Report On the State of the Environment In China
2005
Index
Preface
Freshwater Environment
Marine Environment
Atmospheric Environment
Acoustic Environment
Solid Wastes
Radiation and Radioactive Environment
Arable Land/Land Resources
Forests
Grassland
Biodiversity
Climate and Natural Disasters
Environmental Management
 

General Situation

 

Overall urban air quality was improved to some extent compared with the previous year despite heavy pollution in some cities.

Of the 522 cities under the monitoring program of 2005, 319 were at or above prefecture level, and 203 were of county level. 22 cities met Grade I national air quality standard, accounting for 4.2%; 293 met Grade II standard, taking up 56.1%; 152 met Grade III standard, taking up 29.1%, and 55 failed to meet Grade III, accounting for 10.6%. The major pollutant was inhalable particulates.

Proportions of Cities with Varied Levels of Air Quality

Compared with last year, the proportion of cities with air quality at or better than Grade II increased by 12.6 percentage points among the 522 cities. The percentage of cities with air quality worse than Grade III dropped by 9.9 percentage points. So the urban air quality had some improvement.

 

Comparison of Ambient Air Quality among Comparable Cities between 2004 and 2005

Grade of Air Quality

2005

2004

At or better than Grade II (up to standard), %

51.9

39.3

Grade III, %

37.5

40.2

Worse than Grade III, %

10.6

20.5

 

Major Pollutants in the Air

 

Particulates were still the major pollutant that affected the air quality, but the situation turned better than in last year. Among the cities under monitoring, 40.5% had particulates exceeded Grade II standard, down by 12.0 percentage points than last year; 5.5% surpassed Grade III standard, a decrease of 9.4 percentage points than that of the last year.

 

Cities with heavy particulate pollution were mainly distributed in provinces (autonomous regions, or municipalities directly under the Central Government) such as Shanxi, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Sichuan, Henan, Shaanxi, Hunan, Liaoning, Xinjiang and Beijing.

Proportions of Cities with Different Levels of Particulates

 

                  Proportions of Cities with Different Levels of Particulates 

Levels of Air Quality

2005

2004

Grade II (up to standard), %

59.5

47.5

Grade III, %

35.0

37.6

Exceeding Grade III%

5.5

14.9

 

In general, SO2 levels in urban areas remained the same with last year. Among the comparable cities, 77.4% had the annual average SO2 level meeting Grade II national standard (0.06mg/m3), and 6.5% met Grade III standard (0.10 mg/m3). Cities suffering from heavy SO2 pollution distributed in provinces (autonomous regions, or municipalities directly under the Central Government) like Shanxi, Hebei, Gansu, Guizhou, Inner Mongolia, Yunnan, Guangxi, Hubei, Shaanxi, Henan, Hunan, Sichuan, Liaoning, and Chongqing.

 

               Proportions of Cities with SO2 at Different Levels

 

 

Proportions of Cities with SO2 at Different Levels

                Proportions of Cities, %

SO2 levels

2005

2004

Grade II 0.06 mg/m3

77.4

74.5

Exceeding Grade II0.06 mg/m3

22.6

25.5

 

Including those exceeding Grade III0.10 mg/m3

6.5

8.8

 

NO2 levels of all cities in the statistics met Grade II national standard. However, major cities like Guangzhou, Beijing, Ningbo, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Harbin, Urumchi, Nanjing, Chengdu and Wuhai observed relatively higher NO2 levels.

 

SO2 Pollution in the Two Controlled Zones

 

Among the 62 comparable cities in the SO2 controlled zone, 45.1% had the annual average SO2 levels meeting Grade II standard, an increase of 4.5 percentage points. 54.9% failed to meet Grade II standard, of which 13 cities surpassed Grade III standard, taking up 21.0% and down by 8.7 percentage points. SO2 pollution was alleviated in some of the cities that suffered from heavy SO2 pollution. Of the comparable cities in acid rain controlled zones, 73.9% had annual average SO2 levels meeting Grade II standard, up by 0.9 percentage points; and 4.5% failed to meet Grade III standard, down by 2.5 percentage points compared with that of the last year.

