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By CCTV reporter Ning Hong
Efforts to reduce air pollution in China seem to be accelerating. In a coordinated action on Sunday, local authorities pulled down facilities in three cities in Hebei Province, a main center of iron and steel manufacturing.
This could eventually cut coal consumption by nearly three hundred tons. And it’s just the beginning.
“We are going to completely demolish these facilities. That includes destroying the entire production system, and cutting power permanently to make sure production can’t be restarted." Xin Zhichun, special advisor of Tangshan City Government, said.
China now has called a halt to all new iron and steel projects.
The State Council recently issued plans to cut iron and steel production capacity by 80 million tons. And half of those reductions will be in Tangshan.
“The goal is to cut nearly one third of our capacity by 2017. We are under huge pressure. We are facing a drop in fiscal revenue and are having to lay off a huge number of workers. We also need to help iron & steel companies handle their debts and maintain social stability.” Xin said.
Hebei province is China’s biggest iron & steel base. However in recent years, this pillar industry has been haunted by over capacity. That’s involved a massive waste of energy and caused severe air pollution.
The provincial government is now taking action.
“As well as what we’re doing today, we’re going to install emission monitoring systems in four of the heaviest polluting industries; iron & steel, glass, cement and the power generation industry. This will allow us to keep emissions under supervision. The emission of sulfur dioxide, nitric oxide and dust by these four industries accounts for up to 80% of total emissions in Hebei. Within a year, we will install anti-pollution equipment at all these plants.” Yang Chongyong, deputy governor of Hebei province, said.
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