China has ordered local governments in two key steel-producing cities to take tougher action against polluters from the sector as part of efforts to improve air quality, Reuters reported.
Inspectors from the Ministry of Environmental Protection last week summoned mayors of Linyi and Chengde and told them to crack down on firms that have violated environment laws, the report said, citing a statement from the ministry.
Linyi is located in the eastern province of Shandong while Chengde in the northern province of Hebei.
Thirteen of the 15 enterprises inspected in Linyi were found to have violated environmental laws. Most were steel and coke plants, with some said to have provided fake environmental data.
China put a new environment law into effect at the start of 2015, and can now impose unlimited fines and even prison sentences on officials in case of failure to uphold the new standards.
“We have to fully implement the law … to shut down those enterprises which haven’t taken any environmental protection measures and haven’t run environment protection equipment,” an environment ministry official, Gao Zhenning, told state television.
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