Environment Ministry Says Several Factors Still Bedevil Air Pollution Control Efforts
Yicai Global
/SOURCE : Yicai
Environment Ministry Says Several Factors Still Bedevil Air Pollution Control Efforts

(Yicai Global) Nov. 5 -- A senior official with the Ministry of Environmental Protection of China (MEP) said on Nov. 3 that north China has realized achievements in air pollution control, air quality improvement and heavily-polluted weather prevention in recent years, but the intractability of other problems defies an early resolution.

Mr. Liu Bingjiang, director of the Department of Air Environmental Management of the MEP told Yicai Global that, "These most difficult problems include reducing bulk coal burning and automobile pollution, as well as controlling small industrial clusters around towns and villages in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region."

MEP studies show average coal consumption per household in rural north China is one to four tons per year. Preliminary estimates indicate combustion of bulk raw coal nationwide consumes around 200 million tons, with the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region accounting for over 20 percent. No environmental protection measures target bulk coal combustion at all, and air-pollution emissions caused by direct burning of a ton of bulk coal can be more than ten-fold those from the same amount of electricity-coal.

Mr. Liu said that substitution for reduced coal consumption is a measure essential to resolving issues of pollution from burning bulk coal. However, in view of its significant costs, for areas lacking the means to switch to clean energy, approaches like employing quality coal and domestic coal instead of inferior bulk coal may help lessen pollutant emissions.

On limiting motor vehicle pollution, Mr. Liu cited Beijing as an example, and said environmental protection authorities will focus more on controls over taxis with longer distances traveled, light vehicles with longer service periods, and heavy diesel vehicles with intensive use. They will also more strictly interdict non-local vehicles that exceed emissions standards seeking to enter Beijing, with its already notoriously chronic air pollution.

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