Capital exposes polluters
Municipal environmental protection authorities in Beijing are trying a new tactic in their war against the city's 28 biggest polluters.
For the first time, they've published a list of the alleged polluting enterprises, hoping the bad publicity will fluster the firms into compliance.
The move shows the city is once again increasing the importance it began placing on air quality in 1998.
Officials say the group of heavy polluters produces a total of 78,000 tons of sulphur dioxide every year, or 68 per cent of the city's overall industrial emissions.
Sulphur dioxide gases harm people's respiratory systems and are a cause of acid rain.
The listed companies also produce 13,000 tons of dust and smoke, or 44 per cent of the city's total dust and smoke emissions being pumped out by industrial businesses, said Wang Dawei, chief of the Pollution Control Division at the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau.
The first batch of the 28 polluters, including five sub-companies under the steel giant Shougang Group, are mainly engaged in supplying electricity and heating, petrochemicals and the steel-smelting industry.
The companies have been ordered to finish machine-refurbishment projects and reduce pollutant emissions to State standards by the end of this year.
Those who exceed to the time limits will be punished according to the law, said Wang.
He also said his bureau will make public a second and the third batch of names of other heavy polluters in the next few months.