China / Society

Wastewater treatment plants fined $3.3 million

By Zhang Yu in Shijiazhuang (China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-23 08:31

Hebei province has fined six wastewater treatment plants nearly 20.48 million yuan ($3.3 million) for discharging excessive pollutants.

A plant in Zaoqiang county was ordered to pay more than 6.8 million yuan, the highest fine among the six, for not taking requested corrective measures, according to the Hebei provincial Environmental Protection Department.

Another five plants - one each in Chengde, Zhangjiakou and Langfang and two in Cangzhou - also were fined. The five plants were punished with penalties ranging from tens of thousands of yuan to millions.

Fines accumulate on a daily basis based on a new national Environmental Protection Law, which took effect on Jan 1.

Under the legislation, called the most severe environmental protection law so far, an enterprise that does not correct a pollution problem after being notified can be fined multiples of the initially imposed penalty.

Although this is the first time the province has imposed the additional penalties, "this will become a normal action in Hebei", said Yang Yongjie, from the province's Environmental Law Enforcement Supervision Department.

Yang said the accumulated fine will force enterprises to operate in accordance with the law.

In addition to fines, administrative penalties will also target those responsible, Yang said.

Hebei has spent 1.05 million yuan to install remote automatic inspection systems at 210 wastewater treatment plants.

Since launching inspections at the start of the year, Hebei has investigated and prosecuted more than 300 cases.

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