Six firms in Jiangsu province have been ordered to pay 160 million yuan (US$26 million) for discharging waste chemical into rivers, state news agency Xinhua reported.
It is the highest fine of its kind ever imposed in China, the report said.
A court ordered the firms from Taizhou city Tuesday to pay the sum to an environmental protection fund within 30 days.
They were found guilty of discharging 25,000 tonnes of waste acid into two rivers.
In August, a lower court in Taizhou sentenced 14 people involved in the pollution to prison terms ranging from two to five years and ordered the firms to pay 160 million yuan within nine months.
The six firms appealed, and Jiangsu Provincial Higher People’s Court upheld the ruling on Tuesday.
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