Friday, June 5, 2009

news to be positive about: PM2.5 and ozone monitoring coming soon; Pollution Transparency Index

Three recent air pollution-related news stories to be positive about:

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.

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.
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.

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.

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.
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.

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.

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.
A nice little green hop, I'd say (to borrow an expression from the Green Leap Forward).

1 comment:

Greenlaw said...

Thanks for posting about PITI. Note that one of our key findings was that there are Chinese cities that perform well on environmental information disclosure, so the common excuse that China can't do it at its current stage of development rings false. Working with Ma Jun, we developed an "all-star team" composed of the best performing cities in each of the 8 categories we measured. That all-star team scored nearly 90 points out of 100.

Keep up the great blogging. We're going to add you to our blogroll at


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