China has ordered heavy-polluting industries to cut their emissions by 30% by 2017.
Under new rules announced by the State Councilm companies will be legally obliged to improve their pollution control equipment and will be penalised for excess emissions.
The BBC reports the announcement did not specify which industries would be affected by the new emissions rules.
However, earlier this year ministers hinted that industries such as iron, steel, petrochemicals and cement would face new targets.
The State Council announced the emissions targets as part of a document that approved 10 measures for tackling environmental problems, including:
Curbing the growth of energy-consuming industries like steel, cement, aluminium, and glass
Refusing permission for new industrial projects if they failed to meet required standards
Strengthening enforcement of the current penalties regime
In 2007, residents of Xiamen staged a series of protests against the construction of a chemical factory in the area and forced the government to back down.