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July 26, 2017

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46 projects to improve environment

SHANGHAI’S government yesterday unveiled an environment renovation plan in response to a critical report earlier this year by a central government inspection team.

The team’s report, issued in April, pointed out problems, including the postponement of work in raising treatment standards for urban waste water, water quality that was below acceptable standards, and local authorities’ “leniency” toward environmental management.

The renovation plan comprises 46 projects, identifying a solution and a timetable for each. The people responsible for the projects are named in the plan.

Apart from a few projects which require a longer period, most of the 46 projects should be completed by the end of September, according to the plan.

Shanghai will clean up all heavily polluted rivers by the end of this year, and water quality will meet the country’s Grade V standard by 2020, according to the plan.

Of 259 surface water samples the inspection team collected during its stay in Shanghai from November 28 to December 28, 88 were found to be below Grade V — not fit even for farm and industrial use.

The renovation plan promises to increase the city’s capability in dealing with sewage by 600,000 cubic meters per day before 2020.

Air pollutant discharges by industries such as steel, petrochemicals, shipbuilding, automobiles and coating manufacturing shall be cut by at least 30 percent by 2020, the plan says. The average density of Shanghai’s major air pollutant PM2.5 particles will also be lowered to 42 micrograms per cubic meter by 2020 from the current 45.

Landfills in the Pudong New Area and Chongming Island have been required to solve their leaching problems before September.

The Laogang landfill compound is due to upgrade its facilities by next March.

Amid efforts to provide citizens with a better ecological environment, Shanghai will also speed up its ecological environment construction, and raise the per capita public green space by 1 square meter by 2020.

To achieve a greener development, the city’s remaining coal burning boilers will be replaced by clean energy sources by the end of the year.

The city’s total energy consumption will be restricted to no higher than 125 million tons of standard coal by 2020, according to the plan.

The inspection team’s report said the city’s water authority showed leniency to industrial polluters and imposed lighter penalties for environmental violations that they should have received. Since 2013, around 800 local firms that were required to halt operations had still been operating normally before finishing their rectifications due to weak execution of punishment decisions.

Shanghai is to work out a management system for waste discharge certificates and continue to strengthen its environmental law and regulation enforcement.

In a Shanghai Water Resource Management Regulation draft handed in to city lawmakers recently, more detailed regulations have been made to support the city’s “river chiefs” scheme, under which government officials from city to county levels take personal responsibility in dealing with water pollution problems.

The draft requires the city government to evaluate district governments’ work in water resource management and make it an important part of their year-end work assessment.


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