North China's Hebei Province, which produces one quarter of the nation's steel, has raised its targets for cutting iron and steel production this year.
Iron production will be reduced by 17.26 million tonnes, up from a previous target of 10 million tonnes set in January. About 14.22 million tonnes of steel manufacturing will be phased out, up from an earlier target of 8 million tonnes, said provincial governor Zhang Qingwei on Thursday.
The new targets came after heavy criticism from a central government environmental inspection group, which exposed more than 2,800 environmental concerns.
Production-slashing responsibilities have been distributed among cities, including Tangshan, Handan, Qinhuangdao and Langfang, the four major industrial cities in Hebei.
In April, steel prices picked up sharply, with the domestic steel price index gaining 11.29 points since March to 78.42, and also up 4.43 points from a year earlier. Many steel mills have resumed production.
Zhang said city and county governments need to prevent heavily polluting equipment from operating again.
Production of steel, cement and glass has also been widely blamed for the worsening air pollution in Hebei.
The province has previously said that it will cut a combined 160 million tonnes in steel, cement and coal production, and another 36 million weight cases of glass by 2017 compared with 2013 levels.