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China likely to meet pollution control targets for 2006-2010, future tasks "arduous": minister

12-21-2010 20:59 BJT

BEIJING, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- China is expected to meet its 11th five-year period (2006-2010) pollution control targets, but the upcoming mission will be "fairly arduous," Minister of Environmental Protection Zhou Shengxian said Tuesday.

Zhou said the sulfur dioxide index is expected to drop 14 percent in 2010 compared with the 2005 level.

Also, the index of Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), a measure of water pollution, is expected to decrease 12 percent.

China's 11th five-year plan set out to reduce COD and sulfur dioxide levels by 10 percent over this period.

"Local governments have urged various industries to reduce consumption and upgrade equipment. Many energy-inefficient companies have been closed," Zhou said at a meeting on pollution control.

From 2006 to 2009, more than 7,000 paper manufacturing, printing, dyeing and alcohol companies were shut down.

Meanwhile, Zhou warned that China's pollution control mission for the next five-year period (2011-2015) will be "fairly arduous" as the country's main pollutant emissions continue increasing.

Besides sulfur dioxide and COD, Zhou said, the levels of ammoniacal nitrogen, a major water pollutant, and nitrogen oxides, a major air pollutant, kept increasing, and the pollution from motor vehicles and agriculture was becoming more obvious.

According to Zhou, environmental protection authorities will add ammoniacal nitrogen and nitrogen oxides to its major pollutant monitoring list in the next five years.

Currently, authorities only monitor COD and sulfur dioxide.

Further, the ministry will launch a nationwide survey in the near future to assess regional emission-reduction results.

"The upcoming survey will be the final check on local governments' emission-reduction efforts. The results will be released to the public. Local governments that fail to meet their targets will be dealt with," Zhou said.

Zhou also vowed to punish local environmental protection departments if they fabricate data for the survey.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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