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China issues anti-air pollution plan

The Ministry of Environmental Protection has issued an action plan to combat air pollution in autumn and winter 2017-2018 in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and surrounding areas.

The plan aims to reduce the average concentration of PM2.5 in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei by over 15% in Oct. 2017 – Mar. 2018, and reduce heavily pollutant days by over 15%.

Joint efforts by government and enterprises

In the first half of 2017, although the localities continued combating air pollution, the air quality in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and surrounding areas was still bad.

Therefore, MEP asked local governments to carry out the action plan, make clear the tasks, person in charge, and deadlines.

Enterprises are the entities to combat air pollution, they should undertake social responsibilities, decide what to do, and the state-owned enterprises should act as role models.

Detailed information to be submitted

According to the action plan, relevant province and municipalities should submit five lists to MEP before the end of Sept., including a list of dispersed, polluting enterprises to be cleaned up and rectified, a list of unorganized pollutant discharging enterprises to be reformed, a list of plans for staggering industrial enterprises’ arrangement in stopping and limiting production, a list of air pollutant emission, and a list of emergent emission reduction programs under heavy pollution weather.

Before the end of Oct., a list of coal-fuel boilers to be kept and a list of elevated sources with air-vents higher than 45 meters should be submitted.

In addition, starting from Oct., localities and the state-owned enterprises should report the progresses of key tasks before the fifth of every month.

Localities failing to meet target will take responsibility

MEP will initiate a special environmental protection inspection over localities do not or act slowly in combating air pollution.

When the action plan is enforced, MEP will warn the cities, counties and districts failing to improve air quality as requested or progressing slowly in promoting the key tasks every month.

MEP will talk to the persons in charge of the localities that fail to improve air quality each quarter and progress slowly in putting forward key tasks, and talk to the executive officials in which the air quality indexes keep being bad.

The central environmental protection inspection group has discovered over 170,000 problematic enterprises in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei.

A large number of tire and rubber producers were ordered to stop or limit production due to environmental issues.