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Thousands of Businesses Face Green Crackdown

Environmental watchdogs at all levels have reported more than 6,100 polluting enterprises they think should be shut down or stop production to local governments since a nationwide blitz against polluters was launched in late June.

Local governments will have the final say over whether the enterprises will be shut down or ordered to stop production, Lu Xinyuan, director of the Environment Supervision Office of the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), said yesterday.

The blitz was started after a SEPA investigation team found earlier this year that some polluting companies which had previously been shut down had returned to business.


They also discovered that some local governments, in pursuit of economic development, have even introduced industrial projects that could lead to serious pollution.


By the end of July, 200,000 environmental protection inspectors had checked 310,000 enterprises across the country, SEPA Vice-Minister Pan Yue said yesterday.


He disclosed a list of companies which were found to have caused serious environmental pollution. Some of the companies were reported to environmental protection departments by local residents.


But some profit-hungry large-scale enterprises, which are capable of reducing the amount of pollution they emit, pay no attention to the impact they cause to the environment while they expand their business, Pan said.


Many small plants in industries such as paper making, leather production and smelting, which have been closed, were found to have started production again and some even conceal themselves in residential areas.


(China Daily August 14, 2003)

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