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Complaints over Construction Sites Dust Down 30%

Beijing has seen a 30 percent decrease in residents' complaints about airborne debris around construction sites in the first 11 months of this year compared with a year earlier, the municipal environment authorities said Sunday.

The city fined 7,467 construction sites in 2007 for failing to control dust, involving a total of about 10 million yuan (US$1.3 million), according to the municipal environmental watchdog. The city also fined more than 4,000 illegal outdoor barbeques and rubbish incineration facilities.

The city reached its goal of 245 "blue sky" days for 2007 on Sunday, when a cold front helped the city hit an annual air quality improvement target just two days before the year ends.

Statistics also show that although the number of "blue-sky" days did not increase dramatically, Beijing recorded only three heavily-polluted days this year, sharply down from last year's 13.

The Chinese capital launched a drive, "Defending the Blue Sky," in 1998, when it only had 100 days of fairly good air quality. The Olympic host city aims to make 70 percent of the days in 2008 meet the standard.

(Xinhua News Agency December 31, 2007)

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