Beijing to introduce updated pollution response program

2016-12-15 08:44:41 | From:

A file photo shows smoggy beijing. [Photo: Xinhua]

A new pollution emergency response mechanism is being launched in Beijing, replacing the current version.

It will mean more vehicles being taken off the roads when orange or red level alerts are issued.

Wang Bin from the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau says the new mechanism will help reduce the direct impact on people's lives and on industries when severe air pollution hits the city.

"The old rule says once the red alert is issued, all schools in the city will be closed. But now, it will depend on actual air quality and will be determined by municipal education authorities."

Wang added that factories will also be asked to cut their production on the most heavily polluted days; however, those which don't produce pollution during their industrial process won't be affected by the new rules.

Shanghai is also adopting a more flexible air quality warning system.

A red alert will be issued when the city's Air Quality Index (AQI) reaches 400, in comparison to 450 today.

An orange alert will be given if the AQI is expected to be between 301 and 400 in the coming 24 hours, or between 201 and 300 in the 3-days ahead.

A blue alert will be issued if the AQI is expected to temporarily exceed 200 within 24 hours.

China has a 4-color coded alerts system for extreme weather and air quality conditions, with red being the highest and blue the lowest.

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