 

SO2 Pollution in the Two Controlled Zones

SO2 levels

SO2 Controlled Zones

Acid Rain Controlled Zone

2005

2004

2005

2004

Proportion of cities with SO2 levels at or better than Grade II standard, %

SO20.06 mg/m3

45.1

40.6

73.9

73.0

Proportion of cities with SO2 levels at Grade III standard, %

0.06 mg/m3SO20.10 mg/m3

33.9

29.7

21.6

20.0

Proportion of cities with SO2 levels exceeding Grade III standard, %

SO2>0.10 mg/m3

21.0

29.7

4.5

7.0

 

Comparison of SO2 pollution in the Two Controlled Zones between 2004 and 2005

 

Air Quality of Major Cities

 

Of the 113 major cities for air pollution prevention and control, Haikou and Beihai City had air quality at Grade I standard, taking up 1.8%, 46 cities including Zhanjiang experienced Grade II standard air quality, accounting for 40.7%; 58 ones met with Grade III, taking up 51.3%; and seven ones failed to meet with Grade III, accounting for 6.2%. Compared with last year, 15 more cities reached the air quality standard and 23 ones less failed to meet with Grade III standard. The air quality of national key environmental protection cities was remarkably improved.

 

Acid Rain

 

357 out of 696 cities (or counties) under national acid rain monitoring program experienced acid rain in 2005, taking up 51.3%. Among them, the acid rain occurrence was 100% in Xiangshan County and Anji County of Zhejiang Province, Shaowu City of Fujian Province, and Ruijin City of Jiangxi Province.

 

In 2005, the annual average pH value of precipitation in 696 cities (counties) nationwide ranged from 3.87 (Guixi City of Jiangxi Province) to 8.35 (Kuerle City of Xinjiang Autonomous Region). 267 cities had pH value below 5.6, accounting for 38.4%. Among them, Guixi City of Jiangxi Province, Changsha and Liuyang City of Hunan Province, Zigui County of Hubei Province, and Shunde District of Foshan City, Guangdong Province had the annual average pH value no more than 4.0.

 

  Proportions of Cities with Different Precipitation Acidity

 

 

 

Proportions of Cities with Different Acid Rain Occurrences

 

 

Compared with 527 cities in the 2004 statistics, the proportion of cities where acid rain appeared increased by 1.8 percentage points, while cities with annual average pH value below 5.6 rose by 0.7 percentage point. Among them, the proportion of cities with pH value less than 4.5 increased by 1.9 percentage points. Cities with acid rain occurrences exceeding 80% rose by 2.8 percentage points. The fact that even more cities had low pH value and high acid rain occurrences indicated that acid rain pollution in 2005 deteriorated compared with that of 2004.

 

Compared with last year, North China saw some increased occurrence of acid rain in 2005, while acid rain occurrences in other areas remained stable. The acid rain areas distributed mainly south of Yangtze River and east of Sichuan and Yunnan Province, covering most areas of Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hunan, Fujian, Guizhou, Guangxi, and Chongqing. Zhejiang, Jiangxi, and Hunan Provinces saw more serious acid rain, so did northwest Guangxi Autonomous Region and Pearl River Delta of Guangdong Province.

 

In northern cities like Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Dandong, and Tieling City of Liaoning Province, Tumen City of Jilin Province, Hunchun City of Heilongjiang Province, Chengde City of Hebei Province, Luoyang and Nanyang City of Henan Province, and Weinan and Shangluo City of Shaanxi Province, the annual average pH value were below 5.6.

 

Acid Rain Controlled Zones

 

The annual average pH values of precipitation in the 111 cities within the acid rain controlled zones ranged between 4.02 (Changsha City of Hunan Province) and 6.79 (Yunfu City of Guangdong Province). 103 cities had experienced acid rain, taking up 92.8%; 25 cities had the acid rain occurrences to be more than 80%, accounting for 22.5% and up by 3.7 percentage points. The annual average pH values of 81 cities were below 5.6, taking up73.0% and down by 1.1%. 27 cities saw the pH value less than 4.5, accounting for 24.3% and up by 2.8 percentage points. The scope of areas polluted by acid rain in the controlled zones remained stable but with heavier pollution.

 

Proportions of Cites with Different Precipitation Acidity in the Acid Rain Controlled Zones in 2005

Precipitation AciditypH Value

5.6

5.6

Total

4.5

4.5~5.0

5.0~5.6

Proportions of Cities, %

2005

73.0

24.3

34.2

14.5

27.0

2004

74.1

21.5

33.0

19.6

25.9

 

Proportions of Cites with Different Acid Rain Occurrences in the Acid Rain Controlled Zones in 2005

Acid Rain Occurrences, %

0

0-20

20-40

40-60

60-80

80-100

Proportions of Cities, %

2005

7.2

21.6

7.3

20.7

20.7

22.5

2004

 9.8

17.0

13.4

19.6

21.4

18.8

 

Discharge Amount of Major Pollutants in Waste Gas

 

In 2005, the SO2 emissions amounted to 25.493 million tons (including 21.684 million tons from industrial sector and 3.809 million tons from domestic sector). The soot emissions were 11.825 million tons (including 9.489 million tons from industrial sources and 2.336 million tons from domestic sources). The industrial dust amounted to 9.112 million tons.

