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Beijing to Curtail Tailpipe Emissions

The State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) and several other government departments are working together to develop new laws, regulations and standards to curb exhaust emissions, noise and other pollution caused by the nation's soaring number of motor vehicles.

SEPA's Li Xinmin, deputy director-general of the Department of Pollution Control, made the statement this week in Shanghai at an international strategy and policy seminar on sustainable road mobility hosted by the Michelin Challenge Bibendum.

Li said the new regulations would reduce auto-related pollution by keeping cars that don't measure up from ever reaching streets.

At the same time, new standards on exhaust emissions are being specified for different vehicles. Li said that these standards would be finalized before the end of the year

Vehicle exhaust emissions have become a notorious source of such pollutants as carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon in China as private ownership of cars skyrockets. SEPA has predicted these emissions would account for 79 percent of urban air pollution nationwide by 2005.

Since 1983, China has worked to reduce exhaust emissions, noise and other auto-related pollution, according to Li. In 1998, the nation began publishing catalogues of new vehicles meeting emission standards and conducting regular periodic emission checks on cars in more than 100 cities.

In 2003, 70 percent of China's motor vehicles passed emission tests, up from just 50 percent in 1995.

From this month, the capital city has begun imposing Euro II standards on all gasoline and diesel oil products to reduce emissions from its two million motor vehicles. All fuel sold in the city must meet the new standards by October 20, and distributors who violate the regulation face stiff penalties.

The move is expected to reduce pollution from vehicles by as much as 30 percent.

The Euro system sets limits on nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and other compounds in exhaust emissions. Beijing is applying the standards to new vehicles and plans to phase out older models that don't meet the standards.

Environmental authorities in Beijing also confirmed the city would impose low-sulfur Euro 3 standards on fuel starting July 1, 2005.

(Xinhua News Agency October 15, 2004)

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