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Press Release for Media Briefing by Shanghai Municipal Government on September 5, 2019

September 06, 2019

The Information Office of Shanghai Municipality held a press conference today (September 5) where Shou Ziqi, director of the Shanghai Ecology and Environment Bureau, briefed the city’s latest achievements in ecological environment protection. Liu Xiaotao, deputy director of the Shanghai Water Authority, and Tang Chendong, deputy director of the Shanghai Landscaping & City Appearance Administrative Bureau, were also present at the conference.

2019 marks a key year for Shanghai to fight against pollution. Under the requirement of promoting high-quality economic development, the city’s ecological and environmental protection work has been making positive progress as planned, along with the task of building itself into an innovation model for the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta. All work has been carried out in an orderly manner and the city is seeing continuous improvements in its ecological environment quality.

Overall improvement in the quality of environment

1.Same level of air quality as last year

Between January and August, Shanghai reported 82.3 percent of good or excellent air quality with the AQI no higher than 100, down 0.8 percentage points from same period in 2018. The number of slightly polluted days increased by two days, that of moderately polluted days rose by one day and that of heavily polluted days fell by one day. The average density of PM2.5 particles was 36 micrograms per cubic meter, unchanged from same period a year ago and also the lowest same-period figure since 2013.

2.Moderate improvement in water quality

Between January and July, 83.7 percent of water around the city met the national standard, an increase of 14.8 percentage points from same period a year ago. About 43.2 percent met the National II & III standards, a year-on-year rise of 20.2 percentage points. About 5.1 percent met the lowest V-standard, down 5.8 percentage points from same period a year ago.

Progress in major projects

1.Coordinate and push ahead the battle against pollution

Under an overall “1+1+3+11” plan to fight against pollution, there are three key battles against pollution and supervision works for ecological and environmental protection: 

In terms of blue air, between January and July, about 700 industrial restructuring projects were completed (2019 target: 1,000). A total of 1,253 oil- or gas-fired, small to medium-sized boilers have been upgraded to low-nitrogen oxide ones (2019 target: 2,958). A total of 158 “disqualified” enterprises have been punished (2019 target: 204).  A total of 117 projects involving the control of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) emission in key enterprises and industries had been conducted (2019 target: 202). Restructuring plans for five key areas (Wujing, Gaoqiao, Nanda, Wusong and Taopu) have been improved with details. A structural shift in transportation mode had been pushed forward with container transfer via water rising to 48.3 percent of the total, compared with 46.8 percent for 2018. A battle on management of diesel powered vehicles had been launched. Since January 1, gasoline and diesel complying with the National VI standard has been supplied around the city in a massive scale. Since July 1, the city has implemented the National 6B emission standard in advance. The city has designated forbidden areas for high-emission, non-road mobile machinery which will go effective on October 1.

In terms of clear water, according to the requirements for 2019, the annual key work of water pollution prevention and control has been refined. In the fourth phase of the Suzhou Creek remediation project, it was actively promoted in accordance with the “integrated management” concept. After more than one year of treatment, the water quality of the main stream has been significantly improved, and the environment on both banks has been significantly improved. In terms of the treatment of inferior-V water, the “clear water action” was carried out in depth with the river long system. As of the end of June, the proportion of inferior-V water in the city fell to 9.3%.

For clean land, the detailed investigation of agricultural land has been completed, and the basic information survey of enterprises in key industries has been completed. The "Solid Waste Pollution Prevention and Control Plan (Preliminary Draft)" has been completed. A batch of hazardous waste incineration and disposal facilities was completed and put into operation, and the newly added disposal capacity was nearly 135,000 tons per year. The bad situation of disposal of hazardous waste has been greatly alleviated. Since this year, all the hazardous waste generating units in the city have been urged to apply for the record of hazardous waste management plans through the information system. At present, 16,700 units have been registered.

