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June 2, 2012

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Home » Metro » Environment

City to expand fine-particle air monitoring

SHANGHAI will release hourly readings on the density of fine particles, or PM2.5, from 10 new monitoring spots before the end of this month, and will conduct stricter environmental-protection measures.

The moves are designed to meet national requirements set forth in the latest five-year plan (2011-2015) for reducing major pollutants and improving the environment in big cities.

The 10 local sites are "nation-level spots," established in line with the city's scale and industry size, officials told a news conference yesterday that introduced pollution-control measures in six official areas: water, air, solid waste, industry, agriculture and ecology.

Shanghai has been releasing 24-hour PM2.5 combined measurements from just two spots - one in Putuo District and one in Zhangjiang in the Pudong New Area since March as a trial.

"Management of PM2.5, acid rain, ozone, water body eutrophication and pollution from garbage landfill sites and sewage plants are all challenging but major tasks for Shanghai," said Zhang Quan, director of the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau.

The bureau has installed 24 local spots and the 10 new national spots to monitor PM2.5, fine particulate matter 2.5 microns or less in diameter and the major reason for haze.

"It is a new air-quality evaluation system, which include three new items including PM2.5," Zhang said. "More testing and inspection, especially under tougher weather conditions like high humidity and high temperature, should be done to ensure its accuracy."

The city's goal is to cut pollution by double-digit percentages over the next five years on each of six water and air pollutants: chemical oxygen demand, ammonia, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, phosphor and volatile organic compounds.

To realize the aim, Shanghai will focus on energy restructuring for industry, environmental safety, and administration of radiation and hazardous waste, while expanding some new items like soil and underground water management.

"Air quality, drinking-water safety and noise are the three major concerns for local residents, which is also closely related to their safety and life quality," Zhang said. "Tighter exhaust standards on new cars and elimination of highly polluting vehicles will be adopted, while all middle- and small-scaled water plants will be closed to ensure water safety along with the renovation of the water pipe network."

To deal with noise pollution, the government has kicked off tighter measures and installed more barriers along the elevated highways and stepped up constriction site management.


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