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Company fined 3 mln yuan for polluting desert

China Daily, March 23, 2015 Adjust font size:

A company in Gansu Province discharged more than 83,000 metric tons of untreated water in the desert through a concealed conduit between May 28, 2014, and March 6. [Photo/Xinhua] 

The statement said the company had ignored the need to protect the environment, and the environmental protection authorities neglected their supervisory duties, a Xinhua News Agency report said on Saturday.

The desert stretches across Gansu, the Ningxia Hui autonomous region and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, and the case is the second involving the illegal discharge of waste water there.

In August 2014, several pits containing liquid waste were found, and the companies responsible were punished and ordered to move away from the area. Twenty-four officials at environmental protection bureaus in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region were suspended.

Chang Jiwen, deputy director of the Research Institute of Resources and Environment Policies at the State Council Development Research Center, said, "Companies discharge pollutants illegally because they want to pursue huge profits."

He said the companies failed to install equipment to control pollution, a move that slashed their costs.

"Lax supervision by the authorities is also a major factor behind illegal discharges," added Chang, who gave lectures to environmental protection officials in Gansu two weeks ago.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection has ordered watchdogs at different levels to implement the revised Environmental Protection Law fully to control pollution through regular rigorous inspections this year.

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