Bulletin shows progress in fight against pollution

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, June 2, 2016
Adjust font size:

China saw environmental improvements last year with large reductions in many airborne pollutants and severely polluted surface water, according to the annual bulletin on national environment quality released on Thursday.

However, the report found that 265 of the 338 cities surveyed failed to reached national air quality standards, and more needs to be done to protect underground aquifers.

The bulletin, released by the Environmental Protection Ministry, examined all aspects of the nation's environment from air and water quality to farmland and forest coverage and levels of background radiation.

It showed a general improvement in air quality last year, with the 74 major cities that were monitored exhibiting a 14.1 percent year-on-year decrease in levels of PM2.5 — fine particulate matter with a diameter less than 2.5 microns that is harmful to health.

Among the 338 monitored cities nationwide, 21.4 percent reached the national air quality standards last year, the bulletin said.

In 2014, 161 cities were regular conducting air quality monitoring and only 9.9 percent of these reached the national standard, according to the bulletin.

Xia Guang, director of the Policy Research Center for Environment and Economy at the Ministry of Environmental Protection, told China Central Television on Thursday that the current action plan against air pollution was working, but more effort was required to help the majority of cities reach national standards.

To further control air pollution, the central government has allocated more funds — around 10.7 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) in 2015 — to fuel the local governments' efforts in reducing emissions of air pollutants by shutting down heavily polluting companies, for example.

Water pollution is another issue. There are 972 surface water monitoring stations in China on 423 waterways, covering 10 of the country's major river basins — including the Yangtze and Yellow rivers.

Of these stations, 8.8 percent reported water quality of a standard so poor last year that it could not be used for any purpose, whether for drinking, irrigation or industrial use — this being the bottom tier in the national water quality system, and a 0.4 percent year-on-year reduction on 2014 levels.

China plans to expand the number of monitoring stations to 2,767 by the end of the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20), the ministry said in March, to further reduce pollution and facilitate efforts to improve water quality.

Underground water supplies are another matter. Among the 5,118 subterranean monitoring stations scattered across 202 of the nation's cities, 63.3 percent reported water quality last year in the bottom two tiers of the five-tier national water quality system, the bulletin showed.

In 2014, 61.5 percent of the then 4,896 monitoring stations reported water quality that fell into the bottom two tiers.

Elsewhere, China saw a 107,300-hectare decrease in farmland last year, with more than 645 million hectares of farmland recorded nationwide.

Follow China.org.cn on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:    
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter