2019 Action Plan on Pollution Prevention and Control Issued and Implemented by the Beijing Municipal Government
Date: 2020-07-30
Source: The People's Government of Beijing Municipality
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The Beijing Municipal Government issued the 2019 Beijing Action Plan on Pollution Prevention and Control (JZBF [2019] No. 5) (hereafter the Action Plan) to increase eco-environmental protection and further prevent and control pollution in 2019.

І. Background

Pollution prevention and control is one of the “three critical actions” laid out at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to succeed in building a well-off society in all aspects. 2019 is a crucial year in the fight against pollution. In order to coordinate environmental protection in a closer, more law-based and participatory way, the Municipal Government issued the 2019 Action Plan that lays out the overall blueprint for protecting “blue sky, clear water and clean soil.”

The Action Plan identifies specific issues and sets concrete targets. To further implement the One Microgram Initiative against air pollution, focus is placed on control of diesel trucks, ambient dust, and volatile organic compounds (VOC). To improve water quality, both the causes and effects of pollution must be addressed, which means pollutant emissions and greater ecological capacity must be dealt with. To ensure soil safety, preventive steps must be taken to control environmental risks on agricultural and building land.

The Action Plan calls for stronger participation by mobilizing all of society to support and join in protecting the environment. Violations of the law must be exposed in a timely manner, more information made available, as well as greater public oversight. Both local CPC committees and government departments have a responsibility to protect the environment. Performance assessments of district governments, departments and organizations will be linked to their effectiveness in pollution prevention and control.  There will be strict evaluation and accountability.

Ⅱ. Targets

First,improve air quality. Beijing will continue to reduce its annual and three-year moving average concentration of fine particulate matter (PM2.5).

Second,improve the water environment. The proportion of surface water sections with excellent and good quality will be increased to over 24%, while inferior quality (Grade V) will be reduced to under 28%. The city will strive to reach one year earlier the assessment targets set out in the Action Plan on Water Pollution Prevention and Control.  

Third,ensure soil safety. Beijing will try to reach one year earlier the target of over 90% safe use of polluted arable land and other land lots, as laid out in the Action Plan on Soil Pollution Prevention and Control.

III. Main measures

1.  2019 Action Plan for Protecting Beijing's Blue Skies

First, lower emissions from mobile sources. “Replace, restrict, inspect, regulate” are the measures adopted to deal with the largest mobile sources of local PM2.5 pollution. “Replace” means to step up the phase-out of high-emission diesel vehicles still on the China III emission standard, and to promote the use of new energy vehicles. “Restrict” means to ban or limit the use of diesel trucks still on the China III standard, as well as to register and label non-road mobile machinery. “Inspect” means to conduct strict Conformity of Production (COP) testing on new vehicles, and closed-loop management on diesel trucks that exceed emission standards. “Regulate” means to speed up the promulgation of laws to prevent and control mobile source pollution, and to develop online monitoring of heavy-duty vehicle emissions.

Second,greater dust control. A more refined system will include “shared networks, departmental responsibility, law enforcement, inspection, and open information.” “Shared networks” includes city-wide unified regulations on video surveillance, online video monitoring of all construction sites, and full information sharing. “Departmental responsibility” means all sectors will, according to the specific worksites, draw up more detailed standardized ways and means to control dust pollution. “Law enforcement” means stricter separate as well as joint supervision by all sectors, and employing certification and issuing/withholding bank credit as a means of imposing joint sanctions.  “Inspection” involves appraisals of dust control throughout the year.  “Open information” means there will be regular announcements of violations of dust control laws and regulations, data on particulate matter concentrations, and ratings of road cleanliness, with the inspections and rectifying measures made public. The amount of dust deposited in each district should be controlled within 6.5 tons / month · square kilometer.

Third, reduced emissions from production and daily activities. Efforts will revolve around “shut down, tighten controls, upgrade management.” “Shut down” will involve a total of 300 general manufacturing and polluting enterprises. Low ranked township industrial clusters will be relocated or reorganized. “Tighter controls” such as inspections will be carried out on enterprises with large annual VOC emissions to compel them to clean up their production practices; 50 manufacturers will be required to draw up their “One plan per factory,” while 10,000 restaurants will be chosen for stricter smoke controls. “Upgrading management” will include law enforcement inspections conducted specifically on such industries as petrochemicals, printing, automobile maintenance, producers of architectural coatings and adhesives. Pollutant discharge permits must be issued to the automobile and furniture industries.

