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Subsidy for clean sewage facilities
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A Government subsidy will be given to local sewage treatment plants that have reduced the amount of pollution they release into local rivers.

The Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau said yesterday that it would begin to calculate the size of each plant's subsidy at the start of next year.

The city is aiming to reduce its overall chemical oxygen demand discharge to 259,000 tons by 2010, 15 percent less than in 2005. COD is a measure of the degree of pollution in water.

Sewage treatment plants that have reduced their COD discharge will be rewarded with the subsidy, the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau said yesterday.

Each plant can receive between 0.04 yuan (about half a US cent) and 0.09 yuan per cubic meter of processed water depending on its reduced COD levels.

The bureau will use monitoring equipment to record COD levels and carry out spot checks. Plants will also submit a monthly report.

In order to be awarded the subsidy, a plant must also have processed at least 95 percent of its annual water-treatment quota.

COD levels must be lower than last year and the plant's COD density must be below the national standard.

"As well as enhancing government inspections and improving infrastructure construction, encouraging local sewage treatment plants to get involved in the battle to control pollution could be a good way to raise the efficiency of our work," said Xi Ailing from the bureau. "The cost of improving efficiency is much lower than building more plants."

Shanghai Fengxian West Sewage Treatment Plant, which is permitted to discharge 3,650 tons of COD annually, according to its design capacity and treatment ability, will only discharge around 1,590 tons of COD this year.

"Based on the policy, we can receive a 2.4-million-yuan subsidy," said Li Jianguo, the company's general manager.

According to the Shanghai Water Bureau, there will be 50 sewage treatment plants in the city by the end of the year with a daily combined processing capacity of 6.73 million cubic meters of water.

(Shanghai Daily December 19, 2008)

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