Firms face heavier punishment for polluting

Updated: 2016-10-12 16:51

By Zheng Jinran(

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China imposed harsher punishments on companies discharging excessive levels of pollutants in the first eight months of the year, with larger fines handed down and more cases transferred to judicial organs, the country's top environmental protection authority said on Wednesday.

In the January-to-August period, an average of 448 companies were fined per day — a year-on-year increase of 11 percent — with total fines exceeding 488 million yuan ($72.6 million), said Tian Weiyong, head of the Environmental Inspection Bureau under the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

In addition, environmental authorities at all levels sealed production facilities of 4,456 companies during the period, a year-on-year increase of 86 percent, while more than 1,880 companies saw their operations suspended due to excessive pollution and illegal discharging.

The environmental authorities have better utilized legal methods to punish and deter polluters, with 1,172 cases transferred to judicial organs, a year-on-year increase of 14 percent, Tian said.

The revised Environmental Protection Law, effective from Jan 1, 2015, has improved regulation of companies' discharges and pollution levels. Fines have no upper limit and companies who repeat offenses will see fines increase, while in extreme cases, those responsible for pollution will be detained.