China Environmental News Digest

Daily updated Environmental news related to China

Friday, April 07, 2006

Beijing's air quality falls in first quarter - government

Beijing. April 6. INTERFAX-CHINA - Despite plans to improve air quality, Beijing had 11 fewer clean air days in the first quarter of 2006 compared to 2005, and has fallen even further behind since the beginning of April, statistics from the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau (BEPB) show.

To the end of March 2006, Beijing had only 51 "blue-sky" days, where the air quality does not exceed pollution standards, compared to 62 such days in the first quarter of last year. That means that only 56.6% reached the required standard, compared to 68.8% in 2005.

In the first five days of April, the city had only one clean air day compared to three days during the same period of last year, putting it 13 days behind last year and dragging the clean air average down to just 54.7%.

The city must have a clean air average of 69% for the rest of the year, or 21 blue-sky days per month, if it hopes to reach the clean air target of 238 days in 2006.

Despite having unhealthy air quality 45.3% of the time, the city has enjoyed stretches of clean air. During the 10-day National Party Congress at the beginning of May, Beijing enjoyed nine clean air days and only one day that exceeded air quality standards.

BEPB denied suggestions that any special measures were taken to improve air quality during the conference, as Interfax reported last month. Technorati Tags: , ,

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