Fourth, promote clean energy consumption. Improve the operation and maintenance service mechanisms to prevent the resurgence of bulk coal use in the already “coal-free” plains areas. Clean energy will continue to replace coal in the villages around the venues of the Winter Olympics and International Horticultural Expo. Public buildings will be upgraded faster to increase energy saving, and existing residential buildings that fail to meet energy-saving standards will continue to be retrofitted.

Fifth, increase joint prevention and control across regions. Heavy air pollution emergency responses will be improved, and a more detailed list of emergency reduction measures drawn up in accordance with “one plan per factory”. Tighter supervision and inspection will ensure the cap on peak pollution, and slower pollutant concentration.

Sixth, provide sound institutional support. This entails drawing up and implementing standards for air pollutant emissions from the electronics industry, and further research on how to coordinate improving air quality and controlling greenhouse gas emissions. Satellite remote sensing will identify hot spots so law enforcement can be more pinpointed; strict supervision, assessment and accountability will ensure authorities shoulder their responsibilities. Greater public participation will be encouraged through public awareness activities organized on different platforms and channels.

2.  2019 Action Plan for Protecting Beijing' s Waters

First, focus on improving water quality. Targets and requirements will be put forward for 25 surface water sections that have either not yet met the standards or have not consistently met them. By improving the water sections subjected to national evaluation, the surface water environment of the whole city will be enhanced.

Second, ensure the safety of drinking water. Implement the nation-wide special operation to protect concentrated drinking water sources; disclose information and initiate research on functional zoning of groundwater. Comprehensive measures will be taken to protect surface and underground water to make drinking water safer.

Third, concentrate on overall prevention of pollution. This includes pollutants from daily activities and non-point sources in urban areas, discharge of industrial waste into rivers, and stagnant bodies of foul water.

Fourth, focus on controlling agricultural and rural pollution. Loopholes must be blocked, greater efforts deployed to reduce sources of agricultural pollution, and to accelerate solutions for rural sewage and garbage.

Fifth, focus on protecting the eco-environment of water sources. Water-saving zones will be set up. There will be increased water flows to rivers and lakes, and comprehensive management and environmental restoration on major waterways.

Sixth, improve mechanisms to manage the water environment.  The system of River and Lake Chiefs will be set up, and discharges will require permits. Environmental laws will be strictly enforced. There will be an environmental protection tax, tighter assessments, evaluation and supervision, and a full system to monitor and evaluate the water environment quality of townships(sub-districts).

3.  2019 Action Plan for Protecting Beijing' s Soil

First, more control over sources of soil pollution. There will be better assessment and review of environmental impacts: soil conditions will be a factor in assessing building projects, thus preventing new pollution on land used for construction. Agricultural pollution will be further prevented and controlled by increasing the effectiveness of fertilizers to over 40% and of pesticides to over 44%. Enterprises should build better storage facilities for industrial waste to prevent leakage of pollutants into the soil. Over half of major heavy metal polluters will be subject to mandatory inspections to see whether their production is clean or not.

Second, control the environmental risks on building land. All districts shall regularly update their list of suspected contaminated land lots. Based on the soil pollution survey, the general register of original land users will be closed and a new updated register drawn up of suspected polluted lands. Those with land use rights are urged to look into the condition of their land. An investigation, reporting and assessment mechanism shall be established. The municipal government will set up the List of Soil Risk Control and Restoration for Building Land, and the authorities in charge shall add or remove land lots as appropriate. All districts shall urge those responsible for the listed lots to draw up and implement plans for restoring the soil. Departments will work together to ensure that those projects that have not restored the land or met the standards of risk control will not be allowed to proceed.   

Third, classify agricultural land. Detailed surveys on soil quality will provide a classification of lands into three categories: protected, safe to use, and tightly controlled. Farmland with high quality soil in the first category will be labeled as permanent food farmland and strictly protected by law. Land in the second category can be used for both food production and other kinds of cultivation, and steps will be taken to prevent or reduce pollutants from entering the food growing areas. Land in the third tightly controlled category is prohibited from growing food.

Fourth, more detailed inspections and monitoring. A detailed survey on soil pollution will be carried out and, by the end of the year, a review of land use by key industries, collections of background soil samples, their testing and analysis will be completed. There will be routine appraisals of the general soil environment, and testing will be completed on the soil of centralized drinking water sources in 50% of the townships.

Fifth, strengthen supporting measures. Laws, regulations and standards will be improved. This includes feasibility studies for local legislation to prevent and control soil pollution, and technical guidelines and standards for risk control and restoration assessment of contaminated land, and for post restoration risk control. Regulations and laws will be tightened through regular oversight, directed inspections and joint law enforcement to ensure better supervision. More information and education of the public will raise awareness on protecting the soil. 

翻译:北京第二外国语学院 张颖 施晓菁 张蕾