Beijing Authorities Fine Firms for Pollution

Authorities in the Chinese capital of Beijing fined a total of 652 industrial facilities for breaching environmental regulations in the first four months of 2014 as the city stepped up efforts to fight pollution, according to local media reports.

Beijing’s Environmental Protection Bureau levied fines totaling 14.5m yuan (CNY), equivalent to US$2.3m, over the four month period. “The amount is twice as high as for the same period last year,” said Zhong Chonglei, chief officer at the Bureau’s supervision department. Three-quarters of the fines handed out were for air pollution.

The biggest single fine, of CNY200,000 was imposed on the Beijing Yueju Heating Company for manipulating emissions data for one of its coal-fired boilers.

Beijing’s air quality has come under intense scrutiny as the city suffered 60 days of pollution levels deemed to be above emergency levels during 2013.

In March, China’s premier Li Keqiang promised a “war on pollution”. In the same month Beijing for the first time took charge of supervising its pollution levels. The city can hand out fines of up to CNY500,000 and can impose additional financial penalties for late payment.

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