Chinese cities reported fewer days with “good air” in July compared to the same month in 2016, data published by the Chinese Government’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) this week suggested.
This came despite a decline in levels of a particulate matter PM2.5 recorded over the course of the month.
According to the data, 338 cities monitored by the MEP enjoyed ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ air quality on around 25 days during the month in July, a fall when compared to July 2016.
However, during the same period, the density of hazardous fine particle matter PM2.5 6.9% from the levels recorded 12 months ago.
The MEP claimed that notably, the density of PM2.5 slumped 24.6% in Beijing, which it claimed helped the city enjoy more “good air” days in July 2017.
It added that in the first seven months of the year, Beijing’s PM2.5 density dropped 1.5% year-on-year to 64?g/m³, still above its target of around 60?g/m³ for the year.
Air quality in 13 cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area was rated good or excellent on 50.4% of the days in July, down 4.9 percentage points year-on-year.
The density of PM2.5 and PM10 in these regions went down by 13.8% and 4.7%, respectively, indicating improved air quality in these areas, the organisation claimed.
Authorities have been undertaking a year-long on-site investigation to discover the sources of air pollution in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area, where winter smog frequently occurs.
The MEP claimed that more than half of nearly 40,000 businesses checked have violated environmental rules.
MEP data also showed that of the country’s 74 major cities, Haikou in southern China’s Hainan Province had the best air quality in July while Tangshan in northern China’s Hebei Province was the most polluted.
Details of the environmental performance of the port city of Tianjin have also recently been released, following assessment by the country’s Central Inspection Team. The details, which were released last month, suggested that the city had spent close to ¥360m in an air quality monitoring system that covers 271 town streets, industrial parks, and key areas. The city has also released 12 emission standards covering 11 industries.
However, despite these steps, the inspection team claimed that air management had been ‘weak’ as the quarterly PM2.5 reading went up 27.5% in Q1, and the control of the use of coal was ‘inefficient’. The city has added 512 new coal-fired boilers since 2013, against the air pollution control action plan, the inspection team claimed.
Inspectors also claimed that traffic control measures had been put in place near monitoring stations to bring down pollution readings.