China's Hebei meets state smog standards for first time in August
SHANGHAI, Sept 11 (Reuters) - The smog-prone northern
Chinese province of Hebei met state air quality standards for
the first time ever last month, official data showed, as it
benefited from better weather, tough restrictions on polluters
and slowing seasonal steel demand.
Heavy-industrial Hebei, which surrounds the Chinese capital
Beijing, has been on the front line of a state war on pollution.
It has been under heavy pressure to cut transport emissions,
curb coal consumption and impose tougher standards on polluting
sectors like steel.
Average concentrations of small and hazardous airborne
particles known as PM2.5 reached 31 micrograms per cubic metre
over the whole of last month, down 22.5 percent from the same
period last year, the provincial government said on its website
China's interim standard for PM2.5 is 35 micrograms. The
World Health Organization recommends concentrations of no more
than 10 micrograms.
Average PM2.5 over the first eight months stood at 54
micrograms, down 18.2 percent compared with a year earlier, the
provincial government said.
PM2.5 in Hebei averaged 65 micrograms last year. It aims to
cut that to 55 micrograms by the end of 2020, and will eliminate
or relocate more industrial capacity, convert boilers from coal
to natural gas and take further action against diesel-fueled
road freight in the next two years.
(Reporting by David Stanway; editing by Richard Pullin)
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