Pollutant emissions have increased in the first half of the year, the
country's top environmental watchdog warned yesterday.
A power plant on the outskirts of
Zhangjiakou. More than 1,500 factories in southern China had been closed
down in the past three years due to the pollution and environmental
hazards they posed.[AFP/file]
COD (chemical oxygen demand) and SO2 (sulphur dioxide) increased by 4.2 per cent
and 5.8 per cent respectively from the same period last year, said Zhou
Shengxian, minister of the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA).
The official attributed the rise to rapid economic growth so far this year.
The data, released during a teleconference in Beijing, was based on
monitoring of 17 provinces and municipalities. Nationwide statistics will be
published after further checks.
In the first half year, investment in fixed assets developed so fast that
pollution treatment supervisors were unable to keep pace, Zhou said.
Fixed asset investment expanded by nearly 30 per cent, reaching 4.2 trillion
yuan (US$525 billion). About 100,000 projects were launched, including heavy
polluters such as mining and auto manufacturing.
"What needs to be focused upon is that some local industries operate
seriously counter to environmental requirements," Zhou said.
Ministry figures show that only 30-40 per cent of newly launched projects at
county level have passed environmental impact assessment, according to Zhou.
Furthermore, construction of sulphur removal equipment lagged far behind
development of high-energy consumption industries.
Of the coal-fired power plants with installed capacity of above 32 million
kilowatts built in the past six months, half had no sulphur removal equipment
when they started operations, Zhou said, without giving exact figures.
SEPA published environmental standards for construction and management of
eco-industrial parks last week. As China's first green standard in this field,
the move was expected to push the current development of industrial parks onto
an environmentally friendly track. There are currently 18 such parks across the
Meanwhile the People's Daily yesterday reported that a new SEPA inspection
will target environmental pollution treatment by industrial parks, where
factories are concentrated and the possibility of pollution accidents are high.
Raising the green threshold of industrial parks is a step by the country to
slow down fixed asset investment, the report said.
(China Daily 08/15/2006 page2)