Tough Campaign Clears Air

The State Environmental Protection Administration, during its three-month campaign against pollution across the country, has punished 8,745 enterprises for seriously contaminating the environment.

The nationwide inspection, which was started at the end of May, covered 12 provinces and municipalities, screening altogether 1,421,121 enterprises, according to a report released by the administration Tuesday.

The administration said 27 per cent of the 8,754 enterprises were shut down, 14 per cent were ordered to suspend production for further investigation, and another 56 per cent were fined.

So far, 418 managers have received personal penalties and 108 local officials have been punished for failing to deal with the pollution problems effectively, according to the report.

Another 9,339 enterprises were also found to have violated environment laws and regulations and will be dealt with later this year, the report says.

He Baoxiang, an official with the administration, praised the anti-pollution inspection as "efficient and effective.''

He pointed out that the anti-pollution strategy, one of the nation's basic programs, was of vital importance in ensuring the country's sustainable development, and that the central government would " continue to resolutely fight pollution.''

This anti-pollution campaign, He Baoxiang noted, would further promote environmental education across the country, especially in some rural areas where many small factories with serious pollution problems are concentrated.

He also added that this nationwide fight against pollution would help ensure the country's social stability by solving those pollution problems affecting people's health.

After the three-month inspection, East China's Jiangsu and Shandong provinces, North China's Hebei and Shanxi provinces and Southwest China's Chongqing municipality and Beijing have worked out local laws and regulations defining the responsibilities of local enterprises and officials in dealing with pollution problems, according to the administration.

Some cities like Dalian and Changchun in Northeast China have opened an anti-pollution hotline "12369'' for the public, and some provinces, such as Jiangsu and Zhejiang in East China, have started giving rewards to people who report cases of pollution.

Source: China Daily

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