Changchun, capital of Northeast China's Jilin province, has taken measures to ensure good airquality, even on cold winter days.
October 20 was the first day this year the city started to provide central heating for the winter. Inthe morning, air quality supervision showed the city's air quality to be "excellent", primary pollutantfigures stood at "none", and environmental air quality was "satisfactory", suitable for "normaloutdoor activities among all kinds of people".
Seeing the good results, local resident Wang decided to go to the park to square dance with herfriends.
"Previously, when it came to central heating season, there was often a suffocating smoke smell inthe air, which was unsuitable for square dancing," said Wang. "Clear air and sky brings happyminds."
This autumn and winter many Changchun residents have noticed more blue skies and less smog.Statistics from Changchun's environmental monitoring center show that within the first month afterthe city started providing central heating, there were 21 days with "excellent" air quality, 11 daysmore than last year.
According to the Changchun government's information office, it is the direct effect of the city'sefforts to comprehensively prevent and manage pollution and stop crop straw burning.
The administration considered crop straw burning a key source of pollution.
The city produces around 1,300 metric tons of crop straw annually. About 32 per-cent of thewhole city's crop straw used to be discarded, according to Kong Lingbo, director of theregulation division of the city's agriculture commission. Thirty three percent of the straw was usedas fuel and the other 35 percent for other uses. In October, the Changchun Party committeepassed a policy to comprehensively use crop straw throughout the city, instead of burning theleftovers.
The city also rolled out a series of other measures to alleviate air pollution.
One is to use clean energy. The city demolished 922 coal-fueled furnaces and replaced themwith gas, electricity and wastewater heat pumps.
Another move was to eliminate pollution-heavy vehicles, also known as yellow-plate vehicles. Asystem was set up to remove 15,000 such vehicles from the roads this year, with 84,000 beingremoved in the past three years.
The city government recently issued strict new requirements concerning pollution and dust controlin industries and companies. Some 1,031 furnaces that previously did not meet proper pollutionstandards were dealt with. All coal-fueled power generators of more than 200,000 kilowatts havebeen renovated to meet emission requirements. Changchun No 1 and No 2 cogeneration powerplants have gone through low-pollution emission renovations. Some 889 large-scale food anddrink enterprises also installed fume purification facilities. Some 98 percent of construction sitesreached pollution standards.
Finally, the city has been monitoring time taken for management of environmental pollution casesand holding related persons responsible.
As a result, the city's air quality has shown visible improvement. In the first 11 months of the year,there were 264 days with excellent or good air quality, 47 more days than the same period lastyear. There were 61 pol-luted days, 46 days less than last year.