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February 29, 2012

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Home » Metro » Environment

City targets tiny airborne particles

EXHAUST from motor vehicles and boats are the biggest source of local PM2.5 emissions, accounting for one-fourth of fine particles in the city's air, the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau said yesterday.

The bureau released an analytical report on the source of PM2.5 and future measures it will take to help work out solutions to air-quality problems such as haze.

Another major component of the exhaust problem is the spreading of sandstorms from northern China, which account for 20 percent of Shanghai's PM2.5 measurement.

PM2.5 also comes from a variety of local sources, including industrial procedures like chemical factories, industrial sprays, industrial boilers, power plants and flying dirt from construction sites, roads and stocking yards.

Residences contribute with kitchen smoke, laundry and painting, as do agricultural practices like straw burning, fertilizer use and livestock farming.

Shanghai will spend 10.3 billion yuan (US$1.63 billion) on 53 projects targeting air pollution, especially for PM2.5 control, in the next three years. It plans to begin publicly reporting the stricter PM2.5 measuring gauge, which monitors the smallest particles - 2.5 microns or less in diameter - in June.

According to the plan, local government will eliminate high-polluting vehicles and control discharges from key industrial plants to reduce PM2.5, which pose major health risks in addition to affecting air quality and visibility.

Currently, there are over 200,000 high-polluting vehicles on local roads. Their exhaust discharge is 20 to 30 times that of new cars. Shanghai will expand the areas banning these high-polluting vehicles and eliminate 150,000 of them by 2014. It will also adopt a stricter National V emission standard, equivalent to European V, on new cars, as well as require cleaner fuel, next year.

By 2014, the city will eliminate 2,000 outdated projects with low production capacity but high pollution. These projects are responsible for 35 percent of overall particle emissions in the city, including the larger PM10.

Regulation of power plants and other sources of industrial pollution also will be tightened, and an online flying dirt monitoring system will be established on construction sites, the bureau said.

Shanghai will also cooperate with neighboring provinces in the Yangtze River Delta region to carry out regional air pollution inspection and control.


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