China is planning its second national census of pollution sources, aiming to present a clear picture of the situation and analyzing the capacity to control it, the central government said on Wednesday.
The census is meant to provide solid information to help governments design better-targeted protection projects and policies for the environment, and make their decisions more scientific, the State Council said in a statement.
There will be a special leading committee to guide the second census work, chaired by Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli, and 15 ministerial level departments will be involved, the statement said.
The second census will start on Dec 31, 2017, and last the whole of 2018. Data analysis and the census report will be done in 2019.
Preparation for the census started Wednesday and will continue until the end of 2017, according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection, a major participant.
The second census will cover all organizations and individuals that discharge pollutants, and include detailed data like pollutant types, emission amounts, and operation of equipment to reduce pollution.
All pollution generated in industrial production, agriculture, domestic activities and other sources will be covered.
The first Pollution Source Census was conducted in 2007, and the results were released in February 2010. They have "played an important role in environmental protection in recent years", according to an environmental ministry statement.
In the first census, over 570,000 people participated in the investigation of over 5.92 million targets emitting pollutants, and 1.1 billion sets of data were produced, marking the first clear picture of pollution from the agricultural and service industries, according to the data released on the official website of the first census.
Based on the results, China placed pollution sources in agriculture on restriction lists, said Wang Yuqing, then office director of the census committee in 2010.
Great changes, however, have taken place in economic and social demographic structures over the years, and some pollutants like those generated in rural regions and some mobile sources have become more significant, making a new, thorough investigation urgently needed, the ministry said on Wednesday.