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MEP launches year-long inspection on air pollution control

MEP decided to launch a one-year inspection on air pollution control in order to implement the decisions and deployments of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, urge the local Party committees, governments, and relevant departments to assume the responsibility for air pollution control, and the industry to comply with environmental legislations, and push for the continuous improvement of air quality in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and adjacent areas. The Ministry held a teleconference on Wednesday to make deployments for the inspection.

The conference was chaired by Vice Minister Zhai Qing, who conveyed Minister Chen Jining’s instructions.

The CPC Central Committee and the State Council have attached great importance to the air pollution control, since the fast improvement of ambient air quality is the earnest aspirations of the people and what is necessary for implementing the new development concepts. The air pollution deterioration has been curbed thanks to the thematic inspection conducted on air quality in the first quarter of the year, and the cities have recorded improving air quality. In order to consolidate this effort, and aiming at continuous improvement of air quality, the Ministry decided to mobilize 5,600 environmental inspectors across the country to conduct a year-long inspection on air pollution control in the Beijing, Tianjin, and another 26 cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and adjacent area.

The high pressure for air pollution control will be transmitted down the chain of command to lower environmental protection departments, and more efforts will be made to crack down on environmental violations. Also, creative environmental regulation tools will be devised for this region to improve the environmental compliance.

This round of inspection marks the largest national-level action on air quality ever seen in the history of environmental protection. It checks seven aspects, i.e., how are the local governments and departments at all levels going with the air pollution control tasks, how the environmental facilities of stationary sources have been working and whether the sources attain emission standards, whether and how well are the automatic monitoring facilities of “elevated sources” installed, networked, and operated, the local progress in canvassing and banning “scattered, disorderly, and polluting” enterprises, whether the enterprises halt or restrict production in seasonal pollution peak days and whether the VOCs emitters have installed and operated control facilities. The inspection will make sure the tasks specified by the 2017 government work report, the national action plan to combat air pollution, the air pollution control measures for Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region (2016-2017), and the annual work plan for air pollution control in this region be accomplished, so that the local ambient air quality objectives can be achieved.

The conference required that the inspection highlight the “systematic inspection” on the local Party committees, governments, and relevant departments about their air pollution control effort, maintain a high stance, and adopt a problem-oriented method and work until the problems are settled. The inspectors will also keep a close eye on the industries to urge them to implement the pollution permitting system and the full attainment plans. The follow-up rectifications are important as well, the liabilities of environmental violations will be accounted for and the results will be made public. The inspectors will not give any leniency to the companies or organizations that are found problematic.

This round of inspection takes a long period of time, with heavy tasks and massive inspectors involved. Therefore, the Ministry will make well-thought plans and provide adequate funding and manpower for it. The conference hoped that the participating inspectors can act in line with the decisions and deployments of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, spare no effort in the inspection, address pressing environmental problems, and help significantly improve the air quality of this region.

(This English version is for your reference only.In case any discrepancy exists between the Chinese and English context, the Chinese version shall prevail.)

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