More than 12,200 coal-fired boilers and factories in polluting industries will suspend production starting Aug 28 in a bid to get good air quality for the city’s Sept 3 military parade by reducing polluting emissions.
The restrictions will cover Beijing and six surrounding areas － Tianjin; Hebei, Shandong, Shanxi and Henan provinces; and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday.
The capital will also restrict the use of vehicles whose license plates end with odd or even numbers on alternate days to clean the air in preparation for the parade marking the 70th anniversary of China’s victory in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45).
In the seven areas designated for the joint control efforts, 12,255 polluters, such as coal-fired boilers and concrete mixing plants, will stop or limit production for eight days.
The efforts could reduce major air pollution emissions in Beijing by 40 per cent and in the other six areas by at least 30 per cent, said Zhang Gong, the capital’s vice-mayor.
“Thermal power plants, companies in iron and steel, cement making, and glass and chemical industries will be the major targets,” Zou Shoumin, head of environmental supervision of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, told Xinhua.
The ministry will send 15 teams to check for compliance and pollution emissions during the period, it said.
In Tianjin, 285 companies in steel, cement making and other major polluting industries will stop production, and another 421 plants in printing, industrial coating, vehicle manufacturing and other industries that generate major air pollutants will also have restrictions.
Hebei province, the capital’s neighbor, which has severe air pollution, has placed cities such as Langfang and Tangshan in a priority zone for shut downs. Construction sites also will stop working during the eight days.
In addition, Shanxi province also has started to control pollution emissions. It has conducted inspections on 8,587 companies in major polluting industries, of which 304 were required to suspend production, another 112 were shut down and 128 companies were required to stop construction.
Experts in the environment and meteorology have conducted research on control efforts. Hao Jiming, an environmental engineering professor at Tsinghua University, said the government’s goals are within reach.
“If the seven governments fully implement the control efforts as planned, Beijing will see the concentration of PM2.5－particulate matter with diameter smaller than 2.5 microns－reduced by 25 to 39 per cent,” Hao said.