SHANGHAI Dec 29 China's environment ministry
has warned northern regions to be ready to take emergency action
as the country prepares for another onslaught of heavy smog.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection, in a notice
published on Thursday, said heavy smog was expected in the
Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, as well as the neighbouring
provinces of Shandong and Henan.
The ministry said "unfavourable weather conditions" in the
regions were expected to last until Jan. 5, and it had asked
local governments to take appropriate actions to reduce
emissions in a timely fashion.
It said it will dispatch 10 inspection teams to make sure
emergency measures are implemented and to crack down on firms
engaging in "illegal behaviour".
Large parts of the country's northern regions were hit by
hazardous smog in mid-December, which led authorities to order
hundreds of factories to close.
Beijing's "red alert" for smog was cancelled on Dec. 22. The
next day, the ministry admonished more than 20 firms for failing
to comply with emergency rules aimed at cutting emissions.
Hebei, regarded as China's most polluted province, said it
would learn lessons from last week's smog and draw up more
The province's environment bureau said on Monday it would
make adjustments to its emergency system to improve its
In recent smog outbreaks, individuals and firms had not been
given enough time to respond to pollution alerts, and warnings
would now be issued at an earlier stage, said Wang Xiaoli,
director of the province's Heavy Pollution Early Warning Centre.
(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Richard Borsuk)