Beijing to shut 2,500 small, polluting firms

Beijing, Jan 9 (IANS) Beijing will shut down 2,500 small and polluting firms in 2016 in its latest environmental protection efforts, said the municipal government.

The Fengtai, Fangshan, Tongzhou and Daxing districts will close 2,500 small and polluting enterprises in 2016 while the whole city will finish the task in 2017, Xinhua reported.

Structural adjustment in recent years has led to a dramatic fall in heavily polluting and high energy-consuming companies in Beijing.

But small polluting sources such as restaurants, hotels, garages and bath houses were increasing, an official said on Friday.

Vice Mayor Li Shixiang ordered safety and risk assessment and comprehensive law enforcement in closure of small polluters.

Beijing aims to basically eliminate coal use in six downtown districts in two years and help 600,000 households shift from coal to clean energy in five years.

The capital, hit by bouts of heavy smog this winter, plans to reduce coal consumption by 500,000 tonnes in 2016 and close all coal-fired boilers throughout the city by 2020.

Despite Beijing’s efforts to limit air pollution, its average PM2.5 reading in 2015 stood at 80.6 micrograms per cubic metre, 1.3 times more than the national standard, official data showed.

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