China hands out record fine to six polluters

Author: Stian Reklev, Reuters, Published on: 29 December 2014

A Chinese court…fined six companies in eastern Jiangsu province a total of 160 million yuan ($26 million) for releasing chemical waste into rivers…the biggest fine of its kind ever handed out in China.

The firms in Taizhou city had discharged 25,000 tonnes of waste acid into two rivers…The Jiangsu Provincial Higher People's Court ordered the polluters to pay the fines into an environmental protection fund within 30 days.

…The court ruling comes just two days before a new environmental protection law enters into force that will give local authorities more power to punish violators…But efforts to curb pollution are often ineffective because local environmental protection agencies lack the authority to implement rules and standards while maximum levels for environmental fines are low…

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Related companies: PetroChina (part of China National Petroleum Corporation)