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China Toughens Winter Smog Campaign

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The Ministry of Environmental Protection (EMP) of China announced its preparation of launching a strengthened campaign to cut smog and meet the air quality standard, after realizing that since its campaign launching in April, a number of local government bodies at county level or below in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region are still not aware of the importance and urgency of industrial air pollution prevention.

The ministry reported that among the 38,000 enterprises inspected since April, 57% were learned to have air pollution problems. PM2.5, which quantifies small particulate matter per unit volume, increased by 11.3% in the first seven months of the year, representing an average of 69 micrograms per cubic meter, which is almost twice the standard reading of 35 micrograms per cubic meter.

With this result, the ministry is forcing 28 northern cities to lower their hazardous particles by at least 15% compared with 2016 in the coming months. Moreover, it ordered the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region to decrease PM2.5 by more than 25% over the 2012-2017 period.

Starting on September 15, it will dispatch 102 inspection teams over these 28 cities to ensure that the winter policies are properly implemented and the air quality targets are met. These teams will be reviewing the actions engaged to reach the winter targets and ensure that the problems encountered will not recur.

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