The amendments are expected to make local governments directly responsible for meeting environmental targets. They also ban firms from temporarily switching off polluting equipment during inspections and outlaw other behavior designed to distort emission readings.

According to the Ministry of Environmental Protection, concentrations of hazardous particulates PM2.5 fell 17.1% in the first half of 2015 to 58 micrograms per cubic meter (mg/m3). China doesn’t expect to meet the state standard of 35 mg/m3 until 2030.