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China says major pollutant levels dropping, but hard task ahead

Thu, 01/24/2013 - 1:25am
Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's environment minister said on Thursday that emissions of four major pollutants dropped last year and should fall by a similar level this year, but admitted the country faced a tough task in trying to end chronic air pollution.

This winter's pollution, especially in northern China, has been so severe that even usually pliant state media has criticized government inaction, partly because it can't be hidden from the public unlike other sensitive subjects such as high-level corruption.

But emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, chemical oxygen and ammonia nitrogen all recorded on-year falls of two percent in 2012, and were expected to drop by the same degree in 2013, or even faster, state media cited Zhou Shengxian as saying.

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