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City takes hard line to clear the air and water

Updated:2008-06-04 08:56 | Source:Shanghai Daily

IT'S a blueprint for green as Shanghai will reduce the city's major pollutants in air and water by about 5 percent this year, city officials said yesterday.

To reach the target, the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau will upgrade or close power plants, upgrade or build sewage-treatment plants and monitor the performances of local factories and sewage plants online, they said.

"We plan to greatly improve the city's environment by 2010 when the World Expo is held," Zhang Quan, the bureau's director, told reporters at a news conference.

The city government expects to reduce sulfur dioxide by about 5 percent and chemical oxygen demand, or COD, by about 4 percent by year's end.

Sulfur dioxide is a major pollutant in air - an extremely irritating gas which causes various human ailments. COD is a key scientific measure showing the degree of pollution in water.

According to bureau officials, Shanghai will build or upgrade 12 sewage plants this year. The biggest project is to upgrade the Bailonggang Sewage Treatment Plant in Pudong New Area.

The new plant will lift its daily capacity of sewage treatment to 2 million tons from 1.2 million tons.

The city plans to close some generation machines of the Yangshupu Power Plant and to upgrade generation machines in other plants.

Shanghai will launch the online system of monitoring the performances of the key sewage plants and factories before September.

The bureau will install monitoring devices in sewage plants and even industrial chimneys to record pollutant levels and send the data back to the central office.

Sewage plants or factories whose emissions did not meet environmental standards will receive a warning and could face penalties if they do not upgrade their treatment or management, officials said.

Shanghai plans to reduce its overall COD discharge from about 302,000 tons in 2006 to 259,000 tons in 2010. It also plans to greatly reduce sulfur dioxide levels by 2010.

Zhang said city watchdogs will take stricter measures to pull over vehicles that produce black fumes. So far, 1,360 such vehicles have been found.

Also at yesterday's conference, the bureau released the city's environmental report of 2007. It showed that water and air quality improved in Shanghai last year, but noise pollution worsened.

Water quality in the Huangpu River showed signs of improvement for the first time in five years, and Shanghai had 328 days of fine air last year, four more than in 2006.

Road noise on Shanghai streets hit an average of 71.9 decibels during the day, dropping to 65.9 decibels at night. Both levels are within the scale of noise pollution according to a general standard.

Shanghai invested 36.62 billion yuan (US$5.29 billion) last year in environment protection, taking a 3.05 percent slice of the city's gross domestic product, the bureau said.

Editor : Shi Taoyang

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