MEP issued a circular today calling for all regions to make earnest effort in air quality monitoring and early warning in heavy pollution weathers, step up prevention and control of air pollution, try hard to mitigate the impact of the pollution and safeguard the public health.
According to the circular, 74 major cities under national monitoring program in key regions including Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta have stepped up monitoring of air quality and announced monitoring data of PM2.5 and other pollutants since January 1, playing a positive role in honoring the public right to know about environmental quality and guarding against damages by pollution. Analysis of the air quality monitoring results and weather forecasts indicates that the haze weather is still lingering in north China and central and east China including Huanghuai region, Jianghuai region, and Jiangnan region, and that many local regions are suffering from bad pollution, inflicting adverse impact on people¡¯s work and life and health.
In order to do well in the air quality monitoring and early warning in heavy pollution weathers, local regions are required to carry out the following tasks. a) They should make earnest effort to step up air quality monitoring and make sure the monitoring devices are in smooth operation. Local environmental protection departments are required to introduce an on-call system for monitoring air quality in special meteorological conditions. Local environmental monitoring agencies at all levels are required to strengthen the maintenance and inspection of monitoring devices and make sure their smooth operation. Cities which have enforced the new air quality standards are required to monitor the six indexes accordingly, and the remaining cities are required to do a good job in the real-time monitoring of the three original indexes including sulfur dioxides, nitrogen dioxides, and PM10, and get prepared for carrying out the second and third stage implementation plans for the new standards. Local regions with conditions are encouraged to enforce the new standards ahead of schedule. b) They are required to strengthen inter-departmental consultations and share air quality monitoring data on a timely basis. Local environmental protection departments are required to enhance the communications and contact with relevant departments including the meteorological departments, do well in analyzing and estimating the pollution trends, and share air quality data with the public in the affected regions through broadcasting, television, internet and newspaper, in order to safeguard the right to know of the public. c) They are required to trigger the emergency preparedness plan for heavy pollution weathers to substantially mitigate the impact of the pollution. They are required to establish emergency response mechanism in accordance with the pollution level, and initiate the preparedness plan in a timely fashion. They are required to encourage companies, public institutions, and the public to participate in emissions reduction campaigns, in order to make substantial effort to mitigate the adverse impact of the pollution on public health. d) They are required to highlight the prevention and control of PM2.5 and do well in air pollution control. They should keep strengthening the total pollutant load control of sulfur dioxides and nitrogen oxides from thermal power, iron and steel, and cement industries, and highlight the control of pollution by industrial soot dust, flying ash from construction sites, volatile organic compounds, and vehicle emissions. They should introduce the toughest emission cap system for air pollutants and the system of counterbalancing the total pollutant load of new projects with the pollutant load being reduced by any other project(s) in the same region, and the latter figure should be no less than one time of the former. Key regions including Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Yangtze River Delta, and Pearl River Delta are required to establish a sound regional cooperation mechanism for air pollution control, and further enhance the regional cooperative force in pollution control. e) They are required to strengthen leadership and identify responsibilities. Local environmental protection departments at all levels should pay close attention to the air quality monitoring and early warning in heavy pollution weathers, introduce tough accountability system, strengthen supervision and inspections, and make sure the air quality monitoring, early warning and pollution control work proceed smoothly in heavy pollution weathers. MEP will send experts at a proper time to guide all regions to monitor air quality in accordance with new standards, disclose monitoring data, develop and implement early warning and emergency preparedness plan for air pollution, implement pollution control plans, and conduct regional cooperation programs on pollution control.