Business / Green China

Beijing toughens pollution rules to clean up air

(Xinhua) Updated: 2013-09-02 17:18

BEIJING -- Beijing on Monday rolled out a slew of measures to curb industrial pollution amid latest efforts to clean up the city's air.

In a five-year clean air action plan (2013-2017), the Beijing municipal government said 1,200 polluting companies will be ordered to upgrade or close parts or all of their facilities in the coming years to 2016.

Authorities will identify small polluters in township- and village-level industrial zones and shut them down if they fail to meet pollution reduction targets, according to the plan.

The municipal government has pledged to reduce PM 2.5 density by 25 percent or more by 2017 to improve the city's air quality.

PM 2.5 are airborne particles measuring less than 2.5 microns in diameter which can pose health risks.

Other measures include:

The total amount of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, dust and volatile organic compound emissions will be a prerequisite of environmental impact assessments for any new projects starting this year.

In regions or industries that fail to meet air pollution reduction targets, no new projects that emit major air pollutants will be given regulatory approval as of 2013.

The local government will push forward water and electricity pricing reforms to raise prices for big water and power users to drive them to upgrade or shut down their polluting, energy-guzzling facilities as early as 2014.

The authorities will increase discharge fees for sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions this year and levy a new fee for discharge of volatile organic compounds next year. It will start a pilot emissions trading scheme for major polluters in 2014.

Companies who break environmental laws will be banned from receiving bank loans, fund-raising through initial public offerings and value-added tax breaks starting this year.

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