China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment has sharply criticized the country's largest private steel-maker on Thursday 28 June for failing to carry out rectification plans and for dumping steel slag along the Yangtze River in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu province.
According to a ministry inspection team, the steelmaker, Shagang Group, has been dumping large amounts of waste from the steelmaking process along the banks of the Yangtze, posing great danger to nearby waters and soil. In addition, the group has failed to correct problems found in previous rounds of inspections, including large emissions of smoke and dust.
Although the Zhangjiagang Environmental Protection Bureau fined the group $15,000 USD and ordered it to correct the problem by the end of 2016, a team dispatched by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment to revisit the site found that the polluting gas emissions continue, and that dust removal facilities have not been functioning normally, China Daily reports.
In a statement, Shagang Group said it will pay great attention to environmental protection problems and take immediate action to correct the ecological damage.
According to Chen Yongze, deputy director of the city's publicity department, 34 officials and people in charge have been punished for dereliction of duty. "Four leaders from Shagang have been dismissed from their posts or demoted. A special team has been sent to Shagang and will work with third-party organizations to scrutinize its problems."
The city's environmental protection bureau will continue monitoring the group to ensure all the environmental problems have been rectified, he said.