On Sept. 13, MEP held a training seminar on the tour inspection for the tough fight against the air pollution in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and surrounding areas in the 2017-2018 autumn and winter. Minister Li Ganjie and Leader of the Discipline Inspection Group Wu Haiying presented and spoke at the seminar.
The Ministry released a recent action plan together with other State departments and local governments for putting up a tough fight against the air pollution in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and surrounding areas in the 2017-2018 autumn and winter and mapped out six supplementary plans targeting strict inspection, tour inspection, thematic inspection, quantifiable accountability, information sharing, and awareness activities, said Li.
The portfolio of the plans highlights the work priorities of air pollution control. To be specific, the key areas mean Beijing, Tianjin, and 26 smaller cities in Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong, and Henan, which sit on the air pollution transmission passage; the key periods are the autumn and winter, and the heating season; the key fields mean the bulk coals and unlicensed polluters, in addition to the vehicle exhausts, flying dust, and mineral development and mine treatment; the key problems include the problems found in the key fields, and the problems ubiquitous in local areas such as unclear definition of responsibilities.
Also, they put forward 32 more strict and specific measures under 11 categories, and prepare a checklist of concrete tasks and assign them to the cities, districts, and counties of the 28 cities, instead of setting qualitative or rough goals as before.
The local Party committee and government will be held equally accountable for air pollution control, according to the plans. More than 5,600 inspectors have been mobilized from across the country for the ongoing strict inspection. Another 1,400 plus people are mobilized from the Ministry’s regional offices and affiliated institutions to form 102 teams and carry out tour inspection on a regular basis.
The accountability of Party committees and governments is quantifiable and mandatory. The air pollution control will be one of the indicators to evaluate the performances of the city/county Party committees and governments. An expert panel will be assembled for each of the “2+26” cities under the program on the causes of heavy air pollution and the control technologies. A trans-regional environmental protection institution will be piloted in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and surrounding areas to promote regional integration, by unifying the environmental planning, standards, licensing, impact assessment, monitoring, enforcement, and emergency response. The trans-regional institution will have been founded and completed trial operation by the end of September.
Furthermore, the portfolio of plans strengthens public supervision, information sharing, and highlights the activities to raise the awareness on the importance, necessity, justification, and urgency of the tough fight against air pollution.
The tough fight against air pollution in the autumn and winter is the first full-scale implementation of the five-step approach (strict inspection, transfer of problems, tour inspection, summon for talks, and thematic inspection), which helps prepare for setting and achieving the objectives and tasks for the second-stage implementation of the air pollution action plan, said Li.
The tour inspection as one of the five steps is the continuation of the strict inspection and the transfer of problems, by reviewing the rectification progress, and the transition to summon for talks and thematic inspection. It finds out the weak points in local rectification efforts, so the local governments can be summoned for talks, and puts forward suggestions on quantifiable accountability. We are waging a tough war against air pollution, and in the meantime, fighting for better environmental quality, and accelerated supply side structural reform and industrial transformation and upgrading, added Li.
To make the tour inspection a success, the inspection teams should raise political stance, enhance the sense of responsibility and sense of mission, push the grassroots Party committees, governments, and departments to implement the air pollution control measures, and balance the regional economic, social development with ecological conservation. For this purpose, the inspection teams will focus on the major incompliance problems of the air polluters, report the weak points of local authorities in air pollution control, and on this basis, solve some chronic and serious problems. Also, the tour inspection should be put under the sunlight and public supervision is welcome. The information on the tour inspection, the follow-up talks, and accountability details will be made public. The arrival of the inspection teams will be announced on major media outlets, and the public will be encouraged to report environmental problems via 12369 tipline and WeChat platform.
The tour inspection will last four months in eight rounds. The inspectors will be called out for 2,480 person·times. The inspection teams should observe the Ministry’s (tour) inspection rules, and become politically reliable, honest and diligent, and strictly disciplined forces. The tough fight is a test stone to the inspectors as well. They should take the training programs seriously, understand the policies, tasks, and requirements of the inspection, and complete the inspection by adopting a “serious, truthful, meticulous, honest, and efficient” approach.
In her remarks, Wu Haiying analyzed the typical cases in environmental inspection, pointed out the underlying risks, and demanded the inspectors to strictly observe disciplines and be honest in inspection. The inspectors should be aware of their honorable missions, heavy responsibilities, and massive powers, and respect their organizations they belong with and their missions. The inspectors represent the Ministry in their tours and therefore should adopt strict work styles and have demonstrated abilities. They should familiarize with the inspection standards and adopt a “serious, truthful, meticulous, honest, and efficient” approach. The Party organizations to which the inspectors belong should offer support to the inspectors.
The seminar was chaired by Vice Minister Zhai Qing.
Directors General of relevant internal departments, regional offices, and affiliated institutions of the Ministry as well as some tour inspectors attended the seminar.
(This English version is for your reference only.In case any discrepancy exists between the Chinese and English context, the Chinese version shall prevail.)