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Beijing sees record 'blue sky' days in February
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Beijing experienced 26 "blue sky" days, or days with fairly good air quality, in February, the best run of clear days since 2000.

Beijing had 11 more blue sky days this month than a year ago, and 10 days more than the eight-year average after it experienced a record 22 such days in January, the Beijing Environment Protection Administration said on Friday.

Beijing recorded 29 consecutive blue sky days from Jan. 21 to Feb. 18, the longest period of consecutive days with fairly good air quality in history, according to the bureau. Experts attributed the desulfurization project applied in the heating season, between Nov. 15 to March. 15, as the major factor that kept the air clear. Sulphur dioxide, the major pollutant in the city, overran the standard for 106 days in the heating season in 1998, while in 2006 it dropped to 27 days.

Another factor was the further closure of heavily-polluting industrial facilities in or near the capital. Ten major polluting facilities were closed.

Beijing had 246 blue sky days in 2007. It aimed to have 70 percent of the days up to standard this year, which meant there should be at least 256 blue sky days.

The capital launched the blue sky drive in 1998.

(Xinhua News Agency February 29, 2008)

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