To save its citizens from the choking smog, the Chinese central government is preparing to launch a war against “tampering” of air quality data by provincial authorities.
Wu Xiaoqing, vice minister of environmental protection, said the Ministry will initiate a two-year inspection campaign to check whether the local governments are filing fabricated air quality data.
The air quality in Chinese cities is often poor with readings for PM 2.5 pollution sometimes 26 times as high as the 25 micrograms considered safe by the World Health Organization.
“Guaranteeing the truthfulness of the data is the bottom line,” Wu said.
Vehicle emissions have been cited as the top pollutant in the Chinese capital by the country’s leading environmental protection department.
Wu Xiaoqing, vice minister of environmental protection on Wednesday, said the results came from an analysis of pollution sources in nine major Chinese cities where vehicle emissions, coal burning and industrial emissions had caused havoc with air quality.
China had 264 million motor vehicles on roads as of the end of last year, including 154 million automobiles, next only to the United States.
There are about 5.6 million motor vehicles in Beijing, with an average of 63 cars among 100 households.
As China prepared to catch-up with the developed world and overtake the US as the world’s largest economy, environment protection suffered a severe setback, poisoning most of the country’s air, water and soil.
Some Chinese experts are suggesting that China could grant its environment ministry veto powers over high-polluting projects.
TBP and Agencies