During recent national investigations, 173 Chinese steel firms have been found to have violated the country’s environmental policies. According to the Ministry of Environmental Protection, inspection teams had been established in July to decide if the country’s steel sector was meeting the state and emission standards.
After examining 1,019 steel firms across the country, 173 firms were found to have broken the rules, 62 were involved in illegal construction, and the remaining 35 had exceeded the state emission limits, says the ministry’s official publication. Twenty three (23) of the offending firms have been asked to cut down production, while 29 others have been shut down briefly in order to “solve” their problems. A total of 18.9 million Yuan ($2.8 million) has been imposed on these firms, and three officials have been arrested.
The country has promised to put down law-breaking companies, and the local governments that protect them, and also to use better and sturdy environmental standards, to help put down about 100-150 million tonnes of surplus steel to be produced over the next five years.
As part of its war on pollution, the Environment Ministry, this year, was given authority to send inspection teams to local regions without fore warning, in order to get the defaulting firms red-handed. They were also given the authority to summon senior provincial officials to explain their behavior, to bring down illegally behaved firms, and to cooperate with the government.