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May 11, 2013

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Natural gas trial set for big trucks

CARGO trucks in Lingang New City and Yangshan Deep-water Port areas will be required to use natural gas as fuel to curb air pollution, part of the city's efforts to improve air quality, the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau said yesterday.

The government is also considering subsidizing taxi firms to help replace aging filters that reduce vehicle emissions.

Moreover, the environment monitoring center will add more PM2.5 monitoring stations in each district, allowing residents to have a better understanding of the air quality in their neighborhood.

Eighty percent of Shanghai's PM2.5 pollution is generated in the city with the remainder coming from neighboring provinces, the bureau said.

Emissions from vehicles and ships contribute 25 percent of the city's PM2.5 pollution while industrial operations generate another 25 percent.

A manager with Shanghai Dazhong Taxi Co said they would welcome the replacement of the filters.

The city has about 50,000 taxis and it is unknown how many filters need replacing.

Heavy vehicles like cargo trucks discharge 20 to 30 times more emissions than small cars, so the city plans to have all trucks in Lingang New City and Yangshan port to switch to natural gas.

The city is stepping up the introduction of the National V vehicle emissions standard, the equivalent to European V standards.

It plans to eliminate 200,000 unqualified vehicles from the city's streets by 2015.

So far, 46,000 vehicles have been taken off the road.

Renovating power plants has also been promoted as another way to reduce pollution.

Zhang Quan, director of the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau, said the discharge of major pollutants like sulfur dioxide, nitric oxide, volatile organic compounds and PM2.5 needs to be reduced 30 to 60 percent from last year to meet stricter air quality requirements that were established earlier this year.

It could take 10 years to accomplish the goal, Zhang said.


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