China Starts Environmental Inspections of Iron, Steel Industry

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By Michael Standaert

July 26 — China's Ministry of Environmental Protection launched a special inspection campaign to ensure that iron and steel producers operate automatic emissions monitoring systems and do not exceed air and wastewater emissions quotas, the State Council announced July 26.

The inspections will run through the end of October.

In preparation for the inspections, China's Ministry of Finance set up a special fund of 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) in May to provide local governments with rebates and incentives to reduce overcapacity among steel and iron producers and coal-fired power facilities as well as to aid laid-off workers. Additional incentives also were offered for heating and electricity efficiency improvements at iron and steel facilities.

Tian Weiyong, head of the Ministry of Environmental Protection's supervision bureau, said China will continue to “strengthen the environmental regulatory requirements for the steel and iron industry, increase penalties [for infractions] and push for compliance with major pollutant emissions quotas,” including levying daily accumulating penalties for facilities that fail to undertake mandatory remediation measures.

The ministry also released two guidance documents July 19 for coal-fired power facilities, gas-fired power generation, diesel-fired power units, biogas powered units and paper producers to conduct emissions self-monitoring checks as the country prepares national emissions licensing standards.

According to the State Council, 1,361 coal-fired power plants produce 3.8 million metric tons of dust, 6.6 million metric tons of sulfur dioxide, 6.4 million metric tons of nitrogen oxides annually, with the latter two accounting for 22.5 percent and 38.9 percent of industrial emissions of those pollutants annually.

In addition, there were still problems with monitoring emissions from coal-fired power facilities, with only 70 percent meeting the required monitoring, the ministry said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Standaert in Shenzhen, China, at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Greg Henderson at

For More Information

The State Council's inspection notice is available, in Chinese, at .

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