China's environmental chiefs summon Zhengzhou mayor over worsening smog

Date of Release: 
Jul 29 2015

The Ministry of Environmental Protection has summoned the mayor of Zhengzhou for a closed-door "talk" over its worsening air pollution, as the Henan provincial capital became the third most polluted city in China.

Revisions to the Environmental Protection Law give the ministry the power to admonish local leaders for failing to rein in polluters, and Zhengzhou is the first provincial capital to be singled out.

Over the course of the two-hour meeting city officials explained the measures they had taken to curb air pollution, news portal reported.


Worst smog of the year prompts Hong Kong government health warning

Date of Release: 
Jun 9 2014

Hong Kong choked on its smoggiest day of the year so far yesterday as a trough of low pressure left the city coping with pollution that represented a "serious risk" to health.

At 7pm and 8pm, all 12 of the city's general pollution monitoring stations and all three roadside stations recorded pollution levels posing a "very high" or "serious" risk to health. All but two general stations and all of the roadside stations were at level 10+, the highest level on the government's Air Quality Health Index (AQHI), introduced last year.


Beijing aims to clean up air during Apec meeting

Date of Release: 
Apr 10 2014

Beijing is considering stricter traffic controls and suspension of polluting enterprises during meetings at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation that are scheduled to take place later this year in the city's Huairou district.

To prevent the smog from enshrouding the capital during the Apec event, the city vowed to reprise measures taken during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, including traffic control to cut emissions based on vehicles' license plate numbers, suspension of certain industrial operations around the city's suburbs and halting work at construction sites.


Schools to be closed for air pollution

Date of Release: 
Nov 6 2013

China may adopt a flexible working hours system and suspend school classes in case of the highest air pollution warnings, a government circular said on Wednesday.

The circular was issued by the Ministry of Environmental Protection as China has been under growing pressure to curb air pollution, with heavy smog frequently smothering large cities.


Pollution creates risk for kids and the elderly

Date of Release: 
Oct 19 2013

Despite Wang Zhangyi's excitement for a school-organized autumn outing on Friday, a trip he had been looking forward to for weeks, his mother was nothing but reluctant and anxious.

"I'm concerned for his health when he's exposed to serious air pollution and breathing smog," said Zhang Huihui, the mother of the 6-year-old who was recently enrolled in elementary school.

Serious pollution again blanketed Beijing on Friday, with high levels of PM2.5 pollution - particulate matter with a diameter smaller than 2.5 micrometers.


China faces tough fight against air pollution

Date of Release: 
Sep 19 2013

Beijing was once again shrouded in a heavily polluted, foggy air on Wednesday, which is familiar to local residents some of whom are accustomed to wearing masks outdoors.

A day before the Mid-Autumn Festival -- a traditional mooncake-eating and family-reunion holiday that falls on Sept 19 this year -- the worsening air was aggravated by car emissions as the capital's major avenues were almost turned to parking lots even before the rush hour at dusk.


Smog haze pollutes Beijing's prospects

Date of Release: 
Feb 6 2013

Walking into the "sports dome" at Dulwich College Beijing, an elite fee-paying international school in the capital's Shunyi District, one's ears pop and the oppression of the city's air begins to lift.

The school has built the dome - a large airtight, inflatable structure that covers the size of about four badminton courts - to provide an area for indoor sports during the freezing winter months.


Beijing smog: When growth trumps life in China

Date of Release: 
Jan 27 2013

When I wake up in the morning, I pause briefly before opening my curtains, and what I see out of my window is likely to set the tone for the rest of the day.

I am not checking up on the weather. Instead, I want to know exactly how bad the pollution is going to be. On some mornings, it is truly appalling. It is as if the whole city has been turned into a smokers' lounge with a yellowish, nicotine colour staining the sky.

And this month, pollution in Beijing went from bad to... well, dangerous.


Beijing adopts emergency measures for 'hazardous' pollution

Date of Release: 
Jan 15 2013

Schoolchildren were ordered to halt outdoor sports activities until Tuesday this week, as a dirty cloud of smog continued to shroud China's capital.

This was among a series of emergency response measures adopted in Beijing Sunday when the city's Air Quality Index exceeded 500 micrograms, the highest level. Anything above this is regarded as "beyond index."

Reports of respiratory problems -- as well as the sale of masks -- have skyrocketed, according to state media, and over the weekend, streets appeared emptier, as a sun was barely visible amid a hazy blanket.

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