China Nabs 720 People, Imposes $21.8M Fine to Curb Air Pollution
China nabbed 720 people, filed 13,127 cases, and imposed 150 million yuan ($21.8 million) of fines for violating environmental protection regulations last year, according to a report by environmental authorities on Thursday.
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The Global News reported that around 8.7 million yuan ($1.26 million) worth of fine were imposed on nearly 10,200 cases for pollution from mobile emission sources. Of these, at least 10,000 were charged for excessive exhaust emissions.
China also penalized at least 2,943 cases, worth 142 million ($20.6 million) for fixed pollution emission sources such as factories.
Furthermore, according to a national environmental work conference, Beijing rejected last year at least 11 projects valued at 97 billion yuan ($14 billion) because of environmental concerns.
Shanghai Daily reported that Beijing recently reported a continuous annual drop in air pollution. Last year's PM2.5 levels significantly reduced to 9.9 percent compared with that of in 2015.
Officials from the capital have also launched new initiatives to help curb the massive air pollution, including reduction of coal use, introducing schedules for cars to operate, and shutting down or regulating factories.
At the beginning of the year, the Meteorological Administration of China has issued an orange alert, indicating that the smog level in the capital was at the second-worst level.
New measures are still being put in place to ensure that air in the region meets the expected health standards. The government recently set out on plans to purchase foreign natural gas to do away with coal.