Environment ministry: pollution cover-ups exposed in 10 Chinese provinces

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Local governments have falsified environmental reports, helping companies to cover up illegal waste dumping, and deceiving central government inspections

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A government investigation revealed thousands of violations, even by officers, who helped Chinese companies to conceal illegal dumping.

Local governments have falsified environmental reports, helping companies to cover up illegal waste dumping, and deceiving central government inspections, according to an internal investigation by the Ministry of the Environment.

The minister said that last year, thousands of violations of environmental laws were discovered in ten provinces.

A summary was released by the ministry on May 16th.

According to the report, all ten provinces have already begun a process to restore the environmental situation.

China has been actively seeking to reduce its environmental impact and preserve its biodiversity for years.

But much remains to be done to harness air, soil and water pollution.

In Anhui, one of the ten provinces investigated by the ministry, manufacturers of artificial diamonds have unloaded wastewater and hazardous solid waste.

But before the inspectors went to investigate, officials warned the manufacturers of the inspections, according to documents that the Anhui government had released earlier this month.

In some cases, officials have even mandated companies to falsify waste disposal contracts, eliminate a ditch contaminated by wastewater and temporarily suspend production to appear to comply with the regulations, the documents state.

The report ends with an assessment of how the provinces have managed to address these critical issues.

For example, Shanxi fined more than 24 million yuan (3.5 million dollars) of polluters and resolved 1463 environmental violations. The Hunan instead ordered over 4300 companies to change their practices.

Source: nature.com

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