China names and shames polluting factories

A total of 60 metropolitan areas in China’s Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and neighbouring provinces had been under alert for choking air pollution the past weeks, and China’s law enforcers are on the hunt for culprits.

China’s top environmental watchdog Friday named and shamed a list of companies not complying with anti-smog environmental measures, with dozens of cities in the country suffering from polluted air all this week.

Yusheng building material company in Hebi city, central China’s Henan Province, started its own power production generator without permission and without taking any environmental protection steps, after its electricity supply was cut off by the local government, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said.

The ministry in late December dispatched 10 inspection teams to different provincial regions nationwide to supervise the implementation of environmental measures taken by key industrial enterprises.

Seven companies, including Tengfei wood industry company in Hebei Province, did not abide by local government emergency measures such as halting or reducing production when localities suffer from air pollution, a ministry statement said.

“Environmental protection facilities installed at companies, including Shandong Xinsheng Industrial Development, did not yield the intended effects,” the ministry added.

Moreover, a list of companies including Wanlu building material company in Bazhou city, Hebei, discharged pollutants violating standards and did not run their environmental protection facilities as required, the ministry said.

The ministry did not specify punishments for violators as they are set to be punished by local authorities.

A total of 60 metropolitan areas and cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, neighboring provinces, and northwest China’s Shaanxi Province were under alert for air pollution, including 31 cities under red alert, 21 under orange alert, and eight under yellow alert, the ministry said.

Many cities in China have experienced heavy smog since last Friday. China’s national observatory Wednesday renewed alerts for air pollution for some areas in northern, eastern and central China, including Beijing.

The widespread smog in China was forecast to disperse Sunday, the ministry said.

China has a four-tier color-coded warning system for severe pollution, with red the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

Measures such as suspension of schools, car restrictions and halting production will be adopted in some cities under red alert.

Chinese cities have suffered from frequent winter smog in recent years, triggering public concern.

Nearly 62 per cent of Chinese cities monitored by the ministry suffered from air pollution Wednesday, providing fresh evidence of environmental challenges facing the country.

The central government has stepped up efforts to cut outdated production capacity and has dispatched inspection teams to provincial regions to supervise environmental measures taken by industrial firms.

Moreover, Chinese authorities are aiming to build a greener energy system in the coming years, in a country where about two-thirds of power is generated by coal.

This story was published with permission from China.org.cn

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