Top Leadership, Common People Are in Action to Control Smog
   2014-03-12 07:01:56    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Guo

Wang Xueqiu, deputy to the ongoing National People's Congress session, receives an interview with CRI reporter on March 5, 2014. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]

Smog has been lingering over parts of China, especially the Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei areas over the past year. Many National People's Congress deputies put forward suggestions on how to resolve the problem during last year's NPC session.

One year has passed since then. What kinds of measures have been adopted and what kind of changes have taken place? CRI's Shen Ting brings you more.


 

Hebei province in north China is one the ten most polluted areas in China. However, Meng Manman, 28, a resident in Shijiazhuang, says that the city used to be clean. Only in the recent two or three years, has the city's air quality plummeted.

"Over the past two or three years, severe smog and haze suddenly emerged and people began to be concerned about air quality. The facial masks we wear also had to be upgraded from common ones to PM2.5-proof ones; they look like real gas masks."

PM2.5 is the main substance of smog and remains the major air pollutant over the past year.

Meng says the regular occurrence of heavy smog has impacted daily life in the city. Fewer people do morning exercise and more are suffering from lung diseases.

Where did the pollutants come? Zhao Chuanfeng, a professor at Beijing Normal University's College of Global Change and Earth System Science, explains that vehicle exhaust and emissions from industrial plants are the main causes. In rural areas, coal burning also contributes to bad air quality.

Zhao explains how to get rid of air pollutants PM2.5.

"Wind can't erode smog and haze; it just blows it away. Only snow and rainfall can disperse the pollution to the ground. Wind blows smog from north China to the ocean, and then, the smog is dispersed by the ocean."

However, People should not count on nature alone for smog control.

Wang Xueqiu, director for Applied Geochemistry Division at the Institute of Geophysical and Geochemical Exploration, is a deputy to the ongoing National People's Congress session.

"Enterprises must adopt clean production. For example, if you have to use a coal burning boiler, you must ensure dust elimination and sulfur removal is in place before emission. Certainly, it will be a burden to companies because of higher costs, but it is a company's social responsibility. Besides, governments should subsidize those enterprises that comply with clean burning regulations through price leverage."

Meng Manman, the resident of Hebei Province, says she has seen some progress by the government and enterprises to reduce pollution.

"I once worked at a factory producing food additives. At the time, the whole heating system was supported by coal burning and its emissions heavily polluted the air. But before I left the factory, some improvements have been made to the facilities, such as recycling the wasted gas and heat for daily use."

Wang Xueqiu, the NPC Deputy, says coal burning is still the main cause of smog in Hebei. Through investigation, he found coal burning accounts for 51 percent of all air pollutants in Langfang, a heavily polluted city in the province.

"China relies too much on thermal power generated by coal burning. So we should make full use of other energies. I continuously suggest building a nuclear plant in north China. Some people are worried that nuclear is not safe. Actually, it is. And the solid granitic structure here is suitable for setting up a nuclear plant."

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