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Beijing Studies Air Pollution Ahead of Games
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Beijing is taking action to get to the bottom of the city's air pollution problem, in a bid to ensure blue skies during the 2008 Olympic Games.

Environmentalists from home and abroad will study the emission and transfer of air pollutants in north China, according to a programme launched by Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau.

Suggestions will be given on how to improve air quality in Beijing, as well on how to decrease emissions of pollutants in neighbouring provinces, once the programme ends in December 2007, said Li Xin, an official from the bureau.

"It is an unprecedented environmental programme in Beijing, with a record input of 26 million yuan (US$3.2 million) approved by the Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission," she said.

The programme has seven points of focus, ranging from the utilization of remote sensing in air pollution monitoring and how secondary air pollution forms in the region, to possible countermeasures to ensure quality air.

The implementation of the programme will reach an international level of air pollution study, Li said.

"Air pollutant data will be collected at 20 or so monitoring stations in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi and Inner Mongolia," said Shao Min, an environmental professor from Peking University, at a monitoring station in a southern suburb of the capital.

Advanced environmental monitoring technologies will be used in the programme, he noted.

Three comprehensive observations across the region will be arranged between August 2006 and 2007 to monitor primary and secondary air pollutants, researchers said.

(China Daily September 8, 2006)

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