BEIJING, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- China is planning a centrally-administered effort to control air pollution by documenting goals and responsibilities of provincial governments, and evaluating their progress.
This year, pollution control between Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province, as well as the surrounding regions, will become fully integrated, Xinhua learned Saturday from the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
The ministry said government efforts to curb emissions of major pollutants have so far proven "effective", even though public complaints over smog and other hazardous weather kept mounting, particularly in Beijing, the national capital.
Figures from the ministry show that national emissions of ammonia nitrogen. sulfur dioxide and nitric oxide dropped between 2 percent and 3 percent in the first half of 2013.
In the first six months, the ministry rejected or suspended approval for 14 construction projects that fail to meet environmental requirements, involving a total investment of nearly 64 billion yuan (10.5 billion U.S. dollars).
Environment minister Zhou Shengxian said China will step up monitoring, early warning and contingency response systems for difficult weather situations in the future.
The ministry also pledged to work out action plans on clean water and environmental protection in rural areas; set quality standards for ground water; and disclose results of investigations into soil pollution.