A chemical company in suburb Fengxian District was fined 2.9 million yuan (6,225) and has had to suspend production for illegally burying waste and discharging sewage water.
The district's environment watchdog said over the weekend that Shanghai Huiguang Fine Chemical Industry Co near the S4 Expressway buried over 5 tons of polluting hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose in a large pit in its courtyard, said Li Chun, deputy leader with the district's environment inspection team.
Solid waste must be sent to specialized incineration or burying plants after being roughly treated, according to China's solid garbage pollution treatment regulation. Companies mustn't damp, pile, dispose or scatter solid waste, the regulation states.
Law enforcement officers also found the company was discharging condensate through a rainwater pipeline and into a nearby waterway directly, which violates the city's environmental protection law.
Furthermore, the company diluted waste chemical water and discharged it into a nearby waterway without any treatment. The polluting chemicals were diluted enough to avoid being detected, but this would cause no less pollution to the river, Li said.
The environmental protection bureau of Fengxian fined the company a total of 2.9 million yuan for the three violations and ordered operations to be suspended for the firm to carry out improvements. The firm's official of the company responsible for environmental safety has been detained.
"If it fails to correct the violation, the suspension period will be extended, and the company's water and electricity supplies will also be cut off," said Li.
The company has invested over 42 million yuan to rebuild a biologic waste water treatment system and waste gas collection system, said Cai Yinhua, general manager with the company. A third-party environmental protection firm has been hired to oversee future operations.
"The experience is suffering and painful that we must deeply inspect ourselves," Cai said. He promised to pay salaries to all its employees during the suspension. The company was estimated to have lost about 30 million yuan because of the suspension, he added.
Fine Chemical was established in 2004 and is one of the largest suppliers in the cellulose industry. It generated 450 tons waste water of high concentrations of sodium chlorides daily. Cai said but it had been discharging the waste water after simple dilution, a practice that has been illegal since 2012.
To prevent similar violations, the bureau plans to establish an online platform to monitor the waste water and gas discharging in real time, said Wei Yongming, director with the bureau.
The district is home to several industrial zones and it has issued a total of 26.94 million yuan in fines in 280 cases this year, according to the bureau. Fourteen cases where severe violations are involved have been handed over to the police.