 

Discharge Amount of Major Pollutants in Waste Gas Nationwide in Recent Years 

                                                                           Unit: 1,000 tons

Item

Year

SO2 emissions

Soot emissions

Emissions of industrial dust

Total

Industrial

Domestic

Total

Industrial

Domestic

2000

1995.1

1612.5

382.6

1165.4

953.3

212.1

1092.0

2001

1947.8

1566.6

381.2

1069.8

851.9

217.9

990.6

2002

1926.6

1562.0

364.6

1012.7

804.2

208.5

941.0

2003

2158.7

1791.4

367.3

1048.7

846.2

202.5

1021.0

2004

2254.9

1891.4

363.5

1095.0

886.5

208.5

904.8

2005

2549.3

2168.4

380.9

1182.5

948.9

233.6

911.2

 

Countermeasures and Actions

 

Rectification of calcium carbide industry, ferroalloy industry and coke industry in the bordering area of Shanxi Province, Shaanxi Province, Inner Mongolia and Ningxia Autonomous RegionIn 2005, 185 enterprises that failed to comply with industrial policies were either banned or closed down, and a total of 1.43 billion yuan were invested in 933 enterprises that complied with the industrial policies for dust removal and collection. By now, 369 enterprises were permitted to operate upon inspection and acceptance, taking up 39%; 264 enterprises suspended production for treatment, accounting for 28.3%; and 300 enterprises were in natural production collapse due to market factors, taking up 32.7%.

 

A group of enterprises discharging pollutants illegally were either closed down or suspended production. The first nine enterprises that were listed and supervised by competent authorities involved 1,159 enterprises, of which 199 were closed down or suspended production, and 384 ones restored production after treatment. From October 29 to November 2, 2005, Ministry of Supervision, together with SEPA, looked into and secured evidence on the fact that Wuhai Municipal Government of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region failed to close down or suspend the production of 16 small coke enterprises as scheduled. At a result, the city government cut off the power and water supply for the 16 enterprises in a short time. Thanks to more than two years' sustained control measures, the situation of "ignition from village to village and smoke everywhere" in the past was gradually reversed in the calcium carbide, ferroalloy, and coke industries bordering Shanxi, Shaanxi, Inner Mongolia and Ningxia.

 

Prevention and control of pollution caused by vehicle emissionsIn 2005, the amount of in-service cars nationwide increased at a high speed. 5.707 million cars were produced this year and 5.7582 million cars were sold, up by 12.6% and 13.5% respectively than in last year. The in-service cars and motorcycles exceeded 43 million and 94 million respectively, an increase of 20.6% and 23.6% compared with the previous year. With the increase in the number of in-service cars across the country, the pollution caused by vehicle emissions became increasingly prominent.

 

SEPA further enhanced the supervision and regulation of new vehicles, in-service vehicles and vehicle-use fuels, and released 15 groups of vehicle types that met with national environmental standards. National Phase II Motor Vehicle Emission Standards was put into effect from July 1, 2005 in China, and the examination and approval work for various vehicles (engines) that comply with National Phase I Motor Vehicle Emission Standards was ceased. Meanwhile, SEPA took active measures to promote low-sulfur fuels in China so as to ensure smooth implementation of National Phase III Motor Vehicle Emission Standards nationwide. In the end of December 2005, Beijing took the lead in enforcing the National Phase III Motor Vehicle Emission Standards as approved by the State Council.

 

Beijing City implements its 11th-stage air pollution prevention and control measuresIn 2005, Beijing continued to strengthen the control of pollution caused by coal combustion, finished the transformation of 249 coal-burning boilers (capacity less than 20 tons) with the application of clean energy, and carried out desulfurization treatment to 81 coal-burning boilers (with the capacity more than 20 tons) from 27 units. Beijing has gradually upgraded its vehicle emission standards, and began to supply fuels complying with National Phase III Motor Vehicle Emission Standards from July 1, 2005. It has enhanced the regulation of in-service vehicles, renewed or phased out 28,000 outdated taxies and more than 3,900 old diesel-powered buses. All the renewed vehicles met National Phase III Motor Vehicle Emission Standards. Beijing authority has intensified the regulation and supervision of a variety of construction sites, strengthened the control of industrial pollution, and commenced the efforts in relocating Shougang Group and stopped the operation of Beijing Chemical Works. Thanks to a series of measures fighting air pollution, Beijing has met the target of 63% of the days in 2005 meeting or better than Grade II national air quality standards.