SHANGHAI, Jan 20 (Reuters) - China will impose "special
emissions restrictions" on enterprises in major industrial
sectors in northern China later this year, as it bids to ensure
its war on pollution continues once a tough winter anti-smog
campaign ends in March.
To meet politically crucial air quality targets last year,
China forced 28 cities in northern China to cut concentrations
of hazardous, breathable particles known as PM2.5 by 10-25
percent from October 2017-March 2018.
But amid concerns that enterprises and local governments
could lower their guard once short-term campaigns to meet air
quality targets have been completed, China has been trying to
"normalise compliance" and put firms under more permanent
scrutiny and pressure.
In a notice published on its website late on Friday, China's
Ministry of Environmental Protection said all new industrial
projects in 28 key northern Chinese cities would now have to
comply with even tougher emission curbs when undergoing
environmental impact assessments from March 1.
Existing industrial boilers as well as facilities in sectors
like thermal power, steel, petrochemicals, chemicals,
non-ferrous metals (excluding aluminium) and cement, will be
subject to tougher emission limits for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen
oxides, particulate matter and volatile organic compounds
beginning from Oct. 1, the notice said.
Coking chemical plants will have longer to comply with the
new restrictions, and will have to renovate by October 2019.
The notice said existing enterprises must take effective
measures to comply with the new restrictions by the required
deadline. If they fail to do so, they can be fined, ordered to
restrict output or forced to shut down completely.
As part of the winter campaign, the 28 cities were subjected
to an unprecedented central government inspection regime and
have been under orders to cut industrial output, thin traffic
and curb coal use in order to reduce smog build-ups. All 28 met
their targets in the final quarter of 2017.
China has been aiming to establish a nationwide, real-time,
24-hour monitoring system that puts firms under permanent
pressure to comply with environmental rules, and it has also
been trying to empower police and courts to take on persistent
(Reporting by David Stanway)
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