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Sinopec shuts Guangdong subsidiaries over pollution

By Qiu Quanlin  (China Daily)

09:48, September 28, 2012

Sinopec, China's largest oil company, has ordered three subsidiaries in Guangdong province to shut operations and correct problems that violate pollution regulations.

In a statement on Wednesday night, the company said it will set up a special team to investigate its three Guangdong-based subsidiaries.

"People who are responsible for the subsidiaries will be seriously punished according to the investigation result," the statement said.

The announcement followed local government accusations that three subsidiaries of Sinopec, one in Guangzhou and the others in Zhanjiang, have long been violating environmental rules despite repeated demands from pollution watchdogs for rectification.

On Wednesday, environment authorities of Guangdong said the three subsidiaries have openly disregarded local government calls to stop their polluting practices over the past few years.

"They always threaten the government by claiming that what they do is for the national economy and the people's livelihood!" Zhou Quan, director of the environment inspection bureau of the Guangdong Environmental Protection Department, shouted at a meeting.

"Well, the environment is the people's livelihood," he added.

The meeting, held to conclude an inspection campaign by the province's environmental authorities, was broadcast on China Central Television on Wednesday.

At the meeting, Zhou said some government departments did not dare to inspect or supervise Sinopec even after they found the company was discharging excessive pollution.

The three companies have a combined oil refinery capacity of more than 18 million metric tons a year, according to local media report.


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