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SEPA Suspends Twelve Construction Projects
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China's top environmental watchdog yesterday permanently halted a dozen construction projects that had repeatedly failed to live up to environmental protection standards.

The 12 projects, representing an investment of about 2 billion yuan (US$250 million), were located throughout the country. All of the projects involved heavy-polluting and energy-consuming facilities, such as iron and steel, metallurgy, refineries and coking.

Despite repeated warnings from the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), the projects' developers failed to take into consideration the pollution they had released and would release in the future.

"The construction projects, which seriously violated the rules and requirements on environmental protection, had to be stopped forever," said Pan Yue, deputy minister of SEPA.

Including yesterday's cancellations, SEPA has recently suspended more than 80 construction projects, as well as four cities' rights to approve new projects.

Meanwhile, Laiwu, in east China's Shandong Province, recovered its approval rights in recognition of its quick and active response to SEPA's warnings.

(China Daily February 14, 2007)

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