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China air pollution plan brings restrictions to coal, cement and steel industries

China has released a plan to curb air pollution in its northern regions with restrictions on processing and production in the coal, cement and steel industries. 31 Mar 2017

The plan covers 28 cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region plus the Shandong, Shanxi and Henan provinces during China's heating season, which runs from 15 November to 15 March. During this period all cement and casting plants, except those proving heating services or processing waste, will have to suspend production, the State Council has said.

Central heating in China is provided and managed by the government between set dates.

Aluminium producers must cut the capacity and production of electrolytic aluminium by more than 30% across the 28 cities in winter, the State Council said, and some cities including in Hebei, China's top steel-producing province, will have to halve iron and steel output.

All coal-fired plants in the cities will be shut down if they do not reach low emission standards by the end of October, the State Council said.

After October, coal transport in ports around Bohai Bay in Hebei should be by rail rather than by road, it said.

The Chinese government issued a draft environmental law in June 2015, imposing levies on air, water, noise and waste polluters. The draft law was drawn up by the Chinese finance ministry, state administration of taxation, and ministry of environmental protection in a bid to promote an "energy saving, and environmentally friendly" industrial system, state-owned news agency Xinhua said