Taiyuan to shut down 100 polluters

Updated: 2012-05-30

Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi province, is said to be the home of coal and iron ore. When the new China designated 156 key heavy industry projects, under the first Five-year Plan (1953-1957), 11were in Taiyuan. Now, after decades of development, Taiyuan has an industrial system dominated by metallurgy, coke, chemicals, electric power, machinery, and building materials.

However, in recent years, it has suffered a great deal from pollution because of an improper industrial structure, which was the result of irrational expansion of urban areas and heavy polluters in downtown areas.

This year, the provincial Party committee and provincial government have paid more attention to Taiyuan’s environmental protection and Wang Jun, the provincial governor, in a 2012 work report, said that priority will be given to Taiyuan’s environmental protection, and to rebuilding parts of the city, pulling down black chimneys, shutting small boilers, removing pollution sources, and cleaning up its stinking river.

To coordinate work on the city’s environmental problems, the government has set up a group headed by the executive vice-governor, Li Xiaopeng, who has asked the heavy polluters, particularly large state-owned enterprises, to pay more attention to politics. Li asked them to keep the overall situation in mind and increase the pace of closing down or relocating companies as called for in the first half of this year. They are expected to use this opportunity to make a complete transformation and improve themselves.

Chen Jiguang, director of the municipal Environmental Protection Bureau, explained, “Our ultimate goal is not to shut down and relocate enterprises. We expect to encourage the polluters to experience a rebirth and transform themselves.”

Taiyuan has developed 17 standards that are stricter than the national ones to control pollution. It has told polluting enterprises to relocate and transform, in accordance with requirements on production equipment, protection facilities, management, and environmental features.