From New York Times:
After rising steeply for many years, emissions of three important pollutants began to decline last year, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection announced Thursday as part of an annual report.
Total levels of pollution in China’s lakes, rivers and coastal waters still rose, however, as more pollutants continued to flow into them, the ministry said. And the air in many Chinese cities remained severely polluted.
The ministry said that emissions of sulfur dioxide, mainly from coal-fired power plants and the primary cause of acid rain, declined 4.66 percent last year. The Chinese government has pursued a stringent program that requires power plants to cleanse most of the sulfur dioxide from their flue gases before they are released into the atmosphere. Environmentalists had expected the program to show success.