BEIJING (AP) — A senior Chinese environmental official says two-thirds of China's cities currently fail to meet stricter air quality standards that the government wants to phase in over the next four years.
The State Council on Wednesday issued new limits on pollutants to go into effect nationwide by 2016. It also said major cities must launch programs this year to regularly monitor additional kinds of pollutants for the first time, including fine particles associated with health problems.
Vice Minister of Environmental Protection Wu Xiaoqing said Friday that the government estimates that two-thirds of Chinese cities do not meet the new standards.
The government imposed the new air quality rules in response to public pressure over pollution and the lack of thorough information about air quality in China.