On Thursday, the Ministry of Environmental Protection announced that officials would close 220 more factories, coal-fired power plants and steel plants in Beijing, as well as in nearby Tianjin city and surrounding Hebei province if air quality is forecast to be poor for any 48-hour period.Reports also appear in NYTi and WSJ.
Beijing will also ban all forms of construction "if there is very unfavorable weather, and the air quality is forecast to not be up to standard for the next 48 hours," according to the ministry's Web site. Experts said they interpreted this to mean that the emergency plan would begin if Beijing's air pollution index, or API, was forecast to be 100 or more for two days in a row.
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