Fines imposed by the southern province of Guangdong against
enterprises breaking environmental protection laws have exceeded
100 million yuan (US$12.82 million) for the first time.
Fines last year totaled 115 million yuan.
Guangdong investigated more enterprises breaking environmental
protection laws last year, according to a recent report by the
Guangdong environment protection bureau.
The bureau shut down more than 2,100 local enterprises for
causing serious pollution problems in the province, and issued
deadlines to more than 8,200 others for rectification.
It vetoed 4,332 projects that failed to meet environmental
protection requirements, and investigated and punished 680
"To better protect the environment, Guangdong has increased its
fines," the report said.
As an example, Shaoguan smeltery received a fine of 1.2 million
yuan last year, the heaviest ever imposed on a single enterprise in
Dongguan Fu'an textile printing and dyeing factory was also
heavily punished with a fine of 210,000 yuan, plus an extra sewage
processing fee of 11.55 million yuan.
"Increased costs (fines) will force enterprises to better behave
themselves," said a law enforcement officer with the Guangdong
environment protection bureau said.
The bureau's management said at a conference recently that
Guangdong would "step up efforts in 2007 to punish enterprises that
discharge pollutants illegally by raising fines substantially".
The announcement was applauded by environmentalists and
"Guangdong has lagged other economically developing provinces in
the imposition of fines... hence law enforcement has not been as
effective," they said.
"Zhejiang province for instance, despite its GDP lagging
Guangdong's, imposed environmental protection fines totaling 285
million yuan in 2006.
"The average fine for each case was 28,000 yuan, far exceeding
Guangdong's average of 17,000 yuan.
"Guangdong's needs to further strengthen its enforcement of
environmental protection laws at country and district levels," they
Guangdong is planning to form teams to clean up polluted areas
and charge the enterprise responsible, a source close to the
province's environment protection bureau told China Daily.
"It will also confiscate the assets of any illegal enterprise in
the waste business," the source said.
(China Daily April 26, 2007)