Leaders of State Environmental Protection Administration inspecting Environmental Monitoring System
To improve the environment of Beijing and deliver a successful Olympics, Beijing implemented the 9th Phase of air pollution control in 2003. The target of this effort is to reduce the total amount of pollutants released. Remarkable improvements were achieved in the control of pollution caused by soot, automobiles, dust, industries and in ecological protection and construction. The city has seen continuous and stable improvement of air quality for five years running.
In 2003, air quality in urban areas continued to improve. The air quality reached Grade II or a better level in 224 days, 61.4% of the year or 5 days more than the targeted 219 days. And the time with Grade I air quality totaled 27 days, the highest in history.
Number of days with Grade II or even better air quality for the past several years
Investment in Environmental Protection
Quality of air in Beijing
Prevention and Treatment of Soot Pollution
In 2003, about 1,900 coal-fueled boilers were converted to use clean energy, reaching the objective of non-coal-fueled boilers in 4 urban districts; the total amount of natural gas used throughout the city reached 2.2 billion cubic meters; central heating areas reached 70,000,000 square meters; electricity heating areas reached 10,000,000 square meters. The energy structure of the city was further improved.
Prevention and Treatment of Automobile Pollution
Beijing was the first city in China to adopt the emission standards equivalent to the European II Emission Standard for new automobiles. 175 Dynamometer Testing Centers were built to test automobile emission; measures were taken to restrict high emission passenger automobiles with less than 19 seats. As a result, the environmental condition didn’t drop off although with a fast increase in the amount of automobiles.
Prevention and Treatment of Dust Pollution
To control dust pollution, monitoring and supervision on construction sites and waste transportation were reinforced in the city. 456 highly polluting sand quarries were closed down. The cleaning areas of urban roads was increased, the areas of machine cleaning exceeded 20,000,000 square meters, and the water-cleaned areas were also increased.
Prevention and Treatment of Industrial Pollution
Industries in the city are being re-structured. A number of polluting enterprises were relocated or converted to other production.
Dynamometer system testing automobile emission
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