Over 4,000 people held accountable for environmental problems

Updated 2017-09-06 11:00:46 Xinhua

China has held 4,129 people accountable for poor environmental protection after the latest round of inspections, the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) said Tuesday.

On Sept. 4, eight inspection teams reported problems they found during the fourth round of inspections, which this time visited the provinces of Jilin, Zhejiang, Shandong, Hainan, Sichuan and Qinghai, and Tibet and Xinjiang autonomous regions.

More than 18,500 cases were highlighted by the inspection teams, 285 people were detained and 280 million yuan (about 43 million U.S. dollars) in fines were issued, according to the MEP.

The number of people held accountable is sure to increase as authorities continue their work.

China is fighting pollution and environmental degradation after decades of growth have left the country with problems such as smog and contaminated soil.

Last year, inspectors looked into 33,000 cases and imposed fines totalling 440 million yuan. A total of 720 people were detained and close to 6,500 were held accountable.

China has been phasing out unclean and inefficient coal-fired boilers, appointing "river chiefs" and setting up new monitoring stations for air, water and soil protection.

The country is also working to build a clean, low-carbon, safe and efficient modern energy system.

Green development is one of the five development concepts outlined in China's 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), along with innovation, coordination, opening up and sharing.

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