China / Society

Hebei steps up its air pollution fight

By Zheng Jinran ( Updated: 2014-02-24 13:21

The 11 cities of Hebei province witnessed an average of 129 days with air quality above the national standard in 2013, leaving 64.7 percent of days with serious pollution.

The provincial capital city of Shijiazhuang saw the most polluted days — 320 days — according to statistics released from Hebei Province Environmental Monitoring Center Station.

The severe haze has caused the province to make every effort to control the problem, from cutting back on highly polluting industries, such as iron, steel and cement, to strengthening its air pollution monitoring.

“We set up the united early-warning and consultation system with our neighbors in October, allowing us to take coordinated measures to control the pollution,” said Guo Yingchun, spokesman for the Hebei Province Meteorological Bureau on Friday, adding that the system covers the municipality of Beijing, as well as Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, Henan and Shandong provinces in northern China, which have all have suffered from serious air pollution.

Under the united system, the experts will issue early warnings after a joint consultation and set respective restrictions to control the pollutants, thus curbing the mutual influences between neighbors, Guo said.

“For Hebei, we began to build a more effective system combining our own data on weather, such as wind and temperature, and data from environmental protection departments like pollutant emissions,” he said.

Pollutant emissions are the major source for the pollution, and weather conditions fuel it, making air quality drop. “So it’s necessary to have further cooperation between the two departments for better results, and it’s the trend of air pollution control,” he added.

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