Pol­lu­tion in­spec­tions to con­tinue

More than 3,400 of­fi­cials have al­ready been held ac­count­able for poor per­for­mance

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

Cen­tral en­vi­ron­men­tal in­spec­tion teams will visit seven pro­vin­cial-level re­gions to push pol­i­cy­mak­ers to im­prove ef­forts on en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, the national en­vi­ron­men­tal au­thor­ity said.

It’s the sec­ond set of in­spec­tions since the ini­tia­tive was launched in Jan­uary, fol­low­ing the pi­lot project in He­bei and the in­spec­tion of eight pro­vin­cial-level re­gions in the first set.

Bei­jing, Shang­hai and Chongqing, and the prov­inces of Hubei, Guang­dong, Shaanxi and Gansu, will un­dergo top-level en­vi­ron­men­tal in­spec­tions, headed by min­is­te­rial-level of­fi­cials and deputy min­is­ters of en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment by the Min­istry of En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion on Thurs­day.

All teams will start the month­long in­spec­tion by the end of Novem­ber, the min­istry said, adding that in­spec­tions in Chongqing started on Thurs­day.

The in­spec­tion teams will re­view the gov­ern­ments’ per­for­mance to see if they have met set stan­dards or ne­glected their du­ties in re­la­tion to pol­lu­tion con­trol, and will in­ves­ti­gate ma­jor is­sues fre­quently re­ported by the pub­lic, said Zhang Baoshun, leader of the in­spec­tion team in Chongqing.

Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials will be ma­jor tar­gets in the in­spec­tions, so the team is urg­ing them to per­form bet­ter on pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment, Zhang added.

Sun Zheng­cai, the top of­fi­cial of Chongqing, urged gov­ern­ments to fully sup­port the cen­tral in­spec­tors and use the in­spec­tions to im­prove pol­lu­tion-con­trol mea­sures.

In­spec­tors will hold talks with lead­ing of­fi­cials, con­duct field in­ves­ti­ga­tions on pol­lu­tion, re­ceive re­ports from the pub­lic via phone calls and mail, and re­view of­fi­cial doc­u­ments.

The in­spec­tions are seen as a ma­jor way of en­cour­ag­ing lead­ing of­fi­cials to per­form bet­ter, given the threat of strict pun­ish­ment such as sus­pen­sion from their po­si­tions.

In the first set of pro­vin­cial-level re­gions that were in­spected — Hei­longjiang, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, He­nan and Yun­nan prov­inces, and the In­ner Mon­go­lia, Guangxi Zhuang and Ningxia Hui au­ton­o­mous re­gions— more than 3,400 gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials were held ac­count­able due to their poor per­for­mance, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial state­ments.

The state­ments re­vealed is­sues com­monly found in the eight in­spected re­gions, in­clud­ing in­suf­fi­cient at­ten­tion paid by lead­er­ship to en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, lax im­ple­men­ta­tion of pol­lu­tion­con­trol­ling mea­sures and ex­ces­sive ex­ploita­tion of re­sources in nat­u­ral re­serves.

Some ar­eas have ex­pe­ri­enced en­vi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion, with air, wa­ter and soil qual­ity suf­fer­ing, the state­ments said.

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