Report On the State of the Environment In China
Reduction of Total Discharge of Major Pollutants
Water Environment
Marine Environment
Atmospheric Environment
Acoustic Environment
Solid Wastes
Radiation Environment
Nature and Ecology
Land and Rural Environment
Climate and Natural Disasters
Environmental Management Boxes

General Situation
The air quality in urban areas across the country was good at large and better than that of last year, but some cities still suffer from relatively serious pollution. The acid rain distribution areas remained stable and acid rain pollution was still serious.
Air quality
In 2009, the ambient air quality monitoring results of 612 cities in China indicated that 26 cities enjoyed Grade standard air quality (accounting for 4.2%), 479 ones enjoyed Grade standard air quality (accounting for 78.3%), 99 ones reached national Grade air quality standard (accounting for 16.2%). 8 ones failed to meet Grade standard (accounting for 1.3%). 79.6% of the cities at or above prefectural level met with air quality standard, and so did 85.6% of the county-level cities.
Cities at or above prefectural level (including capitals of prefectures, autonomous prefectures and leagues) 3.7% of the cities enjoyed national Grade standard air quality, 75.9% enjoyed national Grade air quality, and 18.8% enjoyed Grade air quality. 1.6% failed to meet Grade air quality standard.
84.3% of the cities met with Grade or higher standards in terms of PM10 concentrations, and 0.3% failed to meet with Grade standard.

91.6% of the cities saw SO2 levels at or better than Grade standard. No cities failed to meet with Grade standard.

The annual average NO2 levels in cities at or above prefectural level met with Grade standard. 86.9% of these cities reached Grade standard.
Key cities The 113 national environmental protection key cities enjoyed improved air quality. 0.9% of them enjoyed Grade standard air quality, 66.4% enjoyed Grade standard air quality, and 32.7% enjoyed Grade standard. The proportion of cities with qualified air quality increased by 9.8 percentage points compared with last year.

In 2009, the average NO2 level in key cities for environmental protection was about the same as that in 2008, and the SO2 and PM10 concentrations dropped slightly.

Acid rain
Acid rain frequency
258 out of 488 cities (counties) under the monitoring program saw acid rain, accounting for 52.9%. Over 25% of the precipitation in 164 cities proved to be acid rain, accounting for 33.6%, and over 75% of the precipitation in 53 cities proved to be acid rain, taking up 10.9%.

Precipitation acidity The proportion of cities with relatively serious acid rain (pH value<5.0) went down by 2.8 percentage points and the proportion of cities with serious acid rain (pH value <4.5) dropped by 0.8 percentage point compared with last year.

Acid rain distribution Acid rain was mainly distributed to the south of Yangtze River and to the east of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, including most areas in Zhejiang Province, Jiangxi Province, Hunan Province, Fujian Province, and Chongqing Municipality, and the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta. Acid rain covered about 1.2 million km2, including 60,000 km2 suffering from serious acid rain. The distribution of acid rain did not have obvious changes compared with last year.

Emissions of major air pollutants in the waste gas
In 2009, the SO2 emissions amounted to 22.144 million t, the soot amounted to 8.472 million t, and the industrial dust was 5.236 million t, down by 4.6%, 6.0% and 11.7% respectively.

Measures and Actions
Amendments to Law of the People's Republic of China on Prevention and Control of Air PollutionMinistry of Environmental Protection (MEP) organized the draft amendments to Law of the People's Republic of China on Prevention and Control of Air Pollution in 2009. The draft amendments made adjustments to the control of the total amount of pollutants, the administration of pollution discharge permits, the environmental management of automobiles, and the penalties, in accordance with the ongoing situation in prevention and control of air pollution and the new management requirements. On December 30, the executive meeting of the Ministry of Environmental Protection considered and adopted in principle the Law of the People's Republic of China on Prevention and Control of Air Pollution (draft amendments), which was reported to the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council.
Prevention and control of vehicle pollutionMEP intensified the efforts in prevention and control of vehicle pollution. First, MEP made public notices in a timely fashion. MEP issued a public notice in September 2009 that the national stage emissions standard for non-road mobile machinery shall go into force as of October 1, 2009. MEP also adjusted the plans for implementing three national emissions standards for motorcycles. Second, the vehicle management systems were constantly improved. Eco-label was introduced to vehicle management and more efforts were made to manage the environmental inspection labels. In July 2009, MEP issued the Regulations on the Administration of Environmental Inspection Labels of Vehicles, unifying and setting standards for the vehicle labels. Third, MEP worked hard to phase out highly polluting vehicles with yellow labels. MEP issued the Notice on Implementing the New Policy of "Replacing Old Vehicles with New Vehicles with Subsidies" and Encouraging the Early Phase-out of Yellow-Labeled Vehicles, identifying the procedures and division of responsibilities for phasing out yellow-labeled vehicles, and proposing requirements for local areas.
Regional efforts in prevention and control of air pollutionProgress was made in guaranteeing good environment for the Shanghai World Expo and the Asian Games. MEP conducted surveys on Guangzhou Asian Games and Shanghai World Expo and organized symposiums to make arrangements for joint prevention and control of air pollution in Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River Delta. The plan for guaranteeing air quality for Guangzhou Asian Games had been adopted by the People's Government of Guangdong Province, while Shanghai introduced the national Stage emissions standard in advance on November 1, 2009. All-dimensional efforts were made to guarantee good air quality for the Asian Games and World Expo.