China gets tough on air pollution

China Daily: “Updated action plan drawn up in response to severe smog at start of the year, Wu Wencong reports

China gets tough on air pollution

The toughest-ever measures to tackle China’s worsening air pollution have been announced by the government.

The Airborne Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan (2013-17) unveiled on Thursday sets out goals for the nation’s 338 cities.

A couple in Beijing’s Jingshan Park take photos against the background of a smog-shrouded Forbidden City as bad air pollution hit the capital on June 30. ZHUO ENSEN / FOR CHINA DAILY

The plan aims for a marked improvement in air quality over the next five years, said Wang Jian, deputy head of the Pollution Prevention and Control Department at the Environmental Protection Ministry.

The concentration levels of breathable suspended particles with a diameter of 10 microns — known as PM10 — or less, must fall by at least 10 percent by 2017 from the levels in 2012.

Tougher objectives have been set for some key areas.

For the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei regional cluster, concentration levels of PM2.5 particles — those smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter, which can penetrate deep into the lungs — must be cut by 25 percent by 2017 from the 2012 level, under the plan.

The target for the Yangtze River Delta region is a reduction of 20 percent and for the Pearl River Delta region it is a cut of about 15 percent.

The plan takes into account pollution and economic development in different areas, with the aim of reducing PM2.5 levels in the three key regions and PM10 levels in the other cities, Wang said.

“But this does not mean that controlling PM2.5 is not important in the other regions, as PM2.5 particles account for 50 to 60 percent of PM10 particles,” he added.

The plan is an updated version of one released late last year that was designed to tackle air pollution in 13 key areas.

via China gets tough on air pollution[1]|chinadaily.com.cn.

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