BEIJING — China has held 6,471 officials in eight provincial-level regions accountable for environmental damage after inspections by central authorities from August to September, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said on Dec 22.
Inspectors also detained 424 people and imposed 547.6 million yuan ($83.3 million) of fines following the fourth round of environmental inspections, the ministry said in a statement.
The inspected regions were Jilin, Zhejiang, Shandong, Hainan, Sichuan, Tibet, Qinghai and Xinjiang.
The ministry criticized a number of local governments for such problems as inadequate attention to environmental protection, poor treatment of air and water pollution, lack of environmental infrastructure and illegal land reclamation from the sea.
The eight regions should submit plans to address the problems to the State Council within 30 work days and make them public, the ministry said.
The inspections are part of China’s campaign to fight pollution and environmental degradation as decades of growth have left the country with smog, polluted water and contaminated soil.
Tackling pollution has been listed as one of “the three tough battles” that China aims to win in the next three years, according to the Central Economic Work Conference that concluded earlier this week.