Local Government to Look into Steel Producing Cities to Monitor Pollution more Closely
The country’s environmental ministry ordered local governments in two key steel producing cities to use tougher actions against factories that pollutes from its sector. This action is part of the efforts to improve the air quality and could further pressure mills that are already struggling to stay alive amid weak demands and growth as China loses momentum.
Inspectors from the Ministry of Environmental Protection summoned the mayors of Linyi in the eastern province of Shandong and Chengde in northern Hebei and urged them to help in the cracking down on the firms that violated the environmental laws. The ministry vowed to fully implement the law and shut down all enterprises that haven’t taken any environmental protection measures nor run environmental protection equipment. Among the 15 enterprises in Linyi 13 are found to violate environmental laws.
The central government vows to tackle hazardous smog by imposing higher environmental standards and to strengthen it monitoring of high polluting regions. As China places a new environmental law that will take effect in 2015 can now impose unlimited fines and prison sentences to officials that fail to meet with the new standards.
Steel mills are suffering from low prices due to over capacity paired with an economic slowdown in which they are estimated to pay 160 yuan per ton of steel just to comply with the guidelines.