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China to expand environmental inspections

Updated: Jan 30,2017 2:55 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s environmental inspections will cover all provincial regions this year, according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP).

Inspectors will monitor local conditions and push local governments to fulfill their responsibilities, the MEP said.

China launched central environmental inspections in 2016, when inspection teams were dispatched to 15 provincial areas including Beijing and Shanghai.

Last year, inspectors looked into 33,000 cases and imposed fines totaling 440 million yuan (about $64 million). A total of 720 people were detained and close to 6,500 were held accountable for environment-related wrongdoing.

China is fighting pollution and environmental degradation after decades of growth left the country saddled with problems such as smog and contaminated soil.