In an effort to address its air pollution issues, China deployed drones to detect illegal emissions of over 200 factories. via Time:
In the country’s first aerial pollution-monitoring efforts, China deployed 11 unmanned vehicles in June designed to detect illegal nighttime emissions from 254 factories using infrared lights and thermal imaging, according to a Saturday statement from China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection.
Covering over 2000 square km. in 20 hours, the small- and medium-sized drones monitored cities in Hebei and Shanxi, provinces heavily polluted by city smog and coal mining emissions. The drones also surveyed cities in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, another northern area suffering from mining-related pollution and dust storms.
In all, the drone data resulted in 64 companies being suspected of violating of environmental laws, said the Ministry’s statement. The major infractions included air pollutants exceeding safe atmospheric concentrations, unregulated smoke emissions and improper functions of desulfurization plants and waste water facilities. The next step will involve conducting on-the-ground investigations of sites, the results of which will be released to the public.
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