BEIJING, April 10 (Xinhua) -- The amount of pollutants discharged in Beijing last year was much greater than its environment could handle, with PM 2.5 in particular exceeding standards, according to an annual environmental report released on Thursday.
Despite its efforts to curb pollution, the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau said in the report that the quality of the capital's environment in 2013 remained almost the same as that of the previous year.
Based on the six pollutants monitored last year, the air quality of 176 days was classified as "fine," only accounting for 48.2 percent of the whole year, said Zhang Dawei, director of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center.
The report shows that Beijing's average PM2.5 (airborne particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter) index stood at 89.5 micrograms per cubic meter in 2013, exceeding the new national standard for fine air by 156 percent.
The average index readings of nitrogen dioxide and PM 10 were 56 and 108.1 micrograms per cubic meter, exceeding the national standards by 40 and 54 percent respectively. The daily maximum eight-hour average ozone concentration exceeded the standard by 14.6 percent.
Among all the six pollutants monitored in the city, only the index for sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide met the standards last year.
Liu Xianshu, director of the environmental monitoring department of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau, said there is a gap between air quality in the southern and northern parts of the city.
"The average PM2.5 index monitored in the north was 60.3 micrograms per cubic meter last year, while it stood at 116.3 micrograms per cubic meter in the south, about twice the amount of the north," Liu said.
According to the report, Beijing failed to address its shortage of water resources and the severe pollution of downstream sections of the capital's rivers.