Environmental Ministry: More China Firms Fined for Environmental Violations

By Mei Manuel, December 06, 2017 19:12 PM

(Pixabay)

On Wednesday, the Chinese environment ministry reported that Chinese firms who have violated the country's environmental regulations paid fines amounting to 1.02 billion yuan in the first 10 months of the year, 48% higher than last year's record.

In order to "normalize compliance" between firms to protect the environment, the Chinese government promised zero tolerance for any firm discovered guilty of offences such as illegal waste disposal, exceeding emission caps and tampering with monitoring equipment.

The country has also actively enforced its newest environmental protection law, put into force in 2015, which enables authorities to fine lawbreakers on a daily basis until they correct their operations. Authorities are also given the authority to launch criminal charges against lawbreakers if they do not comply with the country's policies.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection stated that 32,227 cases had been reported and handled by the ministry in the first 10 months of the year. It also indicated that the number of "administrative detentions" jumped up to 161% to 7,093 cases this year.

Currently, the country is in the middle of a six-month winter campaign to meet its air quality targets in northern China, with most of the industry capacity of 28 cities under close monitoring especially on smog build-ups. However, the enforcement of the country's environmental programs is met up with fierce problems due to poor enforcement. The government has established several task forces and real-time monitoring systems to ensure polluters and government officials are penalized for failing to adhere to the country's environmental targets. Government officials are also audited to make sure they actively work on stopping their emissions rate from increasing.

In November, the MEP said that at least 1,140 officials were "held accountable" for violating the rules and regulations set for environmental protection after the first round of environmental inspections were held last year. Some of the officials were given official reprimands, with a few dismissed from office and facing criminal charges.

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