From March 1, China began imposing the "special air pollutant emission restrictions" on major industrial sectors in 28 northern cities, said the environmental ministry in a notice, as an effort to fulfill the pledge to the country's 1.4 million people: in three years, your skies will be blue again.
To make the promise come true, the country recently ordered by 2020, badly-polluted industrial regions shall reduce the concentration of PM2.5, hazardous and breathable particles, by at least 18% compared with the 2015 level and required proportion of fine days reached over 80% in prefecture- and province-level cities.
In February 2013, the Ministry of Environmental Protection issued a standard of air pollutant emission for in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area, the Yangtze Delta and the Pearl Delta among 47 prefecture- and province-level cities.
Specially, Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei's Tangshan and other six cities around the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area imposed stricter emission limits.
Compared with the 2013 version, this special emission curbs are more "special" – not only the covered regions expands from nine to 28 cities, the coking industry are also involved besides 25 sectors and sub-sectors of coal-fired power, iron and steel, petrochemical, cement, non-ferrous and chemicals.
So how big the difference between the two versions?
Taking the coking industry as an example, the former version stipulated the concentration of particle emissions from coke oven's chimney should not exceed 50 mg/m3; that of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide from the mechanical and semi-coke ovens should not be over 100 and 800 mg/m3.
While in the newly-released version, the three above limits reduced to 15, 30 and 150 mg/m3.
For another example, the emission upper limit of industrial coal-fired boilers are adjusted down from particle emissions of 80 mg/m3, sulfur dioxide 400 mg/m3 and nitrogen oxide 400 mg/m3 to 30, 200 and 200 mg/m3.
However, for some industries, the execution time will be extended in the real implementation, like coking plants, which remains the previous version until October 1, 2019.
The notice said existing enterprises must take effective measures to comply with the new restrictions by the required deadline. If they fail to do so, they can be fined, ordered to restrict output or forced to shut down completely.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Harry Huo)
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