Pollution control efforts in north China

Added On November 26, 2014

Local governments in north China are taking more measures to reduce emissions and curb air pollution.
The efforts came as polluting factories resumed production, which had been suspended or moderated to ensure clean air during meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Beijing earlier this month.
Tianjin municipality, which lies close to Beijing, has implemented a "fresh air action plan" to reduce air pollution.
It includes 66 measures on controlling pollution of coal, dust and new projects.
In order to reduce emissions, the city also raised standards of drainage charges for factories.
Under the new rule, fees for discharging major air pollutants increased nearly tenfold.
SOUNDBITE(CHINESE) ZHANG LUNLIANG, Tianjin environmental protection bureau:
"We'll monitor more closely emissions from enterprises, and deal with pollution with an iron hand in winter. Various other measures will also be taken, including forsaking high-pollution vehicles, spraying more water and doing more sanitation work, so that we could have fewer smog days this winter."
In Hebei Province, which also neighbors Beijing, a clean energy project has been launched in rural areas.
The move aims to reduce coal burning pollution through the utilization and exploitation of alternative, clean energy.
And some factories may be permanently phased out, according to the province's environmental protection department.
Nearly 4,000 factories were ordered to close or curb production in Hebei during the week-long APEC meetings that ended on Nov. 11.
The province relies heavily on its coal-fired steel plants and emissions from the area are partially blamed for the notorious smog that plagues Beijing.
SOUNDBITE(CHINESE) FENG YINCHANG, National environmental protection lab:
"We should make emission control plans based on the capacity of the region's environment, and make coordinated decisions at a regional level."
During the APEC week, the Beijing municipal government took a range of measures, similar to those adopted during the Olympic Games in 2008, to improve air quality.
Tight limits were imposed on car use while factories and construction sites were ordered to close or reduce production.
Experts have been suggesting that a longer-term mechanism should be set up to curb air pollution for the region.