Shenzhen: Air quality worsens in 1st quarter     05/15/2013 09:26

Air quality in Shenzhen deteriorated in the first quarter of the year compared with the same period last year and mandatory measures may be taken to curb pollution, environmental officials said Monday.

Air quality reached “good” or “fairly good” levels in 88 out of 90 days in the first quarter, two days fewer than last year’s first quarter, according to a quarterly environmental report released Monday by the city’s environmental commission.

The report shows that levels of several air pollutants increased. The daily average concentration of sulfur dioxide, for example, increased by 0.004 milligrams per cubic meter from last year. Levels of nitrogen dioxide, PM10, PM2.5 and carbon monoxide grew by 0.002, 0.015, 0.008 and 0.421 milligrams per cubic meter, respectively.

The frequency of acid rain reached 80.7 percent during the first quarter, 27.4 percentage points more than the start of 2012, according to the report.

Environmental officials attributed the worsened air quality to low rainfall and citywide Metro construction projects. They said the city’s average rainfall and number of rainy days in January and February decreased by more than 50 percent from the same period last year. Although the total rainfall in March was high, the number of rainy days was still one day fewer than last March.

The city’s average wind speed is lower than last year’s, as well, which impedes the dispersal of air pollutants, officials said.

In addition, Metro construction projects in Luohu District, Nanshan District’s Qianhai area, Dapeng New Area and other districts have produced large amounts of dust and worsened air quality.

The environmental commission handled 433 cases and ordered 241 enterprises to rectify environmental breaches in the first quarter.

The commission is working with the city’s meteorological observatory to develop an air quality warning system. If air quality reaches low levels of harmful pollution, the environmental authority will post an alarm on its official microblog to tell people to reduce or avoid lengthy outdoor activities.

The commission is also drawing up an air pollution emergency action plan, which suggests students reduce outdoor activities when air pollution reaches medium levels and avoid outdoor activities when pollution reaches high levels.

If pollution reaches severe levels, the commission might implement mandatory measures including temporary shutdowns of polluting enterprises and vehicle use restrictions. (Zhang Yang)

来源:Shenzhen Daily     Editor:谭晶