2,200 of­fi­cials in 3 prov­inces held ac­count­able for lax en­vi­ron­men­tal ef­forts

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

In­suf­fi­cient im­ple­men­ta­tion of pol­lu­tion con­trol ef­forts and de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in some re­gions due to over-ex­ploita­tion of re­sources were found by top in­spec­tors in Hei­longjiang, Jiangsu and He­nan prov­inces, ac­cord­ing to in­spec­tion re­sults re­leased on Tues­day by the en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion author­ity.

More than 2,200 of­fi­cials have been held ac­count­able in the three prov­inces, where top-level in­spec­tions by the cen­tral gov­ern­ment be­gan in mid-July, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion.

In the three prov­inces, cen­tral in­spec­tors ex­posed more than 4,900 cases in­volv­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­lu­tion. The pro­vin­cial govern­ments com­pleted their sub­se­quent in­ves­ti­ga­tions, and 167 peo­ple were de­tained.

In Jiangsu, the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment has re­quired more than 2,700 com­pa­nies to im­prove their fa­cil­i­ties for en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, and pol­lut­ing com­pa­nies were fined more than 97.5 mil­lion yuan ($14.2 mil­lion).

The cen­tral in­spec­tors also said the top lead­er­ship in the three prov­inces did not fully push for­ward mea­sures to im­prove the en­vi­ron­ment.

In Zhengzhou, the cap­i­tal of He­nan, air qual­ity has wors­ened since 2013, and the city was third from the bot­tom in air qual­ity among the 74 ma­jor cities with pol­lu­tion in the first half of this year, said Wang Wan­bin, head of the in­spec­tion team for He­nan.

De­spite its poor en­vi­ron­men­tal per­for­mance, the city was as­sessed as ex­cel­lent last year for eco­nomic growth, which shows that the lead­er­ship lacks knowl­edge of the im­por­tance of en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, ac­cord­ing to the in­spec­tors.

In Jiangsu province, in­spec­tors also found high risk of con­tam­i­na­tion due to in­suf­fi­cient anti-pol­lu­tion mea­sures, not­ing that only 30 per­cent of the more than 6,300 chem­i­cal plants were lo­cated in in­dus­trial zones where the gov­ern­ment has in­stalled equip­ment to re­duce pol­lu­tion.

Harbin, the cap­i­tal of Hei­longjiang, was warned about its in­ef­fec­tive re­stric­tions, af­ter nine of its 16 coal-fired power plants dis­charged pol­lu­tants ex­ces­sively for a long time, said Yang Song, head of the in­spec­tion team for Hei­longjiang.

Within a month, the three pro­vin­cial govern­ments are to re­lease their plans for cor­rect­ing the prob­lems.

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