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Reporting For Duty! China Designates Smog Police To Combat Pollution

Jan 09, 2017 11:00 AM EST
China smog
Beijing was put under an "orange alert" recently, the second-highest level in China's four-stage air alert system.
(Photo : Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

New environmental police officers had been designated in China to keep toxic pollution in check. But can they do the deed successfully?

Smog pollution from coal plants had been a major dilemma for China over the years. But the environmental police won't target coal plants, rather, acting mayor Cai Qi said it will target illegal burning, including open-air barbecues and rubbish fires. It was not mentioned when the new environmental squad will begin their duty.

According to Yahoo, Cai Qi, acting mayor of Beijing, addressed the press and local residents during a meeting on the weekend.

Cai said that law enforcement with regards to environmental concern is weak, and therefore, a squad to ensure its strengthening is needed.

"Though we have made some progresses, air pollution in winter is still very serious. That's why the government must strengthen environmental protection and step up supervision and accountability in 2017," Cai said, according to a report by Xinhua.

"Open-air barbecues, garbage incineration, biomass burning, dust from roads -- these acts of non-compliance with regulations are actually the result of lax supervision and weak law enforcement," he added.

Aside from the new squad, Cai also shared that Beijing's only coal-fired power plant will be closed cutting coal consumption to 30 percent to less than 7 million tonnes in 2017. Coal plants is currently the major source of electricity in China.

Sky News said that pollution is so severe in mainland that last week, it was put under an "orange alert," the second-highest level in China's four-stage air alert system.

The residents were advised to stay home to avoid inhaling the toxic smoke.

In an attempt to protect the residents, most especially the children, Beijing authorities had earlier announced that they would install air purifiers in some schools and kindergartens, BBC reported.

Despite the order of the government to shut down coal plants, China's environmental ministry said they still have found companies resuming production.

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