Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday urged air quality control ministry to improve its monitoring standard by including a stricter criteria into its system, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
The government should make more preparations for monitoring levels of PM 2.5, or hazardous particulate pollutants of 2.5 microns, Li was quoted telling a national environmental conference, noting that “a basic suitable environment is a public product that the government should make sure is provided to its people.”
Local governments including the capital city of Beijing have declined requests to release emissions data on PM2.5 by the public, who have been increasing angry over worsening pollution throughout Chinese cities.
Years of high growth in the world’s second-largest economy has been at the cost of fresh air and clear water, with rising factories and increasing automobile engines.
“China should keep a balance between economic development and environmental preservation,” Li said.
China plans to reduce emissions for nitrogen oxide and ammonia nitrogen by 10 percent below 2010 levels, and cut sulfur dioxide and chemical oxygen demand by 8 percent.
Under “liability statements” singed by provincial governors and heads of the country’s biggest state-owned enterprises with the Ministry of Environmental Protection, a total of 1,184 sewage plants will be built in the next five years, with a combined treatment capacity of 45.7 million tons. And nitrogen oxide removal factories will be installed for coal-fired power plants with a total installed capacity of 400 gigawatts, the China Daily said.