In a bid to capture an overall picture of how much pollution is emitted, China's State Council, or the cabinet, has decided to launch the first-ever nationwide survey of all polluters.
The decision was made at a conference chaired by Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan.
"In recent years, China's rapid economic growth has given rise to more pollution discharge, while the existing data has been insufficient for environmental surveillance," Zeng said.
The survey, scheduled to begin in 2008, is mainly aimed at finding the number, sector and geographical distribution of the polluters in the country, including those in industrial, agricultural and residential areas, according to Zeng.
Statistics show that there are more than 1.45 million industrial enterprises in China, but only 80,000 of them have been included in the government's key surveillance data.
Early this month, China's environment watchdog for the first time made public a list of more than 6,000 industrial polluters, which analysts say will be under mounting pressure to clean up their act.
(Xinhua News Agency April 12, 2007)