3 regions in China to coordinate pollution checks

PHOTO: Reuters

The heavily polluted cluster of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei kicked off its joint supervision on Friday with regular meetings and frequent inspections, a mechanism expected to reduce the region's smog, especially from vehicle exhaust.

The environmental protection bureaus of the three areas will conduct coordinated inspections in the region to maximise the efforts to control illegally polluting companies, a statement released by the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau said on Friday.

The three will hold regular meetings, exchange monitoring information and co-operate in investigating the major polluting cases in the region, it added.

In its first meeting of the joint inspection system on Friday, Zhong Chonglei, head of capital's environment inspection bureau, listed the major aspects for future coordination, including inspection of the burning of straw and other major airborne sources of pollution on smoggy days and special periods when good air quality for important national campaigns needs to be guaranteed.

The inspection teams will go to cities or provinces other than their own, he said.

For the coming winter and spring, the three areas will conduct joint inspections of the burning of straw and leaves, excessive emissions from gas-fired plants, and the manipulation of monitoring data for emissions, Zhong said, but he did not release a detailed schedules for the joint inspections.

The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region has seen severe smog, with at least six cities being listed among the 74 major mainland cities with the worst air quality since 2013.

Moreover, pollutants spreading from neighbouring zones has been a major source as well.

For example, in Beijing, 28 to 36 per cent of the airborne pollutants were from neighbouring areas in 2014, the capital's environmental watchdog said.

As a result, the three areas have pushed forward coordinated efforts in curbing air pollution, and joint controls on heavy-duty trucks heading to Beijing are expected to lead to improvements

Li Kunsheng, head of vehicle exhaust emissions at Beijing's environmental watchdog, has highlighted the severe pollution caused by poor supervision of trucks on many occasions.

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