The State Environmental Protection Administration, or SEPA,
plans to ban enterprises and projects that harm the environment on
a more regular basis, the China News Service quotes Deputy Director
Pan Yue as saying.
SEPA currently uses bans as a one-off punishment to force
enterprises that violate the environmental law to close or stop
production. But Pan Yue says the environment watchdog plans to use
bans as an effective measure to encourage enterprises to upgrade
their equipment and introduce environmentally-friendly
Pan commented on the use of bans at a press conference on
Monday. He also announced the bans SEPA imposed on four cities and
four power companies for their appalling environmental tracks
records have been completely lifted.
The four cities are Tangshan in Hebei Province, Lvliang in
Shanxi, Liupanshui in Guizhou and Laiwu in Shandong. The power
companies are Datang, Huadian Power, Huaneng Power and State
Pan announced the bans have been lifted because all the
companies and cities now comply with national standards, thanks to
local government's support on environmental protection.
He said SEPA initiated the ban to curb severe regional
pollution. Bans can be used effectively to change industrial
practices across entire regions and encourage economic development
to proceed in line with environmental protection.
Staff from environmental departments at all levels have
inspected 82 highly-polluting enterprises and projects in more than
20 provinces since January 10, when SEPA imposed the ban on
highly-polluting companies and cities for the first time.
Pan said the series of bans have helped to change the mindset of
local government administrations that stress development at all
costs and ignore the environment. He said these governments must
stop depending on highly-polluting industries to generate the bulk
of their revenue. They should now focus on developing clean, modern
Pan said production has been stopped at a number of
highly-polluting companies and projects as part of a move to reduce
sulfur dioxide emissions by more than 190,000 tons a year.
(Xinhua News Agency April 10, 2007)