Free Report About Air Pollution And Control In Hebei Province
Air Pollution and Control in Hebei Province 3
FINDINGS ON THE PROBLEM 4
The Concentration of Major Pollutants in the Air 4
Notable Sources of Pollutants 5
Current Efforts to Alleviate the Pollutants in the Air 5
RECOMMNEDATIONS TO PREVENT AND ALLEVIATE THE POLLUTANTS 6
Perspectives of Alleviation 7
Alleviation Processes and Technologies 8
Air Pollution and Control in Hebei Province
Hebei Province has been ranked as one of the Chinese provinces that experience most air pollutions. In January 2013, The Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) noted that out of 10 most air polluting firms in the country, seven of them were located in the Hebei Province. The entire Hebei is said to contribute to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 5.18%, as 2.45 trillion RMB, which makes it to take the sixth position among provinces. Major polluting industries in the province deal in iron, steel, cement and coke. The province is considered one of the world’s hubs for these raw materials. The productions of the commodities however, have led to higher air pollution due to huge quantities of pollutant emissions. It has been noted that the particulate matter (PM) is the major pollutant of air in the province. However, sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX) and ozone (O3) are also unnegligible. While analyzing the problem of air pollution, one should not forget that the province is also overshadowed by other three polluting provinces of Henan, Shandong and Shanxi. The total cement, coke and steel production of the three provinces yields to 22.6%, 50.1% and 40.8%, respectively, to the national output. In this regard too, 13.6%, 30% and 18.6% of the world’s cement, coke and steel, respectively, are produced in this area. Although Governor Zhang’s government has tried to reduce the air polluting situations, reports in the media and academia have noted that a lot are still to be done (Wang et al., 2013). Therefore, this report will uncover the current state of pollutant concentration, major sources of pollution and the current efforts to reduce the pollution levels in the province. Further, there will be recommendations for stakeholders concerned to reduce the pollutants in the air. The conclusion will follow to wrap up the discussion.
FINDINGS ON THE PROBLEM
The Concentration of Major Pollutants in the Air
According to Zhao et al.’s 2013 study, on the spatial chemical compositions in three regions of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei (BTH), it was found that the air contained chemical profiles of not less than 19 elements: K+, Al, As, Ba, Ca, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Ni, P, Pb, Sr, Ti, V, and Zn. The average annual concentration of PM2.5 pollution ranged from 71.8 to 191.2 μg m−3 in all sites representing the three regions. From the 2009-2010 data, while measuring the annual average PM10 concentration, the Shao et al.(2012) study noted that primary pollutant, that is particulate matter, in Zhangjiakou city of Hebei province reached 137 +/- 105 microgx m(-3). The concentration of O3, SO2, NO2 and NO were (54 +/- 35), (19 +/- 26), (30 +/- 15) and (8 +/- 13) microg x m(-3) respectively. With these average readings it was estimated that, still, the region exceeded the required levels by the National Ambient Air Quality Standard II by 28%. However, one should note that the readings could fluctuate with seasons and parts of the region. In summer, the values tend to be higher compared to those taken in winter. It has also been noted that in summer, wind, as air masses, from the South East of the province could transport the O3 pollutant to other parts of the region. This is also the same case with local dust and coal which could be carried by wind from other parts of China to affect the general P10 of the area. However, one cannot deny that that coal-fired heating in winter will also affect pollutant concentration in the air (Jiang, Lin & Lin, 2014).
In November 2014, during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, the province manifested shocking elevated levels of air pollutants; in Xinji, Hebei’s leather manufacturing hub, it was noted that the PM2.5 rose above the 500 micrograms per cubic meter, which is a maximum level that is required for air quality. It had reached 825 micrograms per cubic meter at about 11 a.m. According to the World Health Organization, this level represented about 10 times the level of quality air that is required At this instance, the whole city had experienced the apex blue sky, or haze and fog, indicating the higher level of concentration. As an answer to the ensuing situation, the Hebei authorities blamed the use of coal at the onset of the heating season, by the province’s heavy industries (Jiang, Lin & Lin, 2014).
Notable Sources of Pollutants
The current deterioration of the air quality in Hebei can be attributed to the increased number of motor vehicles and the rapid development of heavy pollutant industries. Moreover, it is known that the industries in the surrounding provinces have obviously been transferring large amounts of pollutants to the Hebei Province (Shao et al., 2012).
Current Efforts to Alleviate the Pollutants in the Air
The Jiang et al.’s 2014 article has found that although the government implements very strict laws on foreign firms, it does not do the same on its own corporations. The government still has a problem when it comes to passing and implementing environmental laws on its own firms. It has also been noted that the Chinese government has been engaging itself in short measures of air control, for instance when it anticipates major events like Olympic Games, World Expo and Asian games (Zhao et al., 2013). Although there are some air cleaning initiatives, discussants are more concerned with economics that will be involved. There are those who express that market-based air pollutant mechanisms are more economical than command-and-control mechanisms are. They also believe that the cost effectiveness of market based instruments will depend on the country’s initiatives to reduce overall costs as regards reducing the ensuing levels of emissions. In its Five- Year Plans (2006-2015) the Chinese country, and hence its provinces, has seen increased suggestions of air pollutant controls from various stakeholders. Eminently, it has aimed at the most economical cost saving perspective, to choose the market-based control system (Wu, Xu & Zhang, 2013).
