The State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) took the unprecedented step of blacklisting four major power plants and four cities yesterday for performing poorly on their environmental impact assessments (EIAs).
"All new projects launched by the four plants and in the four cities will be halted," said Pan Yue, SEPA spokesman and a vice minister. "This is the first time for SEPA to use such a strict measure to punish whole industries and some local administrations."
The four power plants are Datang International Power Generation Co Ltd, China Huaneng Group, China Huadian Corp and China Guodian Corp. Of the country's top five power plants only China Power Investment Corp survived the blacklisting.
The four cities are Tangshan in Hebei Province, Lüliang in Shanxi Province, Liupanshui in Guizhou Province and Laiwu in Shandong Province.
"The cities do not have the environmental capacity to handle more pollutants," Pan said. "And yet they still develop industries that consume a lot of resources and produce a lot of pollution."
Tangshan, for example, has reached its limit for pollution but it built 70 steel plants last year. Of these 80 percent failed their EIAs. The plants represented only part of the problems uncovered by SEPA's latest inspection of EIAs.
Eighty-two projects representing an investment of more than 112 billion yuan (US$14.4 billion) have been found to lack effective environmental protection measures. Most of them were in the steel, power, chemical and metallurgical industries.
"China missed its goals of making a 4 percent cut in the amount of energy it consumes and a 2 percent cut in emissions of pollutants in 2006," Pan said.
(China Daily January 11, 2007)