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Beijing says pollution lessened in 2015 despite smog alerts
Published in 5-1-2016
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Beijing's municipal government has been replacing coal-fired boilers with natural gas-powered facilities, forcing older, more polluting vehicles off the road, and closing or moving factories that are heavy polluters. The environmental protection bureau attributed the lowering of sulfur dioxide to the phasing out of coal-fired heating systems. The city had earlier experienced more hazardous levels of pollution and come in for criticism for not issuing a red alert sooner, but authorities said at least three consecutive days of smog at particular levels on the city's air quality index must be forecast before issuing the highest alert.