China Daily (Hong Kong) - - NATION -

Since a new ju­di­cial in­ter­pre­ta­tion took ef­fect in June to tighten the coun­try’s en­force­ment of en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion laws, there have been five ma­jor cases against pol­luters.

plants in Kun­ming, Yun­nan prov­ince, were or­dered to pay nearly 4.4 mil­lion yuan ($722,000) in Novem­ber for il­le­gally dump­ing pol­luted wa­ter into a nearby stream, turn­ing the stream’s wa­ter white. The dis­cov­ery of the pol­lu­tion in April prompted me­dia out­lets to dub the trib­u­tary “milk river”. Seven peo­ple were sen­tenced in Novem­ber — two re­ceived up to a year and three months in prison while five oth­ers re­ceived sus­pended prison sen­tences of at least eight months. Nan­jing, Jiangsu prov­ince, sen­tenced five Nan­jing Rongx­ing Chem­i­cal Co em­ploy­ees to up to five years in prison in Au­gust for il­le­gally dump­ing toxic waste­water into a nearby river in May 2012. Thir­teen peo­ple were poi­soned af­ter the dump­ing. The com­pany was fined nearly 6 mil­lion yuan.

fac­tory in Cixi, Zhejiang prov­ince, was sen­tenced to a year in prison with a fine of 4,000 yuan ($656) in Oc­to­ber for il­le­gally dump­ing waste­water since March, ac­cord­ing to a lo­cal court. The fac­tory was closed. sus­pended and eight oth­ers were ar­rested af­ter heavy-metal pol­lu­tion was de­tected in the He­jiang River near Hezhou, Guangxi Zhuang au­ton­o­mous re­gion, in July. The thal­lium- and cad­mi­um­con­tam­i­nated river wa­ter af­fected the wa­ter safety of about 3,000 peo­ple down­stream.

Hu­nan prov­ince, re­cently sen­tenced three peo­ple to up to a year in prison and handed out fines of 40,000 yuan ($6,000) for il­le­gally dump­ing 450 met­ric tons of highly acidic waste­water into the city’s drainage pipe­lines in May.

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