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Fine to Curb Sewage Discharge
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Companies and individuals could face a fine of up to 100,000 yuan (US$12,987) for discharging wastewater without licenses starting next month, the Shenzhen government announced yesterday.

Businesses, including wastewater treatment factories, and individuals need to apply to the local environmental watchdog for licenses before discharging sewage into rivers and other government-funded drainage systems, the announcement said. The license is valid for five years.

Wastewater treatment factories are forbidden to do shoddy work or stop operation without government approval, or they will have to pay a fine of between 100,000 and 200,000 yuan.

The city in south China's Guangdong Province launched tough measures against the dumping of waste last September. Violators were ordered to publish a letter of remorse in newspapers apologizing for polluting the environment.

Seventeen Shenzhen companies were fined nearly 1.5 million yuan for polluting the environment during the first quarter of this year, the local environmental protection bureau said.

Most of the 17 companies were punished for discharging untreated wastewater.

A computer manufacturer in Longgang District paid the highest fine of 250,000 yuan, and four other factories were each fined 100,000 yuan and had their sewage discharge licenses suspended.

Improving the environment to increase residents' well-being is one of this year's top 10 priorities for the Shenzhen government, Mayor Xu Zongheng said in a March government work report delivered at the local people's congress annual meeting.

(Shenzhen Daily June 21, 2007)

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