China warns of smog dur­ing cel­e­bra­tions

The Korea Times - - WORLD -

SHANG­HAI (Reuters) — China’s north­ern re­gions are fac­ing a sus­tained pe­riod of pol­lu­tion for at least the next two weeks, the en­vi­ron­ment min­istry warned, with heavy smog threat­en­ing to over­shadow the coun­try’s Na­tional Day cel­e­bra­tions in Bei­jing in Oc­to­ber.

China will mark the 70th an­niver­sary of the found­ing of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic on Oct. 1, with Bei­jing and the sur­round­ing prov­ince of He­bei al­ready im­ple­ment­ing spe­cial mea­sures to tighten se­cu­rity, curb fire­work sales and sus­pend min­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in or­der to min­i­mize po­ten­tial dis­rup­tions.

Cities through­out the re­gion have also im­posed rou­tine out­put curbs on steel mills, power plants, cok­ing coal pro­duc­ers and ce­ment fac­to­ries in the fi­nal week of Septem­ber, trig­gered by de­clin­ing air qual­ity.

But the Min­istry of Ecol­ogy and En­vi­ron­ment said in a state­ment pub­lished late on Mon­day that pro­longed and ad­verse weather con­di­tions across eastern coastal re­gions were still ex­pected to lead to heavy smog build-ups in and around Bei­jing over the next two weeks.

It said low pres­sure east of the Tai­hang moun­tain range be­tween the prov­inces of He­bei and He­nan would al­low emis­sions to be pushed north to Bei­jing, where high hu­mid­ity lev­els would speed up the con­ver­sion of in­dus­trial and ve­hi­cle emis­sions into dam­ag­ing air­borne smog par­ti­cles.

It said it had no­ti­fied lo­cal gov­ern­ments in the cities of Bei­jing and Tian­jin as well as the prov­inces of He­bei, Shanxi, Shan­dong, He­nan, An­hui and Jiangsu, urg­ing them to pay close at­ten­tion to smog and take ac­tion where ap­pro­pri­ate to re­duce emis­sions.

Tang­shan, China’s big­gest steel­mak­ing city, is al­ready stepping up ef­forts. It is­sued an or­ange smog alert on Mon­day and im­posed stricter curbs on blast fur­naces and elec­tric arc fur­naces at steel mills from Tues­day, ac­cord­ing to a doc­u­ment re­viewed by Reuters and con­firmed by a source with a lo­cal steel as­so­ci­a­tion.

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