Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Beijing Passes New Air Pollution Law

China is plagued by dangerous air pollution, and the city of Beijing has taken the first step to address the issue. Beijing, one of the most polluted cities in the world, has introduced China’s first legally binding regulations. The new rules are designed to reduce PM2.5 levels were overwhelmingly approved by Beijing’s municipal congress by a vote of 659 to 23.

Particulate Matter, 2.5 micrometers or less are abbreviated as PM2.5. They are defined as fine particles in the (ambient) air that are 2.5 micrometres or less in size. They are small enough to invade even the smallest airways and they are known to produce respiratory and cardiovascular illness. They generally come from activities that burn fossil fuels, such as traffic, smelting, and metal processing.

China's national standard is 35-micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter, while Beijing has levels that are more than twice that level (89.5 micrograms). Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun has said that air pollution is the biggest problem concerning people’s livelihoods in the capital.

The new air pollution law was passed at the annual session of the municipal legislative body early in February, and will come into effect in March. It contains harsher penalties for polluters, including cumulative daily fines.

The city of Beijing is spending a trillion yuan to improve air and water quality in the city. Previous regulations are geared towards emissions reductions.

© 2014, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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