China’s central authorities have sent the first ever environmental protection team to Hebei province to undertake a month-long investigation to help reduce pollution.
Hebei province has been chosen as a pilot project in the planned bi-annual inspection. The inspection team has already set up a hotline and mailbox to receive reports from the public. Hebei is required to devise a correction plan in six months based on the feedback from the team.
“The inspection team will go about its work in a number of ways, including hearing reports, reading materials, carrying out investigations and holding forums, holding private talks, accepting reports and doing random on-the-spot checks,” Zhai Qing, deputy chief of the inspection team said.
Hebei was chosen to be the first stop because of the gravity of the situation there, he added.
“The atmosphere, water and soil have been seriously polluted… reaching or nearing the capacity the environment can bear. It has become a weak spot in achieving the goal to build a comprehensive well-off society,” he said.
The team will examine how the policies from the central level have been implemented and what they have done to improve the environment. Inspectors will look into sectors that secretly emit pollutants.
“We shall never save face for anybody. We shall mete out punishments, both legal and disciplinary, for inaction or arbitrary conduct or even dereliction of duty, malpractice and abuse of power,” Zhao Kezhi, secretary of the Hebei Provincial Committee of the CPC, said.
Central authorities will also set up six inspection centers in different regions in China. In the next two years, they will inspect other provinces to see how provincial-level Party committees and governments carry out their environmental duties.
Story by CCTV News