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Shanghai lacking in environmental protection, inspectors find

By Zheng Jinran | chinadaily.com.cb | Updated: 2017-04-13 14:33

Shanghai suffers from insufficient water pollution controls and the weak enforcement of laws designed to deter polluters, the central environment inspection team announced on Wednesday.

Inadequate implementation of penalties levied on polluters meant that 800 companies that had been ordered to stop production in 2013 were still in operation, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said in a statement.

In addition, 375 companies found to be producing excessive emissions had been fined less than 50,000 yuan ($7,250), which is lower than the minimum level set by municipal regulations, it added.

The inspectors said Shanghai had made some progress in improving its environment, such as by reducing the amount of airborne pollutants last year, but there is still a large gap between environmental quality and people’s expectations.

In addition to weak law enforcement, the monthlong inspection of Shanghai, which started on Nov 28, exposed other inadequacies such as missing or postponed deadlines for bringing in antipollution measures.

For example, the State Council issued a notice requiring all provincial regions to deal with illegal construction projects by the end of last year, but the inspection team found that 976 illegal wood processing plants in the city’s Fengxian district were still in operation.

In Baoshan district, meanwhile, water quality in the river has continued to worsen since 2013, and all 16 sections with regular monitoring were found to have water that was not suitable for use in irrigation, industrial production or for any other purpose.

Improvements to urban waste water plants have also fallen behind schedule, the inspection team added.

During the monthlong inspection, the team uncovered 1,893 violations and reported them to the municipality.

As a result, 895 companies were required to improve and 929 polluting companies received fines totaling 62 million yuan, the statement said. 

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