China gets serious about fighting pollution

By Li Xinran
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, April 28, 2014
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In the latest move to crack down on polluters, the Shanghai government said from now on it will hold company managers and executives personally responsible for any environmental violations committed by the enterprises they lead.

Polluted promises [By Jiao Haiyang/]

A total of 44 companies were closed down or had their operations suspended in the final quarter of last year for illegally dumping pollutants, the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau said on April 17.

The bureau also collected 16.5 million yuan (US$2.65 million) worth of fines and delivered warnings to another 210 local firms that breached environmental regulations.

Companies on the blacklist deserved the penalties. At almost the same time, a draft amendment to China's Environmental Protection Law was submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) for its fourth reading on April 22, proposing heavier punishments for violations.

The new draft stipulates that enterprises will be named and shamed for breaking environmental protection laws. According to the draft, responsible persons will face up to 15 days of detention if their enterprises dodge environmental impact assessments and refuse to suspend production after being issued a ban; discharge pollutants without a permit, and refuse to suspend the discharge after administrative bodies issue a ban; or if they shirk supervision through means including forging monitoring data or improperly operating pollution-control equipment. The length of detention would depend on the impact of their violations.

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