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|Wednesday, July 25, 2001, updated at 20:52(GMT+8)|
China Cracks Down on Environmental PollutersAn official from the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) said that China has made progress in a large-scale pollution inspection of companies and will continue its efforts to crack down on polluters.
Beginning May 23, the SEPA and other related departments have checked nearly 50,000 companies, including 8,801 companies with pollution problems.
More than 700 companies were shut down and 75 officials responsible for the pollution were dealt with, according to Lu Xinyuan, director in charge of pollution control under the SEPA.
In the past two months, investigations were made into paper mills, chemical plants and other factories that cause heavy pollution in an effort to prevent them from discharging more pollutants into the environment or leaving anti-pollution facilities idle.
In 2000, around 90 percent of China's factories which caused serious pollution had met the national standards after several years of efforts, said Lu, but nearly 17.8 percent of them were found discharging pollutants again.
Lu attributed the "rebound" to companies' neglect of environmental protection and the regional protectionism of some local governments.
Lu said that the SEPA will improve transparency in disclosing information about the environment, and will open the hotline 12369 for public reports and supervision.
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