BEIJING — China will implement a plan to control the country’s major air pollutants, PM2.5 and ozone (O3), the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) said on Aug 22.
While reducing the level of hazardous fine particle matter PM2.5 is still the top priority, the country will take measures to simultaneously curb O3 pollution, Liu Youbin, a MEP official, said at a news conference.
In order to contain O3, the country will reduce the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC), which are considered O3 precursors.
China’s environmental authorities have been undertaking inspections to discover the sources of air pollution, especially in the smog-plagued Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area.
The MEP reiterated on Aug 22 that it will have “zero tolerance” for companies that have violated environmental laws, and encouraged local authorities to protect the legal rights of enterprises that abide by the law.
Latest data showed that the density of PM2.5 nationwide dropped 6.9 percent year on year in July, while Beijing reported PM2.5 density of 64 micrograms per cubic meter in the first seven months of 2017, down 34.7 percent from the same period in 2013.