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MEP organizes the thematic inspection on air quality in Q1

An official with MEP told the news press today that the Ministry will work with relevant provinces (municipalities) to launch the thematic inspection between Feb. 15 and Mar. 15 on air quality in the first quarter, in order to urge Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and surrounding area to resolutely implement the decisions and deployments of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, push the local Party committees and governments to fulfill air pollution control responsibilities, and do a good job in all fronts of air pollution control.

According to this official, the thematic inspection will focus on checking how the Party committees, governments, and relevant departments at all levels have performed their responsibilities, how the tasks specified by the “Enhanced Measures for Air Pollution Control in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Area (2016-2017)” have been accomplished in 2016, how well the contingency plans for heavy air pollution have been prepared and implemented, the progress in straightening out and eliminating coal-fired boilers with capacity at or below 10 steam tons and how the in-service boilers are distributed, how the “scatted, disorderly, and polluting” enterprises have been treated in accordance with law, and how the industrial pollution sources have attained emission standards. The target areas of the inspection include Beijing; Tianjin; Shijiazhuang, Langfang, Baoding, Tangshan, Handan, Xingtai, Cangzhou, and Hengshui of Hebei Province; Taiyuan and Linfen of Shanxi Province; Jinan and Dezhou of Shandong Province; and Zhengzhou, Hebi, Jiaozuo, and Anyang of Henan Province.

Eighteen inspection teams have been set up, each under the leadership of a ministerial leader and with members from relevant provinces (municipalities). The teams are further divided into 54 working groups that will conduct the inspection simultaneously. There are over 260 inspectors mobilized. The inspection will be carried out in the form of tour inspections by ministerial leaders, visits and inquiries, and on-the-spot random checks. It will lay emphasis on inspecting the local environmental governance, combined with inspection on industries. The inspection will be carried out by a stage-based approach, constantly transmit the stress of the inspection, and urge local governments to fulfill the air pollution control responsibilities. Moreover, the inspection will follow the problem-oriented principle, and focus on checking how the local Party committees, governments, and departments have performed their air pollution control responsibilities. The key points of inspection vary from city to city but the emphasis is to keep an eye on nonfeasance, misconduct, and delay. The inspection will observe the inspection code to the letter, and the enforcement platform will be utilized to keep records on the visits and inquires, the transfer of problems, and the identified problems. The guidelines of the CPC Central Committee’s eight-point decision on improving Party and government conduct and the regulations on improving the Party work style and building clean government will be strictly followed. The inspection will be very strict and the problems identified in the inspection will be made public in a timely fashion.

According to this official, for cities that are found to be sluggish in advancing the air pollution control effort, fail to perform their responsibilities satisfactorily and suffer from prominent air pollution problems, meetings will be arranged between the Ministry and their mayors, and in the meantime, environmental review will be halted for the new projects in those cities as appropriate. If the local Party committees, governments, and relevant departments are found with nonfeasance and delays, or failure to perform environmental responsibilities, and if the industry has pressing environmental problems, such information will be made public in a timely fashion and the cases will be transferred to local authorities, urging relevant departments to make investigations and prosecute the liabilities. For the generic problems found in the inspection, the inspection teams will feed back the local governments timely, urge them to make investigations, draw inferences about other cases from one instance, and push for satisfactory rectifications.

(This English version is for your reference only.In case any discrepancy exists between the Chinese and English context, the Chinese version shall prevail.)

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