China’s largest city Shanghai has announced it will spend 100 billion yuan (more than $16 billion) in the coming three years on hundreds of anti-pollution projects, local media reported Thursday, SIA reports citing the AA.
A total of 220 projects will focus on eight areas of concern including air, water, soil, waste, industry, agriculture, ecology and circular economy, the municipal Environmental Protection Bureau’s director Zhang Quan said Wednesday, according to the Shanghai Daily.
He stressed that serious nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in water, high levels of PM2.5 pollutant particles in the air, and chemical and oil fumes from restaurants were among the factors that needed the most improvement.
The measures are part of efforts to significantly decrease the number of heavy pollution days, while reducing the density of PM2.5 -- the airborne pollutant deemed the most hazardous to human health -- to 48 micrograms per cubic meter by the end of 2017.
As part of the initiative’s goals, all big and medium restaurants will have highly efficient oil smoke purifying facilities installed by 2017, while around 300,000 heavily polluting vehicles will be removed from the streets.
Plans to address water contamination, meanwhile, will focus on operations at 17 sewage treatment plants, including the Bailonggang factory -- the world’s fourth largest wastewater treatment plant that is set to be renovated -- and three new stations.
Following recent anti-air pollution measures, such as the fining of businesses accused of breaking regulations, Shanghai’s overall air quality showed improvement in 2014 compared to the previous year.
Over the one-year period, the average PM2.5 density decreased by 16.1 percent to reach 52 micrograms per cubic meter. A “safe” PM2.5 concentration is 25, according to the World Health Organization.
China is the world’s largest polluter, producing a quarter of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.
The government says that around 70 percent of China's lakes and rivers are polluted.
The country faces international pressure to clean up its environment while residents are increasingly complaining about pollution.