Beijing Filed Over 13,000 Pollution Cases in 2016   

Beijing
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 Beijing, which has been experiencing bouts of heavy pollution, has filed 13,127 environmental protection violation cases in 2016 and the local government collected fines worth a total of USD 21.8 million, official Chinese media said today.

A total of 10,184 cases, receiving fines totalling 8.7 million yuan, were due to pollution from mobile emission sources.

Among these, more than 10,000 vehicles were punished for excessive exhaust emissions.

Fines totalling 142 million yuan, involving 2,943 cases, were issued for fixed pollution emission sources.

Nearly half of these violations were reported for air pollution, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Beijing authorities carried out a series of measures to tackle air pollution in 2016, such as cutting coal consumption, ordering construction sites to reduce dust, and removing high-polluting vehicles from roads, it said.

The city of over 21 million people is just recovering from nearly two-week-long bout of heavy air pollution during which the city has announced formation of environment police force to crackdown down on factories not following regulations.

Beijing has a four-tier alert system for pollution, with red the highest, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

Also, more than 5,600 environmental protection violation cases were filed in two Chinese provinces last year.

Fines totalling 420 million yuan (USD 60.6 million), involving 4,242 cases, were issued from January to November last year in the central province of Henan.

A total of 2,062 people and 2,505 companies were punished for dereliction of duty, illegal discharge of pollutants and faking data during the same period.

In neighbouring Hebei Province, 1,384 environmental cases were wrapped in 2016, up 64.96 per cent year on year.

About 3,300 companies had been investigated and 1,853 people detained, flagged for investigation or charged for misconduct linked with pollution, the report said.

Henan and Hebei, home to a large number of power plants, as well as coal and steel companies, are among the regions worse hit by smog in China.

To tackle air pollution, the two have vowed to cut capacity and eliminate outdated facilities.

In the first 11 months of 2016, Henan removed over 430,000 high-polluting vehicles from its roads and ordered 12,300 construction sites to reduce dust, a major source of smog.

Hebei slashed 16.24 million tonnes of steel capacity, 17.61 million tonnes of iron, and 21.89 million weight cases of glass in 2016.

It has pledged to cut another 32 million tonnes of iron and steel capacity this year.

The average PM 2.5 density dropped 9.1 per cent in 2016 in Hebei and 10.7 per cent in the first 11 months of 2016 in Henan, the report said. 

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