Tighter air quality index proposed from 2016

Updated: 2011-11-17 06:20


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BEIJING - China's new and tighter air quality index could be fully implemented as soon as 2016, said the environment watchdog on Wednesday amid mounting public criticism of the current air pollution monitoring standard.

An unidentified official from the Ministry of Environmental Protection confirmed that the ministry begun soliciting public feedback on Wednesday on the draft of the revised Environmental Air Quality Standards, which includes the measuring of PM 2.5 (particles less than 2.5 microns) and ozone density.

The new index standard is scheduled to be fully implemented nationwide in 2016, said the official, adding that the central government may designate certain regions to adapt to the new standard ahead of the national deadline and provincial-level governments could also decide to implement it earlier.

The proposed revision follows the public's challenges on the country's standard of measuring air quality and the official statistics released by the local authorities in Beijing.