1) China Daily: Tougher rules for air quality likely soon
China is mulling more stringent appraisal standards for air quality, and pilot projects are likely to start from coastal cities in the Yangtze River delta and Pearl River delta next year.This is terrific news. With the pressure of the Olympics off, I was beginning to think that MEP had forgotten about the comments they made last year on this topic. No dates given in the article, but still a positive sign.
The environmental authorities are planning to include particles less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) and ozone, into the Air Pollution Index (API), which currently measures the concentration of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and PM10, or particles smaller than 10 microns.
2) China Daily: Pollution index up and running
China's first Pollution Information Transparency Index (PITI) has been officially launched and has published its first annual assessment of the pollution information disclosure performance of 113 Chinese cities for 2008.Here is the link to the index methodology and results (Chinese). Note that the index encompasses several types of pollution, not just air pollution. Although most cities scored rather poorly (Beijing overall scored 49.1 out of 100), it's still encouraging to see this index go public as a baseline for future comparison. It is also very encouraging to see this activity by NGOs reported in the Chinese media.
The PITI, set up by the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE) and the US-based Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), is part of efforts to strengthen public awareness and supervision of environmental issues and protection.
3) Xinhua: China's central environment authorities to open hotline for direct complaints
BEIJING, June 4 (Xinhua) -- People who have complaints about environmental pollution in China would have a direct way to inform the Ministry of Environmental Protection as the ministry opens a tip-off hotline on Friday, the International Environment Day.A nice little green hop, I'd say (to borrow an expression from the Green Leap Forward).
The ministry said Thursday that the hotline, 010-12369, will take calls about emergency environment issues, cross-provincial pollution and other environmental issues that should be directly dealt with by the ministry.