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June 5, 2020

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Shanghai environmental report points to progress

THE concentration of PM2.5 particles in the first four months of this year was 37 micrograms per cubic meter, down 17.8 percent year on year, said Bai Guoqiang, chief engineer at the Shanghai Ecology and Environment Bureau.

The ratio of days with air quality index marked as good or excellent reached 88.4 percent, up 7.6 percentage points.

More than 96 percent of major rivers and water areas in the city have met water quality standards, 15.6 percentage points higher than last year. No black and foul waters were reported.

The city’s annual report on ecology and the environment, released by the bureau yesterday, showed that last year Shanghai saw both its air and water quality improve, but problems like ozone pollution in the air and nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the water still exist.

According to the 2019 Shanghai Ecological and Environmental Bulletin, the city’s concentration of PM2.5 last year was 35 micrograms per cubic meter, 1 microgram lower than that in 2018.

Last year, there were 309 days with the air quality index reaching the level of excellent or good, accounting for 84.7 percent of the total. Lightly polluted air was seen on 48 days, with seven days of moderate air pollution. Only one day was marked as heavily polluted.

In the 56 polluted days, there were 26 days with ozone as the main pollutant and 25 days whose major pollutant was PM2.5. Another five days had PM10 particles or nitrogen dioxide as the primary pollutant.

The average concentration of PM10 in Shanghai last year was 45 micrograms per cubic meter. Data collected over the past five years showed that this index has been going down and met the National First Ambient Air Quality Standards for five years in a row.

In 2019, the average concentration of ozone was 151 micrograms per cubic meter, also meeting the standards.

The average concentration of road dust particles in Shanghai was 0.105 milligrams per cubic meter, 0.006 milligrams lower than that of 2018.

The average pH value of rainfall in 2019 was 5.34 and the occurrence rate of acid rain (pH value under 5.6) was 44.5 percent, 9.3 percentage points lower than that in 2018. Data from the past five years showed the occurrence rate of air pollution caused by acid rain in the city also had a downward trend.

Meanwhile, the quality of the water environment also improved in 2019 compared with that in 2018 and the proportion of black and foul water monitored in major rivers and creeks dropped to 1.1 percent.

Compared with water quality in 2018, that in the main rivers improved slightly in 2019. The average concentration of permanganate index was 4.4 milligrams per liter, 4.3 percent lower than that in 2018. The average concentration of ammonia nitrogen and total phosphorus was 0.61 and 0.191 milligrams per liter, respectively, 35.1 and 7.3 percent lower year on year.

Shanghai is served by four centralized sources of drinking water: the Qingcaosha Reservoir, Dongfengxisha Reservoir and Chenhang Reservoir in the Yangtze River, and the Jinze Reservoir in the Huangpu River. In 2019, these reservoirs were all in full compliance with the national standards for drinking water (at or above the Category-III water quality standards).

Hazardous waste

Last year the intensity of regional ambient noise in Shanghai was controlled within a good range. Road traffic noise was reduced.

In 2019, 33 units in Shanghai were licensed to deal with comprehensive disposal of hazardous waste, which are divided into six categories: landfill, incineration, physical and chemical treatment, comprehensive utilization, collection and used-packaging container treatment. Annually, 914,500 tons of hazardous waste were disposed.

Last year 2,427 cases related to ecology and environment were investigated and dealt with by authorities, while a total of nearly 340 million yuan (US$42.5 million) was issued in fines.


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