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Thousands of firms pose critical environmental risks, May 6, 2015 Adjust font size:

The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) has identified over 4,000 companies posing critical environmental risks and released new regulations to tackle potential emergencies, National Business Daily reported.

A huge smoke billow is seen in a facotory district in Anhui Province. 

Those companies mainly operate in the fields of petroleum processing, coking, chemical materials, chemical products manufacturing, and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

MEP said the number is based on data collected in 2010, 2012 and 2013.

According to regulations, local environmental protection authorities are responsible for supervising high-risk companies that have the potential to trigger mass environmental disturbances, as well as threaten security and stability.

The new laws will take effect on June 5 and will help prevent disturbances, according to Song Guojun, a researcher from Renmin University of China.

Six specific types of "unregulated" industry behavior, subject to fines ranging from 10,000 to 30,000 yuan (about $1611 to 4833), have been designated.

Since 2006, the MEP has directly handled over 900 environmental incidents and coordinated responses to 93 major local incidents.

Environmental risks and emergencies have become increasingly complicated and irregular over the years.