Friday, December 29, 2006

China's Olympian effort for clean air

It appears that the athletes at the 2008 Olympic games may be able to compete without masks after all.

I wonder what the cost-benefit analysis works out at? Stopping industrial production across a large swathe of industry will not be cheap - and for what? So TV cameras are able to see across the stadium and participants and spectators can breath easy? That said, the cost of the negative PR of allowing the current status quo would arguably be priceless (poor economic terminology of course).

Environment-unfriendly enterprises to be suspended
Environment-unfriendly enterprises in Beijing, Shanxi, Tianjin, Hebei and Inner Mongolia in Northeast China will be suspended around the 2008 Games to ensure blue skies for the Olympics, the Legal Evening News reported Tuesday.

The decision was made at a meeting in Beijing on Tuesday of a special working group composed of representatives of the five cites and provinces. The group's mission is to guarantee fine air quality during the 2008 Games.

The measures fall into three stages: pre-Games, mid- Games and around the Games. During the first stage, which lasts until June 30, 2008, the group will stake out key areas and pollution-causing sources that need to be controlled within Beijing and across the city-boundaries.

Pei Chenghu, deputy director of the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau listed some fuel saving measures at the meeting, including limiting the city's coal consumption to within 25 million tons during the pre-Games stage, carrying out the Grade IV State Standard for motor vehicle emissions, phasing out three million petrol-guzzling cars before 2008 and moving environment-friendly enterprises and updating old production techniques and equipment.

Tianjin and Hebei will strengthen rectification on tank trucks, storage tanks of pollution-causing industries like metallurgy and petrifaction and Inner Mongolia and Shanxi will focus on vitriol lixiviate and dust removal works in power stations and other polluting industries.

During the around-the-Games stage which runs from July 17 to September 20, 2008, the Capital Iron and Steel Company, known as Shougang, will suspend its steel-related production and construction sites within the Sixth Ring Road and in Shunyi. And Changping District will also be closed to ensure better air for the Games.

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