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Beijing promises blue skies for military parade

Zheng Jinran and Luo Wangshu
Updated: Jul 28,2015 7:58 AM     China Daily

Steel mills in Beijing and neighboring regions will be shut down or reduce production starting in late August to guarantee quality air for the military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II on Sept 3.

According to mysteel.com, a steel industry consultancy in Shanghai, steelworks in Hebei province’s Handan and Tangshan, Liaoning province’s Anshan, Henan province’s Anyang and Shanxi province’s Taiyuan were notified that Beijing will launch a strict anti-air pollution plan in September.

The standard will be like that of last year’s APEC period, when six provincial regions launched an air protection project.

The report said that from late August to early September, steel factories in Beijing and neighboring regions will be required to reduce production by 30 percent. From late September until the end of the National Day holiday in October, all steel mills in a 100-kilometer radius of Beijing will be required to stop production. Steel mills in a 200-km radius of the capital will be required to reduce production by half, and other steel mills in the regions must reduce production by 30 percent.

The Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau said on July 22 that the capital and neighboring regions will work together to improve air quality for the ceremony.

During the APEC meetings, Beijing and its five neighboring provincial regions adopted tough measures to improve air quality. More than 14,000 factories in polluting industries and 40,000 construction sites suspended operations.

Their efforts meant that residents saw a clear improvement as the concentration of PM2.5-airborne particles measuring 2.5 micrometers or less that can penetrate the lungs and harm health-was reduced by 30 percent in Beijing, said Fang Li, deputy head of the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau.

Ma Jun, an expert at the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, said: “Previous examples such as the Olympic Games in 2008 and the APEC meeting show that the restriction order can effectively improve air quality to guarantee clear air during big events.”

But to maintain such good air quality, it is necessary to continue enforcing environmental laws and closing illegal manufacturing plants, Ma added.

Air quality in 74 major cities across the country has generally improved in the first half of the year, with days of clear air accounting for 68 percent, up by 6.9 percentage points year-on-year, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said on July 27.

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