Companies pay the price for breaching environmental rules

Scores of local companies have been fined, suspended or closed for breaching environmental regulations in a new round of crackdown on polluters.

Scores of local companies have been fined, suspended or closed for breaching environmental regulations in a new round of crackdown on polluters. 

On Monday, an inspection team began its district-level work by making on-site inspections and soliciting intelligence from the public, said the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau.

The team has received 220 complaints from residents in Changning and Qingpu districts. It has closed a company and suspended two, as well as levying fines totaling 2.8 million yuan (US$435,300) against 20 companies. 

The authorities also ordered 29 companies to stop their pollution and reform their operations. 

On Anshun Road and Tianshan Road in Changning, several unlicensed eateries that produced heavy pollution were demolished three days after inspectors received intelligence from neighboring residents.

Supply of electricity to Yifeng, an energy-saving construction material producer, in Qingpu District was cut off following complaints from residents. 

In Changning District, a junkyard in Xujing Town was removed to improve residents’ living environment.  

Law enforcement officers with the inspection team will be surveying the subdistricts, towns and industrial parks of the two districts. 

Residents can dial 22050123 to lodge complaints about environmental violations in Changning District, and 69715788 in Qingpu District. Staff of the hotlines speak only Mandarin, but foreign residents can ask their Chinese friends to be their translators.

In April, a central government inspection team issued a report that noted problems such as the delay of work in raising treatment standards for urban waste water, substandard water quality, and local authorities’ lenient approach toward environmental management.

Shanghai’s government said it had made specific plans to rectify the problems outlined in the report.

Some corrective projects have been accomplished by October, including measures to tackle pollution from companies that store hazardous chemicals, heavy metal enterprises, and mechanical cranes upstream of Huangpu River.

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