Pol­lu­tion con­trol set as pri­or­ity for APEC meet­ing

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By ZHENG JINRAN zhengjin­ran@chi­nadaily. com.cn

Bei­jing will take tough steps to con­trol air pol­lu­tion dur­ing the APEC se­nior officials’ meet­ing in the city by launch­ing stricter emer­gency ac­tions than called for if a pol­lu­tion warn­ing is is­sued.

China is host­ing the Third Se­nior Officials’ Meet­ing and re­lated meet­ings of the Asia-Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion in Bei­jing from Aug 6 to 21, when there will be about 100 ses­sions cov­er­ing topics in­clud­ing trade, in­vest­ment, agri­cul­ture, food and anti-cor­rup­tion.

The se­nior officials’ meet­ing will in­volve a large num­ber of par­tic­i­pants and a more in­ten­sive sched­ule than the two pre­vi­ous meet­ings, which were held in Ningbo of Zhe­jiang province and Qing­dao of Shan­dong province.

The city will launch tougher, com­pre­hen­sive mea­sures to con­trol air pol­lu­tion ef­fec­tively for the events, said Yao Hui, deputy direc­tor of the Bei­jing En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Bureau, adding that up­dates on air qual­ity will be is­sued and sent to the pub­lic quickly if air qual­ity wors­ens.

When at any point dur­ing the con­fer­ence the air qual­ity in­dex is es­ti­mated at higher than 200 for the next three days, the mu­nic­i­pal govern­ment will is­sue an orange alert, which is the sec­ond-high­est level in the four-level warn­ing sys­tem.

In such an event, Bei­jing will take tougher mea­sures than called for un­der an orange alert. It will put into ef­fect the steps called for un­der a red alert, the high­est level, in­clud­ing for­bid­ding the use of 70 per­cent of govern­ment ve­hi­cles and re­strict­ing the use of pri­vate ve­hi­cles based on eve­nand odd-num­bered li­cense plates.

All ve­hi­cles with plates be­long­ing to other cities and prov­inces will be banned all day long from driv­ing in­side the Sixth Ring Road if an orange alert is is­sued dur­ing the con­fer­ence.

Ad­di­tion­ally, all con­struc­tion sites would be re­quired to stop de­mo­li­tion and other pro­ce­dures that might gen­er­ate dust, as re­quired by the Bei­jing Com­mis­sion of Hous­ing and Ur­ban-Ru­ral Devel­op­ment, said Wang Chengjun, deputy direc­tor of the com­mis­sion.

Also, if an orange alert is is­sued, the traf­fic au­thor­ity will co­op­er­ate with govern­ment de­part­ments to guar­an­tee that ve­hi­cles fol­low the emer­gency re­stric­tions.

“The com­pre­hen­sive ef­forts for the meet­ing can be an op­por­tu­nity for dif­fer­ent govern­ment de­part­ments to ex­er­cise joint work in air pol­lu­tion con­trol for the APEC meet­ing in Novem­ber, too, and also in the fu­ture,” said Yao, the deputy direc­tor of the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Bureau.

It is es­ti­mated that dur­ing the pe­riod there will be no ex­treme weather, while winds and rain­fall might be slight and tem­per­a­tures high, so there will be the pos­si­bil­ity of se­vere air pol­lu­tion in the city.

Bei­jing has is­sued no red alerts on air pol­lu­tion since Novem­ber, when the emer­gency plan was put into ef­fect, even though smog cov­ered the city for days at a time.

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