Fi­nal round of pol­lu­tion in­spec­tions un­der­way

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

China launched the fi­nal round of high-level en­vi­ron­men­tal in­spec­tions in eight prov­inces on Mon­day, en­sur­ing all pro­vin­cial re­gions re­ceive a thor­ough one-month re­view of the im­ple­men­ta­tion of their pol­lu­tion-con­trol mea­sures.

The first in­spec­tion team started work on Mon­day and other in­spec­tions will be­gin at stag­gered times by Aug 15 in the prov­inces of Jilin, Zhe­jiang, Shan­dong, Hainan, Sichuan and Qing­hai, and the Ti­bet and Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gions, the Min­istry of En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion said.

Sichuan, home to many in­dus­trial re­gions along the Yangtze River, was the first to re­ceive in­spec­tors on Mon­day af­ter­noon, the min­istry said.

The cen­tral gov­ern­ment in­spec­tors will dig out prob­lems in the re­view, re­lease in­for­ma­tion to the pub­lic timely, im­prove ef­fi­ciency and make the high-level in­spec­tion au­thor­i­ta­tive and in­de­pen­dent, said Li Gan­jie, the en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion min­is­ter and head of the lead­ing group in charge of the in­spec­tions.

The cen­tral gov­ern­ment has con­ducted four rounds of in­spec­tion since Jan­uary 2016, in­clud­ing a pi­lot in He­bei prov­ince. The plan was to in­spect all 31 pro­vin­cial re­gions by the end of this year.

The in­spec­tors were given au­thor­ity to sum­mon the top pro­vin­cial lead­ers and in­ves­ti­gate the re­gions and com­pa­nies with­out prior warn­ing and to hold any gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial ac­count­able for poor per­for­mance in en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, ac­cord­ing to the stip­u­la­tions of reg­u­la­tory in­spec­tion, re­leased by the State Coun­cil.

The in­spec­tion has been con­sid­ered a strong tool to su­per­vise the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments and keep com­pa­nies from pol­lut­ing, the min­istry said.

Based on in­spec­tion re­sults re­leased by the min­istry, se­vere prob­lems were un­cov­ered, in­clud­ing weak lead­er­ship, in­suf­fi­cient im­ple­men­ta­tion of rules and even pro­tec­tion of com­pa­nies by lo­cal gov­ern­ments. As a re­sult of the in­spec­tions, lo­cal gov­ern­ments were mo­ti­vated to rec­tify the prob­lems.

In Novem­ber, over 3,400 of­fi­cials were held ac­count­able in the first round of in­spec­tions of eight pro­vin­cial re­gions. In April, over 3,100 of­fi­cials were pun­ished in the sec­ond, which cov­ered Bei­jing, Shang­hai and five prov­inces.

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