Premier Wen Jiabao chaired the executive meeting of the State Council on January 27, which discussed and passed in principle the Interim Assessment Report on the "11th Five-Year" National Plan for Environmental Protection.
The meeting pointed out, after the release of the "11th Five-Year" National Plan for Environmental Protection, each province and department comprehensively employed legal, economic, technical and necessary administrative measures to actively improve environmental quality. There is breakthrough in pollution treatment and emission reduction. In 2008, the total COD discharge and SO2 emissions across China dropped by 6.61% and 8.95% respectively compared with that of 2005, keeping on the trend of both reduction and meeting the schedule specified by the "11th Five-Year" National Plan for Environmental Protection. China has phased out a group of outdated productivity in such industries as paper making, coking, alcohol, cement and iron & steel and shut down many small thermal power stations. There are some milestone achievements in prevention and control of water pollution of key river basins and regions. Among the 2712 water pollution control projects in such watersheds as the Huaihe River, Haihe River, Liaohe River, the Chaohu Lake, Dianchi Lake, Songhua River, Three Gorges Reservoir and its upper reaches as well as the mid and upper reaches of the Yellow River, 1270 projects have finished, taking up 46.8%; 785 projects were under construction, accounting for 28.9%. More then 150 million rural people had access to safe drinking water. Environmental comprehensive control had been carried out in over 50,000 administrative villages with improvement of eco environment quality in some regions.
The meeting stressed that although with active achievement in environmental protection, the overall environmental protection has not been under effective containment with lagging behind environmental supervision capacity and serious environmental situation. We must further enhance the responsibility of government and enterprises, strictly implement environmental protection target responsibility system, spare no efforts in facilitating pollution treatment and emission reduction and ensure the achievement of the environmental protection target during the "11th Five-Year" period. 1) Continue do well emission reduction. We will take ensuring normal operation of pollution treatment facilities in enterprises as the essential task of current emission reduction work. We will make more efforts in reducing air pollutant emissions of such industries as thermal power, iron & steel, non-ferrous metals and cement and water pollutant discharge from such industries as paper making, chemicals, brewery, print & dyeing. 2) Carry out pollution prevention and control in key river basins and regions. We will carry out the most strict water management system and control total discharge of water pollutants. We will take the public access to safe drinking water as the top priority. We will assess if the water quality of drinking water sources of major cities on environmental protection meet national water quality standard. 3) We will actively facilitate comprehensive rural environmental control and prevention and control of soil pollution and address pre-eminent rural environmental problems as soon as possible. 4) Put more input in developing environmental industry and strengthen capacity building in environmental protection. We will carry out strict supervision on environmental law enforcement.
The meeting listened to the briefing on the First National Census on Pollution Sources. The meeting pointed out that the First National Census on Pollution Sources carried out in early 2008 has identified the total discharge of major pollutants across China, the characteristics of pollution sources of each river basin, region and industry as well as the treatment; understood the discharge of rural pollution sources; set up pollution source information database and strengthened basic environmental protection work. The meeting decided to make public the Bulletin on the First National Census on Pollution Sources.
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