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Coal-rich Chinese Province Offers Reward for Cities Curbing Pollution

Coal-rich Shanxi Province in north China will award up to 2 million yuan to cities performing the best in curbing pollution, Xinhua learned on Monday.

The provincial government has offered reward of one million yuan for cities dropping off the list of China's five worst polluted cities and 2 million yuan for those dropping off the list of the ten worst polluted cities, according to the Shanxi environment protection bureau.

The provincial government would review pollution-curbing efforts of the cities and offer the rewards annually, said an official with the bureau.

Shanxi, known for its numerous coal mines, has 403 enterprises that are considered serious air polluters, and north China's Hebei Province has 313 companies that are listed as heavy water polluters.

China reported 161 major pollution accidents last year, or one every other day. The State Environmental Protection Administration suspended 163 pollution-making projects that had a total investment of 770 billion yuan. (One US dollar equals 7.5787 yuan)

(Xinhua News Agency August 14, 2007)

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