Beijing is notorious for its smog, the result of factories, surging vehicle use, and lackluster pollution regulations that facilitate the poor air conditions. Now, new proposed pollution regulations in the city could force factories to shutdown when the smog levels reach a certain limit. In addition to factories, drivers and street vendors will also be affected.
The proposed regulations were made public on January 19, and are open to public commentary until February 8. Reports Bloomberg, the PM2.5 pollutant measured an extremely high 993 on January 12, exceeding the World Health Organization’s 24-hour maximum exposure recommendation by 968 micrograms per cubic meter. If the proposed regulations are put into effect, days with high levels, such as the 12th, will force factories, drivers, and vendors to cease their activities until the levels drop into safer zones.
When pollution in the mega-city reaches certain levels, drivers will need to cease operating their vehicles until it is authorized again. Likewise, it is reported that street vendors will not be allowed to cook food on the roadside. New steel and cement plant construction will not be allowed. Failure to comply with the regulations will result in a fine.
Street vendors who elect to cook roadside on a smoggy day could be hit with a 5,000 yuan fine, while drivers of cars that exceed the emissions limit could end up with a 3,000 yuan fine. Drivers will only be forced to cease driving when pollution levels reach extreme levels. Despite the efforts, some critics say that these new regulations will not have any better of an effect on the city’s pollution problems than its current set of regulations.