Ten industrial polluters have been shut down, as Beijing and its
neighbors have worked hard to fulfill their Olympic commitment in
curbing major pollutant emissions.
Sources with the coordination work group for guaranteeing air
quality for Beijing 2008 Olympic Games confirmed that ten big
polluters, mainly cement, steel and chemical plants, have been shut
down in the latest round of mandatory emission control work.
The work group coordinates the emission control work of six
municipal and provincial-level environment protection departments
in Beijing, Tianjin municipalities, Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong
provinces and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
The State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) has set
the agenda to cut sulfur dioxide and chemical oxygen demand (COD),
two major pollutants emissions in China, by 6 percent and 5 percent
respectively in 2008, China's Olympic year from 2005 levels.
The plan means the country will cut up to 2.3 million tons of
sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions and 1.3 million tons of chemical
oxygen demand (COD) this year.
By 2010, the plan is to reduce both levels by 10 percent based
on the 2005 levels.
The environment protection authorities under the coordination of
the work group said that more factories will be closed down this
year, but did not give the exact figures.
The joint effort on emission control has yielded an initial
effect. Beijing experienced 22 "blue sky" days, or days with fairly
good air quality, in January. That was the best run of clear days
since the year 2000, though persistent cold air was also cited as a
major factor to keep the air clear.
(Xinhua News Agency February 3, 2008)