year according to nationwide monitor results," Pan
Yue, deputy director of the State Environmental Protection
Administration (SEPA), said in Beijing today.
The improved air quality in some cities is absolutely no reason
for complacency because foul air emissions are beyond acceptable
limits in other cities," Pan said.
Eight sandstorms from north China helped produce an additional
13 days of clear skies and fresh air for each city, reducing the
size of airborne particles.
According to the SEPA official, China's seven major water
systems including the Yangtze River and Yellow River remained
"mildly polluted", with no obvious alteration in water quality in
An earlier report on Yangtze River protection and development
said that more than 600 kilometers of the river are in critical
condition, and pollution, damming and too many boats have caused a
dramatic decline in Yangtze aquatic life.
Pan said pollution of three rivers -- the Songhuajiang River in
northeastern China, Huaihe River north of the Yangtze River and
Haihe River near Beijing and Tianjin -- had worsened a great deal.
He said that the situation of the Taihu Lake and Chaohu Lake in
East China and Dianchi Lake in Yunnan Province had also
Drinking water quality in major Chinese cities monitored by the
SEPA also deteriorated in the first three months with 69.3 percent
rated as "qualified," 5 percentage points lower than the same time
last year, he said.
(Xinhua News Agency May 23, 2007)