China's central government has repeatedly declared its intention to clean up the environment, from the smoggy skies of Beijing to the scummy green waters of Lake Tai in the Yangtze delta. However, ensuring that intentions are translated promptly, fairly and efficiently into action across the provinces is often a problem. Two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) may be about to change this. On 3 June, the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE) in Beijing and the Natural Resources Defense Council in New York posted their first Pollution Information Transparency Index on the Internet. The index ranks 113 Chinese cities on how well they informed the public about pollution-related legal violations in 2008