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China targets 750 firms in war on pollution

China's environmental watchdog has shut down or suspended 649 firms and given dozens of others a deadline to clean up their act, state media said on Tuesday amid growing concern about pollution ahead of the 2008 Olympics.

China targets 750 firms in war on pollution
China's environmental watchdog has shut down or suspended 649 firms and given dozens of others a deadline to clean up their act, state media said on Tuesday amid growing concern about pollution ahead of the 2008 Olympics.


The State Environmental Protection Administration launched a two-month campaign in July to clean up the country's rivers and recovered 725 million yuan ($96 million) in fines for polluting.

"Punishment is not our aim. We want to push local industries to restructure their operations," Pan Yue, deputy minister of SEPA, was quoted by the China Daily as saying.

An inspection of 1,162 firms along the Yangtze, Yellow, Huaihe and Haihe rivers found outdated technologies, which resulted in heavy levels of pollution.

The environmental watchdog shut down 400 and suspended the operations of 249 more while improvements were made. An additional 102 were given a deadline to correct wrongdoings.

Water pollution has become SEPA's primary concern before the Beijing Olympic Games.

According to government figures, of the 1,406 industrial accidents reported in 2005, nearly half resulted in water pollution.

The search is on, meanwhile, for Mr and Mrs Green in China.

The China Environment Culture Promotion Association launched a three-month campaign to find China's "Green Persons of the Year".

"Candidates dealing with water pollution are likely to be among the winners," the China Daily quoted association secretary-general Wang Panpu as saying.

Reuters
Last Mod: 04 Eylül 2007, 15:04
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