BEIJING — China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) said on Feb 18 that it has sent air quality inspection teams to 18 cities to investigate air pollution.
The teams went to cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and neighboring areas, including Shanxi, Shandong and Henan provinces, according to the MEP.
By Feb 16, the teams had found 33 problems after visiting 137 local government departments and companies.
At the county level in Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei province, the environmental bureau played the major role in implementing emergency responses to heavy air pollution, but other departments were not actively involved, the statement said.
Small companies producing medical intermediates in Shijiazhuang were highly polluting, it added.
Several companies in Cangzhou city, Hebei, failed to meet requirements for cutting pollutants and power use.
Shanxi Longhui Coal Gasification Company did not shut down its coke oven as required after environmental checks.
In Henan’s Hebi city, two construction sites failed to stop working during top-level alerts for air pollution. A company in Hebi poorly managed its pollution-control facility, while another failed to take effective measures to prevent dust.
The teams have forwarded the problems to local authorities for further investigation and correction.
“China will push to revamp industrial and energy structures in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and surrounding areas, home to some 50 percent of China’s coal consumption and steel production capacity,” said MEP deputy head Zhao Yingmin.
“China will also reduce pollutants by acting on highly polluting companies, promoting clean use of coal and eliminating vehicles with excessive emissions,” Zhao said.