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Shenzhen Polluter Voices Public Remorse
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The manager of a Shenzhen company which was caught discharging untreated wastewater has printed a letter of repentance in newspapers.

This has set a precedent for other polluters to publicly declare their remorse according to a new rule laid down by the city's environment watchdog, the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily said in its editorial yesterday.

In the letter, Hong Taiping, manager of Shenzhen Jinhuizhan Electronics Co Ltd in Bao'an District, also pledged to abide by environmental protection laws in the future.

The new regulation stipulates that polluters who have their waste discharge licenses suspended after being found to have dumped untreated waste, will not be given a new license until they publicly express remorse and pledge that they will never breach the law in the future.

The firm is one of the four Shenzhen companies which have recently had their discharge licenses suspended for polluting the local water. They have each paid a penalty of 100,000 yuan (US$12,300).

Jinhuizhan's workers discharged wastewater without treatment in November last year. Production has been stopped since then, incurring 3 million yuan in losses for the company, Hong said.

"We will learn from this lesson and solemnly pledge to strictly abide by the standards imposed by the environmental protection bureau. We will also offer training to each new employee on the proper procedures of wastewater treatment to prevent such kind of incidents from reoccurring," the manager said in the public letter.

The company has invested more than 1 million yuan in upgrading its wastewater processing and drainage system, he said.

The three other firms penalized for pollution were Liwang (Shenzhen) Paint Co Ltd, Meidayang Science and Technology Co Ltd, and Xintaida Industrial Co Ltd.

The city's environmental protection bureau said it would start legal proceedings to shut down those polluters that refused to publicly express their repentance and clean up their act.

(Shenzhen Daily February 15, 2006)

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