Cam­paign to im­prove air qual­ity in north­ern re­gions suc­cess­ful

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By ZHENG JINRAN zhengjin­ran@chi­nadaily.com.cn

About 70 per­cent of com­pa­nies vis­ited by in­spec­tors in the past two weeks were vi­o­lat­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal rules, said the na­tional en­vi­ron­men­tal author­ity, which plans to strengthen en­force­ment against air pol­lu­tion to in­crease blue skies in north­ern re­gions.

“In the on­go­ing year­long in­spec­tion in 28 cities in Beijing-Tian­jin-He­bei re­gion and neigh­bor­ing prov­inces of Shandong, Shanxi and He­nan, in­spec­tors checked 4,077 com­pa­nies, of which 2,808 were found to have var­i­ous vi­o­la­tions,” Tian Weiy­ong, head of the mon­i­tor­ing depart­ment of the Min­istry of En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion, said on Fri­day.

The ma­jor­ity of the vi­o­la­tions were from small, pol­lut­ing com­pa­nies, and more than 56,000 such com­pa­nies will be shut down by the end of Oc­to­ber, Tian said.

But some pol­lut­ing com­pa­nies re­fused to re­ceive in­spec- tors, and in one case in Ji­nan, Shandong prov­ince, the owner and work­ers locked in­spec­tors inside the plant for over an hour un­til po­lice res­cued them.

Peo­ple in­ter­fer­ing with in­spec­tions will face tough pun­ish­ment in­clud­ing fines, ad­min­is­tra­tive de­ten­tion up to 10 days or crim­i­nal sen­tences of up to three years in prison, he said.

In 2017, China set large re­duc­tion tar­gets for the con­cen­tra­tion of air pol­lu­tants, es­pe­cially for the Beijing-Tian­jin-He­bei re­gion, while many cities in the re­gion have seen in­creas­ing pol­lu­tion lev­els in the first two months of the year.

“In the month­long in­spec­tion con­ducted in mid-Fe­bru­ary, we saw the con­trols work in some ar­eas,” he said, adding that the strength­ened in­spec­tions are ex­pected to work bet­ter.

China has strength­ened law en­force­ment and su­per­vi­sion in en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion by ad­min­is­ter­ing stronger pun­ish­ment, adopt­ing bet­ter

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