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Polluters Face More Severe Fine in Shenzhen
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Starting November 1, construction companies in Shenzhen will be fined up to 1 million yuan (US$125,000) for environmental damage, yesterday's Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reported. The fine is the highest so far in China.

The maximum fine is 10 times the present ceiling. The increase in fines is part of the new rules adopted recently by the standing committee of the municipal people's congress, the city's lawmaking body, on the environmental impact of construction projects.

The new rules also spell out a new environmental safeguard for large construction projects such as major road and port projects. For such projects, specialized companies will be employed to supervise and check whether the construction companies have taken measures to prevent and reduce environmental pollution, ecological damage and soil erosion.

Major violations that may lead to hefty fines include construction without an assessment on environmental impact being approved, and starting a project without installing pollution-controlling facilities.

The rules say the city prosecutors will support victims of pollution and ecological damage in pursuing legal remedies.

(Shenzhen Daily August 29, 2006)

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