China failing new urban air quality standards, minister says
Mar 2, 2012, 13:42 GMT
Beijing - Two-thirds of all cities in China will not meet new standards for air pollution, an Environment Ministry official said Friday.
Curbing air pollution was set to remain 'an arduous task for the country,' after the government recently tightened regulation, Vice-Minister of Environmental Protection Wu Xiaoqing said.
'We assume that there are two-thirds of the cities that will not meet the new standards for the air quality so far,' he said.
The State Council, or cabinet, on Wednesday passed new standards for air quality. These include a limit on particles of 2.5 microns and smaller.
China previously only measured airborne particles over 10 microns. Finer particulate pollution is considered more hazardous to health.
The new Chinese standards are only in line with the more lax of the guidelines recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), he said.
'To practically meet the more stringent guiding limits of the WHO, there is still a long way to go for our country,' he said.
Wu said his ministry would strengthen controls over industrial waste treatment and auto emissions to reduce fine particulate levels, as part of a five-year plan.
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