Following the first round of environmental inspections from 2015 to 2017 in China, the central environmental is now coming back to the factories.
Checking progress from the latest inspections
A spokesman of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) stated during a recent press conference: “In order to fight against pollution, especially to support the Blue Sky Protection Campaign, we will launch the first round of follow-up inspections”.
The objective is to check the implementation of corrective actions after last inspections. “We must follow closely the inspection reports and the implementation of corrective actions. We will focus on key issues and follow-up completion. We will not let go unless the problem is actually solved”, strengthened the responsible of MEE to inspection teams during their training. “We must effectively supervise the corrective actions taken and eliminate all ‘superficial or falsified corrections’ by punishing irresponsible local officials who slighted environmental issues.”
For this return inspection, 6 teams were sent to 10 provinces: Hebei, Henan, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Guangdong and Yunnan. They will stay in each province for one month. The first team arrived in Hebei on May 31st and the last team arrived in Guangxi on June 7th.
Corrective actions are not up to standards
The MEE has already published information about several falsified corrections in Guangdong, Hebei, Jiangsu and Inner Mongolia. Rivers in Qingyuan town of Guangdong Province are still black and smelly, contrary to what was claimed by the local government; factories in Hebei and Inner Mongolia were claimed to be closed but were re-opened after the last inspection, still without any environmental administrative approval; companies are still dumping waste mud illegally. Inspection teams are investigating the issues now and promised to take strict actions against responsible people and companies.
Besides the generic points, the inspection teams will have different focus according to the province. For Jiangsu, the focus will be air emissions, while for Guangxi and Guangdong; it will be waste transfer and treatment. In Jiangxi, there will be a focus on the Poyang Lake and in Yunnan, it will be mainly about the protection of the highlands and lakes.
If more evidences were needed to prove that Chinese central government is actually serious about tackling environmental issues, here they are. Based on the experience of 2017 inspections, a large number of factories shall be punished or even be shut-down during the follow-up. The government is already planing for his next 3-years round of inspection as of 2019.