Tangshan City Cracks Down on Polluting Steel Mills
According to latest reports, authorities in China’s steelmaking hub Tangshan city in Hebei Province have vowed to crack down on illicit emissions after two
According to latest reports, authorities in China’s steelmaking hub Tangshan city in Hebei Province have vowed to crack down on illicit emissions after two weeks of heavy smog across northern China. Tangshan’s Deputy Mayor Mr Li Guifu ordered factories to limit or halt production on days when a heavy pollution alert was in place to reduce the overall emissions of air pollutants such as sulphuric dioxide or nitrogen oxide by 50%. Mr Li told all factories to follow the city’s environmental protection plan, and warned that any steel and cement plants that fail to do so will have their pollutant discharge permits revoked and production suspended. He added that the consequences of failing to meet the requirements also include detention or criminal liability for the plant owner. For companies that do not meet the environmental requirements, all their pollutant discharge permits will be revoked and their discharge performance rating will be cut to D, which would demand them to suspend production.
Mr Li issued the warning after a surprise inspection by central government found four plants in Tangshan had failed to comply with regulations. Ministry of Ecology and Environment Minister Mr Huang Runqiu led inspection team found on Thursday that a stainless steel producer belonging to HBIS Group, plus Tangshan Jinma Steel Group and two other mills, were producing at high rates during the pollution alert and had falsified production records. The four mills were all fined 1 million yuan each and had their discharge permits revoked,
According to China’s environment ministry’s figures, the 10 cities with the worst air quality in China last year were all in Hebei or the neighbouring municipalities of Beijing and Tianjin. Tangshan is one of China’s most polluted cities because of the heavy industries and the smog it emits also affects the air in Beijing which is less than 200 kilometer away. Tangshan launched a level-II emergency response to heavy pollution on March 7, which is yet to be lifted.