Cities reach environmental improvement goals

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Three cities have reached their environmental improvement goals with sharp reductions in airborne particulate pollution matters after having serious talks with environmental protection authorities, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said.

On Feb 8, 2015, the Ministry of Environmental Protection hosted talks with the government of Cangzhou city in Hebei Province, with Linyi city of Shandong Province on Feb 25, and with the Zhengzhou city of Henan Province on July 28.

The talk-down sessions from the ministry pushed the cities' decision-makers forward to take serious efforts in reducing pollution.

To improve its air quality, Zhengzhou has set specific targets for this year—concentrations of the PM2.5 and PM10 shall not surpass 150 and 79 micrograms per cubic meter, respectively.

Authorities at the county level will be awarded 500,000 yuan (US$77,200) if their pollutant concentrations are one microgram lower than the newly adopted standards. Otherwise, they will be fined the same amount of money.

Any county that reports substandard air quality for three consecutive months will be ordered to shut down all sources of pollution.

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