Chinese city adopts emergency response for air pollution

TAIYUAN, (PNA/Xinhua) — An emergency response plan has been put into effect in Taiyuan, capital city of north China’s Shanxi Province, to deal with air pollution.

Kindergartens, primary and high schools will close, and some industrial plants temporarily shut down when a red air pollution alert is issued, according to the Taiyuan Municipal Heavy Air Pollution Emergency Response Program, which was released on Monday.

All pollutant-discharging plants except those that provide power, heating and food to locals will be suspended from production when the red alert is issued.

The program is expected to reduce harm on people’s health caused by heavy pollution, according to Song Li, an official with the municipal environmental protection bureau, who helped draft the plan.

Taiyuan, together with many cities in Shanxi Province, relies heavily on the coal mine industry, the pillar sector in the region for a number of decades.

An air quality index (AQI) of over 300 is defined as “serious pollution” and an AQI between 201 and 300 is considered “heavy pollution” in China’s air quality assessment system.

The government of Chinese capital Beijing officially put into effect a similar emergency program on Oct. 22.