Shanghai pollutionOn September 10 the State Council issued a circular for the control and reduction of atmospheric pollution of the particulate (PM10) and on the fine particulate (PM2.5) in the areas of Beijing – Tianjin – Hebei, Yangtze River and Pearl River. The goal is to reduce the pollutants by 25%, 20% and 15% respectively for the areas above listed by 2017, so to achieve, in Beijing, a PM2.5 concentration of 60 micrograms per cubic meter. The measures to be adopted include, among all, the conversion of the currently used heating systems and plants for buildings, the use of more efficient boilers, of less pollutant type of coals, and of renewable energies. Per the industrial production, the objective is the use of technologies for a better desulfurization, denitrification, dust and volatile organic compounds reduction in industrial processes, and the conversion of high energy consumption and high pollutant factories into factories more eco – compatibles. Another issue included in the circular is the management of construction sites: by one side, construction companies shall conduct operation on “hard soil”, shall avoid dispersal of dust by covering piles of sand and debris, and by using covered trucks for transporting sand and debris. By the other side, electronic monitoring systems shall be installed, and urban vehicle specifically designed for cleaning roads from dust and sand will be adopted. In addition, the construction of ecofriendly buildings (both public and private) is encouraged, so to optimize the energy consumption. The circular also address the issue of better managing urban traffic and of reducing the congested areas. The modernization of the vehicle fleet will be encouraged, together with incentives on purchasing low – impact vehicles. In addition, the costs for using private car will rise, so to provide incentive on using public transportation. The goals listed in the circular will be implemented by approving (or amending) specific laws that shall target relevant issues:  tax incentives will be granted, and disincentives (such as denial of financing, or fines) will be set. Finally, a wide promotional campaign for the awareness of the population on pollution issues will be launched, and control and monitoring measures will be strengthened. On 2015 there will be a mid – term evaluation of the effectiveness of the masures adopted: we will keep you informed (where possible) of the outcome.

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