Is China beginning a serious smog crack-down?

  • Published on September 1st, 2017

China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection released a statement earlier today complaining that local governments haven’t been taking efforts to reduce air pollution seriously enough. These local officials, mostly at the county level and lower, have not shown “sufficient awareness of the importance, difficulty and urgency of air pollution prevention work.”

By James Ayre smog in china. BBC photo

The statement comes right as China’s government is preparing to implement a campaign to ensure that winter air pollution levels in the Beijing region this time around don’t get as bad as they did last year.

Reuters provides more: “It said that out of more than 38,000 enterprises that have been inspected in the region since April, 57% were found to have ‘problems.’

“Readings of small particulate matter known as PM2.5 rose 11.3% on the year in the first seven months of the year in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, caused by near record smog levels in January and February. Average PM2.5 readings stood at 69 micrograms per cubic meter in the region in the first seven months, nearly double the state standard of 35 micrograms.

“The national government ordered the region to lower PM2.5 by more than 25% over the 2012-2017 period. To ensure the targets are met and winter policies properly implemented, the ministry said it would dispatch 102 inspection teams to 28 cities in the region beginning on Sept. 15.”

These inspection teams will reportedly “ensure that problems do not recur” in addition to assessing and reviewing the actions taken to date.

(Originally appeared at our sister-site, Cleantechnica. Photo by BBC.)

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