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China issues 190,000 penalties for environmental violators

Updated: Dec 25,2014 9:29 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s environmental authorities have handed out penalties to roughly 190,000 enterprises for violating environmental protection rules over the past two years.

Authorities have investigated 103,707 cases and punished offenders involved, according to a document issued at a seminar on environmental inspection held by the Ministry of Environmental Protection on Dec 23.

In the first three quarters this year, environmental agencies across the board transferred 1,232 cases involving suspected crimes regarding environmental pollution to police, the document said.

In 2013, the number was only 706, outnumbering the total transferred cases in the previous decade, according to the document.

Zhai Qing, vice minister of environmental protection, urged better law enforcement as well as strict punishment for violations and more transparency.

Also on Dec 23, the ministry publicly named and shamed two enterprises in central China’s Hunan province for illegally polluting with gas emissions.

The two factories have been ordered to suspend operation and their power supply has been cut off.

They also ordered punishment for people of these enterprises responsible for the violation, as well as for some local environmental officials.