Xi’an Environmental Protection Bureau caught tampering with air quality readings - Greenpeace response

Press release - 2016-10-25
Beijing, 25 October 2016 - It is shocking and concerning that the Xi'an Environmental Protection Bureau has consistently falsified air quality readings.[1]

“Citizens have a right to know about the quality of the air they breath, in order to protect their and their family's health,” said Greenpeace East Asia climate and energy campaigner Dong Liansai. “Reliable data is the very starting point of China’s ‘war on pollution’.”

China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) has previously promised to crack down on false air quality readings [2], and a system to establish the validity of air quality readings is in place.[3] In June 2015, the MEP reported seven cases of falsification of air quality data.[4]

The Xi'an scandal should not detract from the overall long-term trend of air quality improvements across China, however. Previous analysis by Greenpeace East Asia of NASA satellite imagery has corroborated the overall national improvement in air quality in the last two years.

Under the central government’s Air Pollution Prevention Control Action Plan every province has agreed to meet specific air quality targets.

“Today’s news should serve as a warning to officials around the country that the central government is serious about punishing environmental abuses.”

The MEP must continue to investigate such cases of falsified readings and ensure that local governments fully implement central government policy and provide their citizens with the information needed to safeguard their health.

Notes to editors:

[1] http://m.thepaper.cn/newsDetail_forward_1548809

[2] https://www.chinadialogue.net/blog/7828-China-promises-crackdown-on-fake-air-quality-data/en

[3] Measures include simultaneous disclosures in multiple platform, remote monitoring and auto-report, cross-examination by different provinces and random spot-checks.

[4] http://www.mep.gov.cn/gkml/hbb/qt/201506/t20150612_303415.htm

Media contacts:

Tom Baxter, International Communications Officer, Greenpeace East Asia, email: phone: +86 18811344861

Greenpeace International Press Desk, email: , phone: +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)

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