Unveiling a five-year clean air action plan (2013-2017), the Beijing municipal government stated that 1,200 polluting companies will be ordered to upgrade or close parts or all of their facilities, Xinhua reported.
Authorities will identify small polluters in township and village-level industrial zones and shut them down if they fail to meet pollution reduction targets, according to the plan.
The municipal government has pledged to reduce particulate matter (PM) 2.5 density by 25 percent or more by 2017 to improve the air quality.
PM 2.5 are airborne particles measuring less than 2.5 microns in diameter which can pose health risks.
Some of the other measures include the following:
The total amount of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, dust and volatile organic compound emissions will be a prerequisite of environmental impact assessments for any new projects starting this year.
In regions or industries that fail to meet air pollution reduction targets, no new projects that emit major air pollutants will be given regulatory approval as of 2013.
The local government will push forward water and electricity pricing reforms to raise prices for big water and power users to drive them to upgrade or shut down their polluting, energy-guzzling facilities as early as 2014.
The authorities will increase discharge fees for sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions this year and levy a new fee for discharge of volatile organic compounds next year. It will start a pilot emissions trading scheme for major polluters in 2014.
Companies which break environmental laws will be banned from receiving bank loans, fund raising through initial public offerings and value added tax breaks starting this year.
--IANS (Posted on 02-09-2013)