It is important to note in this plans the three most polluted regions in the country, as Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, have also been considered. Aiming to improve both quality and quantity of air the country has seen some models being advanced: The Regional Air Pollution Information and Simulation (RAINS and The Greenhouse Gas-Air Pollution Interaction and Synergies (GAINS). Up to now, the choice of one of the two remains the subject of discussion by many environmental economists in this country. Further, as another complication, Chinese provinces espouse different levels of economic development; thus, there have been little trusts and cooperation among them to carry out joint air pollutant tasks (Wu, Xu & Zhang, 2013).
RECOMMNEDATIONS TO PREVENT AND ALLEVIATE THE POLLUTANTS
Controlling car pollution should involve the government urging people to consider alternative modes of travelling, like telecommuting and video conferencing. People should also be urged to be using public transport, because most public means of transport have lower levels of emissions. Meanwhile, biking should be encouraged for people to reduce any emissions (British Columbia, 2015). For companies, the country should pass and implement legal frameworks that will prevent pollutant emissions to a certain level. There should taxes for the emissions so that each company becomes responsible for its share of them. Nonetheless, those companies should be encouraged to adopt green production; those violating set laws should be shut down (Wu, Xu & Zhang, 2013).
As the first step in planning the alleviation, planners should construct matrices for each region with the corresponding contribution to the total pollution level at the national level so that the optimal alleviation strategy that is required can be ascertained. Likewise, cities should do the same so that they can achieve cost effectiveness in this exercise. It has been noted that whereas some cities may be causing pollution to their areas or provinces alone, there are those that transfer their amount of pollution to other cities or provinces (Wang et al., 2013). Thus, the pollutant concentration in one area can significantly be affected by concentrations from other areas too. It is also important that the cities think about the policy of “The User Pay”, or “Polluter Pays Principle”. In this regard, authorities should be harnessing contributions from pollutants depending on their levels of pollutions in the air. Apart from other legislations, this principle will help the companies to understand the rational of the government’s initiative to control their harmful activities. As already noted earlier, the Hebei province is surrounded by other provinces that are also considered among the highest polluters in the country, and when constructing the pollutant alleviation framework, they will have to be considered. To develop an effective regional framework, the provinces’ authorities need to come up with policies that will ensure that their agencies fight air pollution in the region with effective cooperation, consensus, trust, supporting techniques, involvement of scientific knowledge, and well institutional arrangement to avoid role duplication and confusion so that their tasks can be carried out smoothly. However, each province should contribute according to the amount of pollution it puts in the atmosphere (Wu, Xu & Zhang, 2013).
Perspectives of Alleviation
Taking the Air Quality Control perspective, the province, especially in the regions that are concerned, should consider adopting the models similar to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, Ozone Transport Region, ( all in USA), and the Conventions in Long-range Trans-boundary Air Pollution (for Europe) (Wu, Xu & Zhang, 2013).
Alleviation Processes and Technologies
For the control of SO2 pollutant, the technologies will comprise those that do disulfirization, especially in the iron and steel sector and power plants. The NOX control mechanisms will involve those that do denitrification in cement and power sectors. Moreover, since cement sector are also realizing cement dusts and soot, as some of the pollutant, the industries will be obliged to improvise on technologies that can help to control them. However, particulate matter control mechanisms, like recycling, are important in the power and iron and steel sectors. For cleaning ozone, studies have found that growing plants like Swedish Ivy and Golden Pathos could reduce it in the atmosphere. Technologies for cleaning soot would include power washing with steam, dry ice blasting, chemical application and agitation and so forth (Holcom & Decoteau, 2015).
Analysts predict that for the alleviation of pollutants in the air, costs will vary depending on technologies. For instance the cost of alleviating SO2 from the air could range from 1000 to 400,000 CNY/ton. Specifically for the technologies that could alleviate the sulfur dioxide gas, they are ranging from 2000 to 5000 CNY/ton of SO2. For the abatement costs of the NOX pollutants, they would vary from 1000 to 1,400,000 thousand CNY/ton of NOX. However, for the technologies that is specifically known, the cost of alleviating the NOX gases range from 1500 to 3000 CNY/ton of NOX. As already said, dust and soot are gaining significance as part of air pollutant in the industries, especially the cement ones. Their abatement technology costs could vary from 200 to 1500 CNY/ton of dust/ soot (Wu, Xu & Zhang, 2013).However, it is also important that one considers the energy saving aspect of the technology, rather than concentrating on any pollutant removal technology. It will be important if organizations consider having technologies that recycle the pollutants being discussed (Wu, Xu & Zhang, 2013).
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