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Reducing Pollution High on City's Agenda

Guangdong Province is trying to curb industrial pollution by preventing cities with excessive pollutant emissions being granted new investment projects.

According to Xie Qianghua, vice-governor of Guangdong, 21 municipal governments in the province signed agreements with the provincial government earlier this week not to exceed set emission ceilings for chemical oxygen demand (COD) and sulfur dioxide.

COD is the amount of oxygen extracted from water by bacteria when pollutants decompose. For example, a higher level of organic material in sewage means more oxygen is needed to decompose the pollutants and, consequently, the pollution is worse.

Xie said that the province aims to lower COD emissions to no more than 899,000 tons a year, and sulfur dioxide to 1.10 million tons, by the end of 2010. That would be 15 per cent less than in 2005.

According to the vice-governor, all existing coal-fuelled and oil-burning power plants with a generation capacity of 125 megawatts will be equipped with desulfurizers by 2008. Every new power plant will be installed with desulfurizing equipment before they begin operating.

The vice-governor said the province will increase its sewage disposal capacity by 5 million tons per day by the year 2010. The current disposal system can handle 6.69 million tons of sewage per day.

Huang Qiyao runs an electroplating plant in Guangzhou's Baiyun District. He recently moved to a new industrial park especially set up for electroplating enterprises in line with government plans.

But he told China Daily:" We really hope the government can consider subsidizing us for our relocation expenses and the installation of sewage disposal equipment."

(China Daily September 22, 2006)

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