February 24, 2011
Source: Xinhuanet.com, http://news.163.com/11/0224/19/6TMA2TEB00014JB5.html
Reporter: Yang Yimiao
Pollution in rural areas and unsafe drinking water in cities have emerged as new problems for environmental protection in China in recent years. The Ministry of Environmental Protection said the country will continue to strengthen monitoring of these environmental issues.
At the National Environment Monitoring Conference, which ended in Xi’an on February 23, it was stated that, during the past five years, China’s environmental departments have been actively expanding monitoring to include new problems and potential risks.
Starting in 2008, China gradually began monitoring persistent and volatile organic compounds, pollutants at trace and ultra-trace levels, ozone and particulate matter, said Wu Xiaoqing, vice minister of the Ministry of Environmental Protection. Subsequent environmental monitoring pilots were started in rural areas, focusing on pollution of centralized drinking water sources, soil and livestock.
In addition, after the large-scale algal bloom in Taihu Lake in 2007, Chinese environmental protection departments immediately organized early warning emergency monitoring of algal blooms in the Taihu, Chao and Dian lakes. Since 2009, these departments have been conducting wholesale, annual tests of drinking water sources in key environmental cities.
Meanwhile, local departments are probing new areas of environmental monitoring. For instance, Beijing, Shanghai and other areas are trying to monitor volatile organic compounds, ozone and other pollutants that cause photochemical smog. Liaoning Province launched a program to monitor aquatic organisms, and Sichuan and Yunnan provinces launched a project dedicated to monitoring heavy metals. “Monitoring pilots in these new areas are accumulating a wealth of basic data and experience that will form the foundation of China’s environmental management and policy,” Wu said.
Translator: Li Xiaohan
Proofreader: Mark Skinner, Megan Ko