Beijing renews 2022 Winter Olympics air quality assurances

BEIJING (AP) — Leaders of Beijing’s bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics say the capital’s notorious air pollution will be much improved by the time of the games.

The vice president of the bid committee, Zhang Jiandong, told reporters on Wednesday that air quality at the rural sites for the skiing and sliding events was already very good.

Zhang said Beijing’s urban center expects a 25 percent reduction in the very small and extremely unhealthy PM2.5 pollutants under a five-year plan begun in 2013 to close coal-fired power plants and other major polluters.

On the second day of a five-day inspection tour, IOC evaluators visited the Beijing suburb of Yanqing where the Alpine skiing and sliding events would be held.