China Fighting Acid Rain and Sulfur Dioxide

China has decreased the release of sulfur dioxide by 1.86 million tons over the past two years as a result of its efforts to combat acid rain and sulfur dioxide control.

A total of 98 cities in the designated acid rain and sulfur dioxide control regions have met national standards, said the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA)recently.

In 1998, the State Council designated 11.4 percent of China's land, covering 175 cities in 27 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities as acid rain and sulfur dioxide control regions. The sulfur dioxide releasing amount in these regions makes up 60 percent of China's total.

Over the past two years, the number of cities that have met the national standards has increased from 81 to 98, and the amount of sulfur dioxide has decreased from 14.08 million tons to 11.14 million tons.

Beijing and Shanghai have taken the lead to set up areas without coal burning. By the end of last year, the output of high sulfur coal decreased by 32 million tons. Some 250 thermoelectric generating sets were shut down.

China plans to shut down another 4,000 high sulfur coal mines, 135 thermoelectric generating sets and 1,300 small-sized cement and glass production lines this year.

According to SEPA, the major polluters of sulfur dioxide are found in high sulfur coal production areas in Guizhou, Guangxi, Liaoning, Hubei, Hunan, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Shaanxi, Gansu and Yunnan.

(People's Daily)

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