In terms of environmental protection inspections, the first is to carry out environmental protection inspection work in four districts of the city. There are 1,456 on-site inspection points, and 823 rectification problems have been submitted, and 983 cases reported by the public have been solved. The four districts rectified a total of 631 cases, 941 cases were punished, total fine reached 77.337 million yuan, 5 executions, 52 cases were closed, 34 were shut down, and 680 were ordered to be interviewed. The second is to do a good job in the second round of the central ecological environmental protection inspection work, and promote the reform under inspection. The central eco-environmental inspector stationed for one month, focusing on improving the environment and improving the public's feelings. All districts, departments and units timely investigated and handled the complaints from the inspectors and the public, and concentrated on solving a number of ecological environment violations. As of August 25, 714 cases were filed, punishment is expected to reach nearly 75.7 million yuan, 1,433 cases were ordered to rectify, 48 seizures, 310 bans, 3 administrative detentions, 3 criminal detentions, and 321 interviews and 10 people got criticized. After the ecological environment inspection, we further consolidate the environmental protection work, and solve the environmental problems around the citizens.

2.Step up reform and innovative measures

The city would continue to implement the reform of the environmental impact assessment approval system. In order to optimize the city’s business environment, stimulate market vitality and promote high-quality development, Shanghai government in April this year issued the “Opinions on the Implementation and Reform of the Environmental Impact Assessment System of Shanghai,” and relevant supporting policies were recently released. After the full implementation of the reform, about 80 percent of the projects in the city will enjoy an optimized and simplified procedure for environmental impact assessment, and the time for environmental impact assessment preparation and approval work will be further reduced on the existing basis.

For example, about 20 percent of the city's projects which need pre-approval works will be included in the “Key Industry Directory”, those projects will be under strict environmental assessment before they gain registration approval, and strengthening post approval supervision. Additional reform measures will also cover projects that are not included in the “Key Industry Directory” such as exemption from environmental impact assessment, simplification of environmental assessment, and notification of minor violations for further improvement and rectification, and the environmental impact assessment work and relevant process will also be greatly optimized and simplified. For example, a linkage will be set up between the environmental impact assessment work for the project planning phase as well as the environmental impact assessment work for the project implementation process, and the environmental impact assessment work can be simplified for projects that are not included in the “Key Industry Directory”.

The new policy has been implemented in 11 industrial parks such as the Shanghai Free Trade Zone Bonded Area, Lingang Heavy Equipment Industrial Zone and Shanghai Chemical Industry Zone, and will be launched citywide in the future. After the implementation of the new policy, about 80 percent of the projects can enjoy simplification of the environmental impact assessment process, shorten the environmental impact assessment work approval time, and save time and cost for the companies registered in this areas. At the same time, the "one-stop" service has also been fully implemented. Backed by big data management, the city's environmental assessment approval work can be accessed and carried out by “one-stop” platform and also allows real-time inquiry as well as electronic licenses. The examination and approval materials would also be better put under catalogs, standardized and digitized, so that those applying for administrative licenses will save time and energy to make on-site visits. 

Improve the compensation system for ecological environmental damage. In order to accelerate the implementation of the reform plan for the compensation system for ecological environmental damage in the city, four supporting documents and policies such as ecological environmental damage investigation, compensation consultation, restoration assessment and information disclosure were drafted, and a list of recent ecological environmental damage compensation cases were also collected (an initial counting shows there were a total of 47 compensation cases in the past two years, and further works need to be done). The city will also push forward for rules to be followed that actual compensation would be made once environmental damage has been confirmed to allow relevant parties to really shoulder responsibility for environmental damages. Shanghai has carried out 8 environmental compensation consultation cases, of which 4 have signed consultation agreements, involving more than 8 million yuan (two ecological restoration work has been completed).

The city will also develop and publish environmental practices and relevant codes for various industry sectors. The new rules would clarify the environmental management requirements of relevant industries and provide guidance for enterprises to carry out environmental responsibility. In 2018, the Environmental Protection Code for the Catering Industry has been released. In 2019, the Environmental Protection Code for the Integrated Circuit Industry and the Environmental Protection Code for the Biopharmaceutical Industry will also be released.

