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China’s latest crackdown on pollution

A woman wears a mask as she walks past a construction site as smog continues to choke Beijing on Friday, Jan. 6, 2017. The official Xinhua News Agency reported this week that the environmental ministry had given out punishments after finding that more than 500 construction sites and enterprises, including metallurgy, agricultural chemical and steel plants, and 10,000 vehicles had breached pollution response plans. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Steel mills in Hebei, China’s top steel producing province, must meet targets for cutting overcapacity this year, ahead of schedule.

China has ordered steel and aluminium producers in 28 cities to slash output during winter and required coal transport by rail instead of truck in Tianjin and Hebei province, in Beijing’s latest effort to crack down on pollution. A 26-page document dated Feb. 17 and seen by Reuters outlined a series of steps covering heavy industry in four northern provinces Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong, Henan as well as Beijing and Tianjin and cutting coal use in the capital. Below are the main steps:


* During the peak winter heating months around late November to late February, steel mills must cut output in half, aluminium output must be slashed by more than 30 percent and alumina output by around 30 percent in those regions. The size of the cuts will depend on the level of regions’ emissions cuts.

* Based on the cuts over those three months, the measures would reduce China’s total annual steel output by 8 percent annually and aluminium output by 17 percent, according to Reuters calculations.

* Steel mills in Hebei, China’s top steel producing province, must meet targets for cutting overcapacity this year, ahead of schedule. Cuts at mills in the cities of Langfang and Baoding should be a top priority, the statement said.

* Pesticide companies must cover waste water treatment areas and collect emissions.


* By the end of October, small coal-fired boilers in Beijing will be shut. New residential buildings will not use coal, but will run natural gas, geothermal power or other renewable fuel.

* By the end of June, local authorities must issue permits to companies allowing them to use thermal coal power.


* From the end of July, the port will ban diesel trucks from carrying coal.

* From the end of September, all coal must be transported by railway in Hebei and the surrounding areas.


* Government will strengthen oversight of diesel cars and trucks in the capital and install surveillance equipment.

* Improve quality of diesel and encourage taxis to run on electricity rather than diesel.

* Ban the use of fireworks in Beijing, Langfang and Baoding.

* Local authorities will give more financial support to regions to cut air pollution and to boost the use of heating using clean energy.


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