Zhou Shengxian, the director of the State Environmental Protection Agency, told the State Council the census will include what remediation is available, Xinhua, the official government news agency, said. He said the census will begin in February and is expected to take two months to complete.
China, with explosive economic growth, has also seen explosive growth in pollution.
The central government has been preparing for the census for a year and has allocated $100 million for the project. Much of the work will be done by regional governments, with samples checked at random in an effort to keep them honest.
"The result of the census will not be linked to any punishment or evaluation of the performance of local administrations," Zhou said.