3. Push forward the integrated development in the Yangtze River Delta region

First is to enhance coordinated planning. The city has been keeping implementing the plan of coordinated regional air quality and water management in 2020, the core task list of recent coordination of treating air and water pollution in Yangtze River Delta region, as well as the release and implementation of 2019 core tasks. On May 23, the work conference by the coordination group for treatment of air and water pollution was held in Wuhu, Anhui Province, to summarize the regional cooperation progress and achievements, and plan the next-stage work.

Second is to carry out coordinated actions. The Yangtze River Delta region has fully implemented integration of “three diesels” for vehicles, boats and ordinary use. Since January 1, the controlled areas for boat discharge in the region have been required to use low-sulfur oil. Since July 1, the region has realized using VI National Standard for light vehicles, ahead of the original schedule. Since August last year, the region has taken out four batches of interactive supervision and learning programs for air and water management to enhance execution capabilities. It also implemented the program of treating regional air pollution in autumn and winter, and fulfilled the national requirement of reducing the average concentration and heavily polluted days of PM2.5 by 3 percent. The region released two tailored work plans to strengthen treatment of pollution by diesel truck and port cargo. Through cooperation, more than 188 cross-city waterways in Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai were studied for coordinated management.

Third is to strengthen coordinated guarantee work. In research and development, the Yangtze River Delta region has constructed ta joint research center for ecological environment and hosted the first Green Yangtze River Delta Forum. It took part in large-scale exhibitions and forums like the IE Expo to promote interactions among businesses, academic institutions and research centers of environment protection. In monitoring, the region has realized regular sharing of data for early warning, air quality and some key stations, charting out work plans to accelerate information sharing of environmental governance around Taihu Lake. For credit management, the region has jointly strengthened punishment for dishonest enterprises. For mechanism improvement, governments of Qingpu District in Shanghai, Wujiang District in Suzhou and Jiashan County in Jiaxing City have signed a framework agreement for integrated environmental management, in order to enhance district-level collaboration.

With enhanced efforts by the whole city and more awareness of environmental protection, Shanghai has seen rapid quality improvement in air, waterway, domestic garbage and greenland management to create better life for people. With a set of institutional innovations, businesses have seen more efficiency in administration with faster speed and less costs. An optimized business environment, featured by strengthened government supervision, market-oriented services, standardized rules and lifted environment protection awareness, has helped to formulate a growth condition benefitting the whole society.

Key tasks in the future

Since the beginning of this year, despite the improvement of the city's environmental quality, it still needs efforts of the whole society, raising awareness and continuous work.

First, the city will focus on pollution and continue to improve the quality of ecological environment. We will comprehensively promote the implementation of the city's pollution prevention and control battles and 11 special action plans, as well as fight the three major defenses of the atmosphere, water and soil, strengthen overall coordination, follow-up assessment, supervision and assessment and continuously improve the quality of the ecological environment.

Secondly, the city will focus on green development and accelerate high-quality economic development. Shanghai will adhere to the priority of environmental protection, strengthen the ecological environment protection in order to promote the economic transformation and upgrading, promote the adjustment of the "four main structures", and make ecological environmental protection a booster for economic quality and efficiency.

Thirdly, the city will focus on outstanding issues and do a good job in the central ecological environmental protection inspection. Shanghai will strictly implement the party and government responsibilities, one position and two responsibilities, formulate and implement the second round of central ecological environmental protection supervision with obtaining feedback, point out the problem rectification plan, comprehensively complete the city's ecological environment supervision, prevent the pollution of poor-V water, Jinshan environment comprehensive rectification, speed up the resolution of the "old, small, difficult" ecological environment of the public.

Fourthly, the city will focus on regional cooperation and deepen the high-quality development of the Yangtze River Delta integration. We will comprehensively implement the “Outline of the National Strategic Plan for the Integration of the Yangtze River Delta,” take the lead in the implementation of ecological environment priority and green development, promote the implementation of key coordination tasks for regional pollution control, strengthen coordination and organization, enhance supervision and inspection and defend regional pollution. Shanghai will cooperate to build the ecological green integration demonstration zone in the Yangtze River Delta, jointly carry out environmental quality assurance work and actively explore new ways of high-quality development of the Yangtze River Delta integration.