(Yicai Global) Feb. 22 -- China's ministry of environmental protection has introduced six new policies to fight air pollution in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. Having made the heavy pollution control in the winter its strategic priority, the ministry will work with relevant local departments to strictly control vehicle emission. Under the new measures, the Tianjin port will also stop accepting coal transported by diesel-field trucks.
Zhao Yingmin, vice minister of environmental protection, outlined the new policies at a press conference today.
The ministry will first step up efforts for overcapacity reduction. The "2 + 26" cities located along the transport channels are required to achieve steel overcapacity reduction targets before other cities; and the crackdown on illegal "small, disorganized and high-pollution" enterprises will be successfully completed by the end of October. The so-called "2 + 26" cities include Beijing and Tianjin plus 26 cities in Hebei, Henan, Shandong and Shanxi.
The second policy will promote clean heating. The ministry will ban the use of coal in selected areas, and small coal-fired boilers will be eliminated within a given time limit. Overall coal consumption in cities along the transport channels will be reduced.
Third, industrial air pollution control will be tightened on a comprehensive scale. Special emission limits will be imposed on high-priority business enterprises, which will require their emission licensing to be first approved and integrated volatile organic compounds (VOCs) management will be implemented.
Fourth, peak load shifting production will be adopted among industrial enterprises during the heating period. It will also apply the system to other industrial businesses in addition to cement and casting. During the heating period, steel production will be capped at 50 percent of the normal production volume in Shijiazhuang, Tangshan, Handan and Anyang, with control tightened over electrolytic aluminum and chemical production.
Fifth, vehicle emission control will be toughened. Tianjin port will stop accepting coal transported by diesel-fueled trucks, and diesel vehicle regulation will be tightened through collaborative efforts, with a ban on the production and sales of fake and low-quality oil products and illegal gas stations. The overall vehicle exhaust emission monitoring capability will also be improved.
Sixth measure will enhance urban management, and the level of fugitive dust caused by building sites will be effectively reduced.
The Beiijng-Tianjin-Hebei region is worst affected by air pollution in China. Several smog cases have prompted authorities to issue severe air pollution warnings in the region this winter, lasting three to eight days.