11 polluting plants told to clean up their act
Updated: 2006-02-08 06:10
China's top environmental watchdog has demanded
officials report toxic spills within an hour and has named and shamed 11
companies for pollution.
An official from the State Environmental Protection Administration
(SEPA), quoted by the People's Daily, said officials and executives who
delayed reporting or covered up "sudden environmental incidents" may face
Pan Yue, vice minister of the State Environmental Protection Administration
(SEPA), on Tuesday warned 11 highly-polluting factories to clean up their
act or face fines or closure. The enterprises found to have "serious problems" include Baiyin Nonferrous
Metals Co in Gansu Province and Xingtai Iron and Steel Co Ltd in Hebei Province.
The Dalian Petrochemical Plant in northeast
Baiyin is China's seventh-largest copper producer with an annual production
of about 100,000 tons and Xingtai has an annual steel production of 2.4 million
were identified in a nationwide survey of 78 factories, which began after a November
chemical spill in Northeast China's Songhua River.
"Recent pollution accidents were caused not only by
factories, but also the country's imbalance in industrial structure," said Pan.
"In the long run, industrial structure and localized environmental crises
will replace individual polluters as the No 1 environmental threat in the
country," Pan said.
SEPA will conduct a second round of checks on 127 chemical or petrochemical
projects for environmental threats.
Located in river basins, coastal regions, densely-populated areas or nature
reserves, the 127 projects have a combined investment of about 450 billion yuan
"SEPA has sent out teams throughout the country for inspections," said Zhang
Jianyu, a visiting scholar at the School of Public Policy and Management,
"The new round of checks is a more active response and a
systematic approach," Zhang said. "But we cannot expect just one examination to
solve all the potential threats."
SEPA yesterday also named 10 metal, transportation and power projects under
construction or in trial operation near rivers, areas of dense population or
nature reserves as posing serious environmental danger.