China tightens inspections on anti-air pollution efforts

World Today

One of China’s most polluted cities is witnessing another round of inspections. This month, the country’s air quality watchdog is beginning another year-long campaign to cut air pollution. This is especially true in Hebei Province. 

CGTN’s Mike Walter reports.


China tightens inspections on anti-air pollution efforts

One of China's most polluted cities is witnessing another round of inspections. This month, the country's air quality watchdog is beginning another year-long campaign to cut air pollution. This is especially true in Hebei Province. CGTN's Mike Walter reports.

Smog warning are common in Hebei Province. Earlier this month, visibility dropped to less than 200 meters, as smog again swept across several cities. People put on masks and some roads closed.

At the same time, Chinese authorities were renewing their year-long campaign to cut pollution by targeting people using small, coal-burning boilers. These items are now illegal. In one day alone, they found 14 and destroyed them all.

Last winter, a heating company in Hebei was fined 20 million yuan (nearly $3 million) for not cutting production on a high pollution day. This is part of a broader plan to clean up Hebei Province, the epicenter of China’s iron and steel manufacturing industries.

China ordered a halt to all new iron and steel projects. Production at existing plants is being limited, if not cut altogether.

Even so, pollution problem persists. In some places, the production of charcoal is to blame. Every year, authorities shut down hundreds of these small operations, but more pop up.

Anti-pollution efforts now impact daily routines. Authorities have implemented driving restrictions based on a car’s license plate number.

China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection is overseeing local efforts not just on the ground, but also from the air. Officials are using satellite technology to monitor air pollution over heavily polluted areas. When they see problems, they alert local authorities or send Ministry inspection teams.


Ranping Song talks about Hebei’s air pollution

For more on Hebei’s air pollution and how it could impact the 2022 Winter Olympics, CGTN’s Mike Walter spoke to Ranping Song, action manager at World Resources Institute’s Global Climate Program.