China sends government teams to investigate pollution as smog engulfs cities
BEIJING (REUTERS) - China has sent teams of investigators to parts of the country worst hit by air pollution as part of efforts to stop the heavy smog engulfing about 15 percent of the country, including Beijing.
Twelve teams of inspectors will head to the cities of Beijing, the nearby city of Tianjin and Hebei province to see how authorities are responding to the worst air pollution in months, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said on Sunday.
The inspectors will visit construction sites and factories producing steel, glass, cement and coal products, the ministry said. Those found to be violating production standards will be publicly identified.
Authorities have issued innumerable orders and policies to try and clean up the environment, investing in projects to fight pollution and empowering courts to mete out stiff penalties. But enforcement has been patchy at the local level, where authorities often rely on taxes paid by polluting industries.