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China Begins Emission Licensing System

China's steel, cement and electrolytic aluminum makers will have to have licenses for pollutant discharge to carry on with their production beginning in 2004, said China's environmental watchdog in Beijing Monday.

The State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) demanded in a document made public Monday that nationwide steel, cement and electrolytic aluminum makers should pass examinations on waste discharge standards and total pollutant control indicators.


While those who pass will get licenses, those who fail must stop production, and will be exposed to the public.


In addition, industrial players with bad records are required to install an online surveillance system connected with SEPA branches.


China's steel, cement and electrolytic aluminum production exceeds all other countries in the world. However, the production also consumes and pollutes more than that of the developed countries due to outdated equipment and a bad industrial structure.


Compared to international standards, China consumes 15 to 30 percent more energy and emits 10 times more dust to produce a ton of steel.


Official statistics predict that capacities of steel, cement and electrolytic aluminum will surge to 330 million, 10 million, and one billion tons respectively in 2005, 60 million, 4 million and 100 million tons more than domestic demand respectively.


SEPA has ordered any project under construction without an environmental impact assessment to be shut off immediately.


(Xinhua News Agency February 10, 2004)

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