XI'AN, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, one of the major coal production areas of the country, saw record good air quality in 2021, with its six major air quality indicators reaching the level-II national standard for the first time.
The province's 12 city-level areas had monitored an average concentration of PM2.5 at 36 micrograms per cubic meter in 2021, down 14.3 percent year on year.
The PM2.5 reading is a gauge monitoring airborne particles of 2.5 microns or less in diameter, which can penetrate deep into people's lungs.
The average concentrations of PM10 in these areas fell to 66 micrograms per cubic meter, down 7 percent year on year.
A total of 295.4 days with good air quality were logged during the period in Shaanxi's 10 cities under national assessment, 10.3 days more than the goal set by China.
This is the first time for Shaanxi to reach the overall national air quality standards, marking solid progress in the battle against air pollution, said Ji Wu, director of the province's atmospheric environment office.
In 2021, Shaanxi launched a series of pollution prevention and treatment campaigns, including reducing industrial coal consumption except for coal used in electricity generation, penalizing enterprises that commit environmental offenses, and upgrading iron and steel enterprises, in an effort to better protect the environment and improve local air quality. ■