New air pollution law to set limits for emissions

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, April 18, 2013
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Shanghai legislative body plans to produce a new, detailed environmental protection law this year aimed primarily at curbing PM2.5 pollution, which is tiny airborne particles that can pose particularly dangerous health risks.

The law will include exhaust discharge standards for vehicles and local factories as well as measures to control flying dust at construction sites, local legislators said yesterday.

"Though the city's environmental protection authority has carried out emergency plans for heavily polluted days, the city's air quality often remains poor," said Li Ming, a local lawmaker.

"Current measures fail to receive ideal effects," legislators said in a statement.

The standing committee of the city's legislative body urged local government departments to start working on the new law's provisions and release drafts as soon as possible.

Under the more-stringent Air Quality Index that took effect in November, air quality is "excellent" or "good" when the index is below 100, "lightly" or "moderately" polluted between 101 and 200, and "heavily" or "severely" polluted from 201 to 500.

This year, Shanghai has had more than 15 days when the index topped 100.

On January 16, the index surged to 254, a record high for the new index.

In another measure to be launched soon, about a third of local government vehicles will be taken off the road in Shanghai only when the air is heavily polluted, according to Zhang Quan, director of Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau.

Some factories and construction sites will be idled. Some outdoor activities also will be canceled when the index exceeds 300.

Zhang also said the city must work with neighboring provinces to curb emissions.

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