BEIJING, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- The municipal legislature of Beijing on Wednesday passed a regulation on air pollution control featuring emission controls and harsher penalties in the city's latest effort to battle severe smog.
The Beijing Municipal People's Congress voted in favor of the regulation, the first of its kind for the Chinese capital, replacing a guideline issued in 2000.
The regulation says Beijing will limit and gradually reduce the total discharge of major air pollutants by setting yearly quotas for district and county governments and individual polluters, cutting coal burning and limiting car emissions.
It is the first time for Beijing to set a ceiling on its total emission of major pollutants, said Fang Li, vice head of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau. The previous guideline targeted only the growth of emissions
Beijing will slap heftier fines on polluters violating the law, according to the regulation, which also stresses criminal punishments for those whose acts constitute crimes.
Frequent bouts of smog have been a major source of public complaint in Beijing. The metropolis reported 58 days of serious pollution last year, and the average PM2.5 index, which measures hazardous fine particles, more than doubled the new national standard of 35 micrograms per cubic meter.
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