Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Green crackdown in China ahead of Olympics

The pollution in the ideology now spills over in environment.
BEIJING, April 14: Beijing environmental officials will implement a series of temporary measures to stop construction and close heavy industries, all aimed at cleaning the city's notoriously polluted air when the Olympics open in four months.
The city's Environmental Protection Bureau said that all work on construction sites will be suspended from 20 July to20 September. 19 heavy-polluting companies also have been told to cut their emissions in the same period by a further 30 percent.Pollution in addition to the violence in Tibet and other human rights issues has been a major concern for China. The International Olympic Committee has said it will postpone outdoor endurance events of more than one hour if the air quality is poor.The Capital Steel Group in west Beijing has been told to reduce emissions, and production will be halted at the Eastern Chemical Plant of Beijing Eastern Petrochemical Co. Coal-burning boilers that fail to meet emission standards will also be shuttered.MrDu Shaozhong, deputy director of the environment body, said production would be stopped at cement plants, concrete mixing plants and cement grinding plants in southeastern Beijing and about half of Beijing's 3.3 million vehicles would be banned.
The environment body said gas stations, oil depots and tanker trucks would have to be equipped with “oil vapor recovery” technology and “spraying or painting with harmful solvents will be temporarily banned.” Five provinces and municipalities surrounding Beijing will also be shuttering factories, although their plans were not released. They are: the city of Tianjin; Hebei, Shanxi and Shandong provinces and the huge Inner Mongolia region.Beijing is one of the world's most polluted cities. A mix of particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide often blankets the city at levels five times higher than World Health Organisations safety standards. Beijing was covered in a moderate level of smog asMr Du made the announcement.An IOC study released last month said that competition conditions would “not necessarily (be) ideal at every moment,” but said Beijing's air quality was better than expected.IOC President Mr Jacques Rogge said earlier this month that the city's pollution will not endanger the athletes' health, but he's acknowledged performance levels might be “slightly reduced.” AP

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