China to release guideline on fine particles pollution prevention

CHINA - The central government will release a guideline on fine particles pollution prevention and control, said an official from the Environmental Protection Ministry on Tuesday.

The guideline, for the first time, specifies how pollutants should be treated, said Feng Bo, a division chief from the ministry's science, technology and standards department.

For example, enterprises should try to recycle volatile organic compounds, a group of toxic chemicals and precursors of fine particles and ozone pollutants, or burn them if they can't be recycled, Feng said.

Plans to cut emissions nationwide are currently in the works.

"The central government is discussing a volatile organic compounds emission control project for 13 of the most polluted regions," said Hao Zhengping, head of the exhaust purification committee of the China Association of Environmental Protection Industry.

But Hao said harmful emissions should be tackled at the source first.

"I think emissions control should be implemented in the most heavily polluted industries before being promoted to other areas, or even nationwide," he told China Daily.

He said the components of volatile organic compounds are much more complicated than sulfur dioxide or coal, which contain hundreds of chemicals.

The guideline also stresses coal consumption control.

A limit on regional coal consumption will be imposed on at least four key areas, including the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area, the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta, before 2015, Vice-Environment Minister Wu Xiaoqing said in March.

Reports in June suggested the limits could come to 14 cities in Sichuan province before the end of this year.

"Cities that fail to stay below the standard for fine particles now should create a timetable of goals and adhere to it throughout the year," the guideline said.

Feng and Hao were speaking at the 13th China International Environmental Protection Exhibition and Conference, which is in Beijing from Tuesday to Friday.

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