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Hefty Fines to Be Slapped on Beijing's Noise Polluters

Construction companies will be fined up to 200,000 yuan (US$25,000), seven times as much as previous penalties, if they violate a new noise management regulation approved by the Beijing municipal government.


Under the regulation, loud construction work should not occur between 10 PM and 8 AM or during middle school or college entrance examination days except for emergencies, the city's environmental protection bureau said on Sunday.


The new regulation also bans street sellers from using loudspeakers to attract customers, threatening a fine of up to 50,000 yuan (US$6,250).


House owners will also be fined if the noise from home improvements severely affects their neighbors.


Beijing has experienced worsening noise pollution alongside its rapid development. Nearly half of all environmental complaints are about noise from construction sites, business hawkers or home improvements, according to the environment bureau.


"A sound sleep should not be a luxury for residents," said a spokesman from the bureau.


The previous noise management regulation was issued in 1984 and was revised in 1997, but it can no longer meet the demands of residents, according to the bureau.


(Xinhua News Agency November 20, 2006)

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