[Ferro-Alloys.com] China's top environmental watchdog has rolled out a more specific and ambitious plan to phase out or transform major emitters of airborne pollutants in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei province cluster this heating-supply season, following the worsening of air pollution during an unusually warm year.
Experts commended the range of performance-based production restrictions in the plan, saying it gives companies incentives to bring emissions to low levels. They also warned, however, that "long-lasting" and "wide-ranging" smog may occur due to unfavorable meteorological conditions.
Under the plan, significant polluters in 15 industries — including steelmaking, petroleum refining and paint production — have been classified into three grades that will be subject to different production restrictions in the event of heavy air pollution. Emitters that fall into Grade A, those with extra-low emissions, will not have to restrict production and those graded B will face some restrictions. The plan will require the toughest restrictions for the worst polluters, those graded C.
The plan adds six cities in the Huaihai Economic Zone, including Linyi and Zaozhuang in Shandong province, to the previous list of 39 cities required to work jointly to curb heavy air pollution.
If the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei province cluster is enveloped by heavy smog, the six new cities will also join the cluster in implementing emergency measures, including production restrictions.
In addition to phasing out capacity in steel, coke, cement and glass production, the plan also sets specific targets for local governments to upgrade their steel production capacity to achieve extra-low emissions.
Hebei, given the biggest task, has been told to phase out 14 million metric tons of steel capacity, along with 3 million tons of coke, 1 million tons of cement and a substantial amount of glass. The plan also requires it to hit a target of 100 million tons of extra-low emissions steel capacity. (China Daily)