China issues plan to tackle air pollution
Steel production and home heating are focus of bid to reduce particulate matter
The Chinese authorities have issued plans to control air pollution in Beijing, Tianjin and north China's Hebei Province as well as surrounding areas that could experience heavy air pollution in autumn and winter.
The planissued by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said the average concentration of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) in the regions in autumn and winter should be cut by 4 per cent year-on-year, and the number of days with heavy pollution or above should drop by 6 per cent.
According to the report, the average concentration of PM 2.5 in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region rose by 6.5 per cent year-on-year, and the number of heavily polluted days increased by 36.8 per cent in autumn and winter from 2018 to 2019.
The plan called on Tianjin to shut down one 588-cubic-metre blast furnace belonging to the Rockcheck Group in Hebei Province to reduce steel production by 14 million tons, and North China's Shanxi Province and East China's Shandong Province to cut excess industrial capacity.
All the cities in the region will have to replace 5.42 million tons of loose coal into gas and electricity to promote clean heating. Some 363,000 households are affected in Tianjin, 2.03 million in Hebei, 397,000 in Shanxi, 1.14 million in Shandong, and 1.31 million in central China's Henan Province.
The plan also calls for an investigation of excessive motor vehicle discharges, reducing road dust, supervising open burning and strengthening an automatic monitoring system for pollution sources.
China is also increasing efforts to end the illegal dumping of hazardous chemical waste by 2025, Reutersreported.