Eight cities in northern China’s Liaoning province have been fined for ‘bad air quality,’ by the Liaoning Department of Environmental Protection. The eight cities were required to give 54.2 million yuan to the provincial government, which vowed that “all the fines would be spent in the fight against severe air pollution,” and presumably added, “oh, and some banquets.”
Out of fourteen cities monitored in Liaoning province, eight possessed unacceptably bad air quality, and the other six were not exactly fresh oases either. The province’s penalty comes in response to citizen’s discontent with the city’s abilities (or lack thereof) to clear the air, as China Daily reports:
The tough penalties come as severely polluted air has become a main source of complaints and frustration over health concerns among urban residents.
Choking smog attracted wide attention again last week as it blanketed 100 cities across more than half the country. Many rushed to buy face masks and air purifiers to ward it off, and primary and middle schools in the eastern city of Nanjing were even forced to close for two days.
According to a regulation which went into effect last year, the Liaoning provincial government evaluates 14 cities on indicators of PM10 (particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter), sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.
Shenyang, capital of Liaoning, was ordered to pay a fine of 34.6 million yuan. Seven other cities, including Dalian and Anshan, were fined 19.6 million yuan.
The provincial government certainly isn’t ignoring this season’s ridiculous smog, but we’ll wait and see how that 54 million yuan is spent before we give them a pat on the back.
[Image of Liaoning smog by China Daily]