Unlicensed roadbed material company closed after years of illegal operation
An unlicensed roadbed material company in Pudong has finally closed after years of illegal operation.
The company, Shanghai Pudong Xingyuan Roadbed Material Company, is located in Pudong’s Chuansha New Town. For years, it had been producing dust and waste gas, discharging waste water into a nearby river despite local authorities’ warnings and punishments.
This month, the company was finally closed and removed under the central government environment inspection team’s supervision.
“We fined the company several times in the past few years,” said Zhang Zhiwei, deputy chief of Chuansha New Town. “However, driven by profit, the company had been operating on and off despite the punishments. Its small scale and irregular operating hours added up to the difficulty of our supervision.”
According to Pudong Environmental Protection Bureau, the company, which is mainly involved in asphalt manufacture, handed in an environment license application to the bureau and the town government in 2011. Considering the potential pollution the company might cause during its manufacture, the authority declined the application.
However, Xingyuan continued with its operation without authority’s approval. The Pudong environment bureau first received nearby residents’ complaints about the waste gas, dust and sewage discharged by the company in 2012, and issued an initial fine of 80,000 yuan (US$12,000).
According to the bureau, the company had been fined no less than 180,000 yuan for unlicensed operation and illegal waste discharge from 2012 to 2014. However, the company continued with polluting soon after each fine. The local authority said it had found it difficult to collect evidence of all its illegal activities.
Last December, the central government’s environment watchdog sent an inspection team to Shanghai, which listed the company as a "renovation target" for Shanghai.
Under pressure from the inspection team, the company finally shut down completely this May. Its buildings are being removed this month. Chuansha New Town government plans to convert the land into farmland.
Pudong’s environment authority admitted that its enforcement team had omitted cracking down on a number of unlicensed or polluting factories and mills due to their small scale and irregular operations.
The environment bureau said it would join hands with other government departments in the future to strengthen law enforcement against violators of regulations.
In the past eight months, Pudong has completed the renovation or closure of 6,007 projects and companies that were ruled to have caused harm to the environment.