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213 Factories Shut Down for Heavy Pollution
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China has closed 213 factories in its inland provinces and autonomous regions over the past three years to reduce industrial pollution, according to a statement from the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) on Thursday.

Another 873 factories in the provinces of Shanxi and Shaanxi, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region were shut down pending renovation, according to the administration.

"The total investment in renovation and construction of environmental protection facilities is 1.43 billion yuan (US$181 million)," the statement said.

The three-year campaign, intended to reduce industrial pollution in the four provinces and regions, has targeted 1086 factories.

Totally 409 out of the 873 factories ordered to carry out reconstruction work have now resumed production after passing government examination. The others are still closed down.

SEPA is urging local governments to step up supervision of the factories, saying that negligence has resulted in excessive industrial pollution.

It said that 40 government employees, who were involved in industrial pollution cases, received administrative sanctions during the campaign. Two were removed from their posts and another two are under judicial investigation.

(Xinhua News Agency October 6, 2006)

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