BEIJING, Oct. 22 (Xinhuanet) -- The Beijing Municipal government has released a Heavy Air Pollution Contingency Plan. Experts predict the plan may be necessarily activated in mid-November, when Beijing will enter its Winter Heating Season.
An alarming level of air pollution has been affecting Beijing for years. The city enacted a contingency plan for heavy air pollution back in October, 2012. However, problems emerged when it was implemented this January.
"There were two causes of the problems. The first was on when to enact the contingency plan. There was no rule on at what level of pollution the plan would go into effect. Second, efforts to tackle air pollution still needed to be strengthened. This caused the contigency plan to be less effective," said Chai Fahe, deputy chief of Chinese Academy of Env. Sciences.
The new Contingency Plan sets out four alert levels: blue, yellow, orange and red. It was decided on by a panel of government officials, public representatives, as well as groups directly involved in pollution prevention efforts.
The new plan requires mandatory actions at detain levels of pollution.
"We have made it very clear that when the second highest orange alert is issued, major polluters will have to stop production. We also have regulations to restrict the cars running on streets by the odd-and-even license plate rule," said Yu Jianhua, director of air dept. in Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau.
The plan stipulates that when there is heavy pollution for three consecutive days, the highest red alert will be issued. Kindergartens, primary and middle schools will then have to stop classes. And 80 percent of government-owned cars must be taken off the roads.
The new plan also includes suggestions on how individuals should protect themselves from the harmful effects of air pollution.
The latest air pollution alerts will reach the public via local radio, television, newspaper as well as social media platforms.