Environment watchdog suspends 30 projects


Updated Thu, 20 Jan 2005 00:00:00 GMT

 The State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) has ordered the halt of construction of 30 large projects which failed to meet environmental standards.

    Twenty-six of the projects are hydropower stations, thermal-power plants and other power projects including two at the Three Gorges area, said Pan Yue, SEPA's vice director.

    "The projects were halted because they failed to pass environmental impact assessments according to the country's laws and regulations," he said, adding that the projects posed considerable threats to the environment.

    The laws stipulate that all projects must pass environmental impact assessments before they can be constructed. However, many localities regard environmental bureaus as rubber stamps, and go ahead with construction even if the green light is not given.

    "We must sharpen our teeth. We shall never be rubber stamps. Wemust take concrete actions," Pan said, vowing that his administration would step up efforts in curbing heavily polluting projects, especially in power generation and the production of iron, steel, cement and aluminum.