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Polluting companies told to pay for waste treatment

ENVIRONMENTAL authorities are coming up with new policies in the city as they step up the fight against polluting firms.

Companies which fail to meet the waste treatment standards will now be forced to use third-party agencies to process the polluting discharges, which can work out expensive.

“Third-party companies are more professional in dealing with pollution and its treatment. They are a safer choice in the fight against pollution,” Zhang Quan, chief of Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau, said in Shanghai yesterday.

“Those causing pollution have to be made responsible for its treatment as well. Now, they will be told to pay the costs of the treatment,” Zhang said.

The new policy is expected to force companies to upgrade their environmental protection facilities to avoid the high costs of treatment.

Companies which are unable to deal with waste treatment will be ordered to sign contract with approved companies for processing discharges.

There are over 150 such companies in Shanghai.

The bureau also plans to build an information platform that will list both pollutant companies and treatment firms so they can cooperate among themselves.

“The platform will be built to make third-party governance more market-oriented,” said Wang Qiang, chief of the bureau’s comprehensive planning department.

Wang also said that a list of polluting companies should be made available to the public for stricter supervision.

“It is very demanding of the 400 members of the Shanghai Environment Supervision Brigade to keep an eye on the over 10,000 major polluting companies,” Wang said.

“Apart from the technical monitoring methods, we want town and county level officials to organize their own supervision teams.

“They should also involve the general public. But before that, we need to come up with a more transparent information about the companies,” Wang added.

Third-party governance is not new to China but it has not been widely used as it is an costly affair.

“Some heavily polluting companies are not keen to cooperate with another company unless we come up with a policy,” said Xu Jiangang, general manager of Shanghai Oriental Environment Industry Co Ltd. The state-owned company has been working with the city’s electricity companies in cutting SO2 and NOx emission.


 

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