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China finds nearly 2,000 firms in breach of anti-pollution rules

BEIJING (Reuters) - Nearly 2,000 Chinese enterprises were found to be in violation of state pollution guidelines following a nationwide inspection campaign covering 25,000 industrial firms, the environment ministry said on Thursday. With the environment identified as one of the government's top priorities after years of unfettered economic growth, Beijing has promised to enhance its powers to monitor and punish industries accused of ignoring state regulations.

China to move some facilities out of polluted capital to ease congestion

BEIJING (Reuters) - China plans to move some administrative, research and healthcare facilities out of its capital to a nearby city to ease the burden on Beijing, which is often wreathed in heavy smog and choked with traffic jams, state media reported on Thursday. The environment has emerged as one of Beijing's key priorities amid growing public disquiet about urban smog, dwindling and polluted water supplies and the widespread industrial contamination of farmland.

China says polluting industry still growing too fast, heavy smog alert for Beijing

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's energy-hungry, high-polluting industries continued to grow too fast in 2013, putting "huge pressures" on the environment and causing air quality to worsen, the country's pollution agency said on Tuesday. Premier Li Keqiang "declared war" on pollution in a major policy address this month, but China has long struggled to strike a balance between protecting the environment and keeping up economic growth.

China vows 'harsh punishment' for toxic smog culprits

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's environment ministry has vowed to 'harshly punish' factories and power plants that contributed to a hazardous smog which enveloped much of Northern China, official state media reported on Wednesday. Investigations had found that some thermal power plants, cement and steel makers in the northern province of Hebei had failed to halt or curtail production during severely smoggy days despite government orders, state news agency Xinhua quoted the Ministry of Environmental Protection as saying.

China vows 'harsh punishment' for toxic smog culprits

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's environment ministry has vowed to 'harshly punish' factories and power plants that contributed to a hazardous smog which enveloped much of Northern China, official state media reported on Wednesday. Investigations had found that some thermal power plants, cement and steel makers in the northern province of Hebei had failed to halt or curtail production during severely smoggy days despite government orders, state news agency Xinhua quoted the Ministry of Environmental Protection as saying.

Compliance becomes hotter issue for U.S. firms in China: report

By Adam Jourdan SHANGHAI (Reuters) - U.S. companies in China placed greater focus on compliance last year after several high profile probes into corruption and high pricing, but rising costs and a skills shortage remained their main concerns, the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai said in its annual report.

China says gets tough on polluters, nixes projects worth $19.5 billion

By David Stanway BEIJING (Reuters) - China's environmental watchdog vetoed as many as 32 projects with a total investment of 118.4 billion yuan ($19.5 billion) last year as it stepped up efforts to get tough on industrial polluters, a senior official said on Tuesday. Zhai Qing, the vice-environment minister, told reporters his ministry was working to improve its environmental assessment capabilities and strengthen its powers to monitor and punish polluters.

China considers new powers for pollution watchdog as part of government shakeup

By David Stanway and Benjamin Kang Lim BEIJING (Reuters) - China could grant its undersized environment ministry new powers over resources, possibly allowing it to veto future projects, and more muscle to punish polluters as part of a government shake-up to tackle decades of unchecked growth.

China's big polluters exceed emission limits - report

BEIJING (Reuters) - Online emissons figures reported by most coal-fired power plants and factories in China surpassed government limits, a group of NGOs and research institutes said, warning that the situation is likely to worsen in July, when targets get tougher. High pollution levels have sparked widespread public anger in China, and officials concerned about social unrest have responded by implementing tougher policies.

China sets targets for curbing air pollution

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has set new targets for its provinces to reduce air pollution by 5 to 25 percent, state media said late on Tuesday, underscoring the government's concern about a source of public anger. China regularly issues directives to try to tackle air pollution in major cities, but these have had limited effect.
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