Tougher plan to reduce air pollution

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, July 25, 2013
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China's environment watchdog recently issued its most comprehensive and toughest plan to control and in some regions reduce air pollution by the year 2017, setting stricter limits on the levels of PM 2.5 particles.

Dense smog shrouds Beijing. [File photo]

Zhao Hualin, head of the pollution prevention and control department of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, said on Wednesday that the State Council approved the plan last month.

The Airborne Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan (2013-17) will be the second plan to tackle pollution in the past two years and will be backed by 1,700 billion yuan ($277 billion) in total investments from the central government.

Zhao announced the State Council's approval during this week's 13th China International Environmental Protection Exhibition and Conference in Beijing.

Wang Jinnan, vice-president of the Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning, who participated in drafting the plan, said the new program will give priority to regions that have heavy air pollution and high levels of PM 2.5 — particulate matter that is 2.5 microns or less in diameter and that harms the respiratory system more than larger particles.

The new plan specifically targets North China, particularly Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province. The plan's goal by 2017 is for a 25 percent reduction in air emissions from 2012 levels in that region.

Zhao said more details will be released in late July at the earliest.

"The Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province area is the most stringently targeted because airborne pollution is most serious in this area," Wang said during the Eco-Forum Global Annual Conference on Saturday in Guiyang, Guizhou province.

A previous prevention plan on airborne pollution in 13 key areas of China was released in late 2012. Chai Fahe, vice-president of the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, which is affiliated with China's Ministry of Environmental Protection, said the nation's top leaders realized that a tougher approach against air pollution was needed after releasing the plan in 2012.


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