City Gets Tough on Polluting Vehicles

   Date:2011-12-26     Source:xywliuhongli

SHANGHAI is to introduce tougher exhaust emission standards and ban high-polluting vehicles, green watchdogs said yesterday.

The Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau pledged this action by 2014 to tackle the growing problem of exhaust fume pollution downtown.

The city will launch the China V standards - equivalent to the Euro V standards - reducing sulfur dioxide emissions from automobile exhausts by 80 percent compared with current IV standards.

The announcement also pledged initiatives on trash sorting and waste water treatment.

More than 60,000 high-polluting vehicles - often older cars - that account for many of the city's worst offenders will be taken off the roads.

The plan states that "with all the measures, more than 90 percent of vehicles will be able to meet the new emissions standard by 2014."

Automobile exhausts contribute 66 percent of nitrogen oxide and 90 percent volatile organic compounds - both major air pollutants - in downtown areas, said Cai Zhigang, an official with the bureau.

"Automobile emissions are more harmful to residents' health than industrial pollution as they're in closer proximity to people," Cai said.

About 74 percent of the pollution comes from the 280,000 or so vehicles - 17 percent of the city's total number - that fail to meet the China I standard for gasoline and China III standard for kerosene, he said.

Emissions have also become a major cause of hazy weather, as some carbon particulates will be formed when kerosene and gasoline with high sulfur content are not fully burned, according to Fu Qingyan, senior engineer at the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center.

Particles of less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter are also mainly a product of motor vehicles emissions.

They are small enough to be inhaled deeply into the lungs, causing long-term health damage.

The city also plans to build seven garbage treatment facilities for sorted waste in suburban districts by 2014, when a network to support domestic garbage sorting will cover most of Shanghai's downtown neighborhoods, the authority said.

A new treatment facility for dangerous waste will be built on Chongming Island.

Eight sewage treatment plants in suburban districts will be upgraded and renovated to increase the city's water treatment ability.

More than 85 percent of the city's sewage will be treated by 2014, according to the environment watchdog.

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