Liaocheng, an ancient city in the western part of Shandong province, has taken any means necessary in recent years to strengthen environmental protection and build an eco-city while at the same time developing the economy.
The city last year launched a program to reduce water pollution in Dongchang Lake and four local rivers, including the Grand Canal.
The city government also refused construction of all industrial projects that might pollute water resources.
In the meantime, it created a program to deal with emergent accidents for 30 key pollutant-discharging enterprises along the South-to-North water diversion project.
Also last year, the second phase of construction of the Liaocheng wastewater treatment plant kicked off, expanding its daily treatment capacity to 100,000 tons.
With other newly constructed wastewater treatment facilities in Linqing, Zi county, Guan county and Yanggu, the city can process a total of 360,000 tons wastewater a day.
With these efforts, the Ministry of Environmental Protection rewarded the city as the best in China for protecting city lakes. The city`s 6 sq km Dongchang Lake ranked tops in terms of water quality among all lakes in inland cities.
Alongside its efforts to protect water resources, Liaocheng has also invested in keeping the air clean.
The city invested 1.6 billion yuan in 2007 in desulfurization projects of its 20 coal-fired power plants.
These projects helped Liaocheng reduce 6,022 tons of SO2 emissions every month.
The city government also strengthened control of soot emissions in urban areas.
A centralized heating system was adopted in 1998 to help reduce air pollution in urban areas. Today, an area of 6.5 million sq m, or over 40 percent of the total urban area, are covered by centralized heating.
Meanwhile, the city`s green coverage reached 39 percent, with a per capita green area of 16.09 sq m. And its forestry area now totals 2.8 million mu (187,000 hectares).