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Environmental authorities fine 19 polluters 410m yuan

Updated: 2014-06-17 21:51
By Zhang Yu ( chinadaily.com.cn)

The Ministry of Environmental Protection has issued fines to 19 enterprises totaling 410 million yuan ($65.9 million) for not using required desulfurization facilities.

Most of the companies are coal-fired power stations, which release toxic sulfur dioxide into the air. Some iron and steel companies and enterprises in the chemical industry were also fined.

The ministry said the companies also were ordered to formulate plans within a month for improving their desulfurization, and the process must be completed by the end of the year.

Ma Jun, an environment researcher at the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, said that equipment and techniques of most enterprises already meet the national desulfurization standard, but they just don't use them to save money, and they create fraudulent data to get national subsidies.

The cost for a company to manage polluting emissions is more than 100,000 yuan a year.

What's more, companies can obtain large subsidies from the government by appearing to be having used desulfurization facilities for environmental protection. According to previous regulations, even if fraud is found, the company will be fined only 50,000 yuan, which is lower than the cost of complying with the law.