In 2003, the volume of sulfur dioxide discharged was managed down to a level of 293,000 tons, a decrease of 1.1 percent on the year before. Meanwhile the 187,000 tons of smoke discharged represented a drop of 2.1 percent.
Industrial dust saw an increase of 1.4 percent to 95,000 tons. Industrial solid wastes were up 0.3 percent at 691,000 tons. Oxygen-depleting chemical residues in waste water were up 3.5 percent at 212,000 tons.
Looking at the overall picture, every-day pollution discharges had been slightly reduced on the year before. The number of days when the state air quality standards were satisfied at first or second-grade was 5.3 percentage points higher at 63.4 percent for the year. About 17.8 percent of the days met the third-grade, a drop of 3.9 percent. The days meeting the fourth and fifth grades accounted for 18.8 percent, down 1.4 percent.
Twenty-six nature reserves have been established around the region. Seven are national-class reserves. These are: Xinjiang Altun Mountain National Nature Reserve, Xinjiang Bayinbulak Swan National Nature Reserve, Xinjiang Kanas National Nature Reserve, Xinjiang West Tianshan National Nature Reserve, Xinjiang Ganjiahu Saxoul Forests National Nature Reserve, Xinjiang Tomur Peak National Nature Reserve and Xinjiang Lop Nur Wild Camel National Nature Reserve.
Nature reserves occupy an area of 204,200 square kilometers. Eight national-class ecological demonstration zones have been approved. Within these, eight experimental areas and units/workplaces have been set up.
There are 58 smoke-control zones, protecting an area of some 352 square kilometers, up by 0.2 percent on the previous year. Thirty-nine zones have satisfied the environmental noise criteria, covering an area of 315 square kilometers, up 5 percent.