China Environmental Watchdog Blacklists Polluted Cities
China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) released the “2007 Annual Nation-wide Urban Environmental Management and Regulation Report” (《2007年全國城市環境管理與綜合整治年度報告》), which blacklisted Xinjiang’s Urumqi as the most polluted city. While the report cannot be accessible online currently, the MEP made the following official statement:
An annual urban environment assessment report has blacklisted such major Chinese cities as northwestern Xinjiang’s Urumqi and central Hubei’s industrial Huanggang for their poor environmental record.
The report, released by the Ministry of Environmental Protection on Wednesday, said northern Inner Mongolia’s Bayannur and Ulanqab, northwestern Gansu’s Baiyin, Xinjiang’s regional capital Urumqi and Hubei’s Huanggang had “relatively poor” air quality.
It also listed cities having low-level water quality. They were Hengshui and Cangzhou in northern Hebei, Linfen in northern Shanxi, Fuyang in eastern Anhui, Tongchuan in northwestern Shaanxi and Wuwei in Gansu.
[…]The public satisfaction rate exceeded 90 percent in cities such as coastal Shandong Province’s Linyi, Dongying, Rizhao and Yantai, and the northernmost Heilongjiang Province’s Daqing and Heihe, the report said. Residents of Shanxi’s coal base Datong and southern Guangxi’s Hezhou were the least satisfied with their environment.
The report also includes a survey of public satisfaction in various cities. China Daily picks up on this interesting aspect of the report in its article “Public weighs in on environmental success”:
It was the first time for the public satisfaction survey to be included in the Ministry of Environment Protection’s (MEP)’s annual report assessing Chinese cities’ environmental management.
“After all, improving people’s life quality is the ultimate goal of environmental protection,” a senior MEP official told China Daily yesterday.
However, the methodology and the metrics of the survey need to be examined, given that such a public survey has never been done before.