More than 70% of the companies recently investigated by the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection failed to meet the government’s emission standards and regulations.
A total of 13,785 companies in 28 different cities across the Jing-Jin-Ji area (Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei) were found to be partly or completely ignoring strict limitations on harmful emissions that were set to keep the environment clean, according to Shanghaiist.
The ministry’s year-long investigation sent 5,600 inspectors throughout the region, which is already known for its polluted skies.
About 4,700 companies were discovered to have unauthorized locations and lacked the required certification, while also failing to comply with emission standards.
The companies included those in the steel, wood processing, furniture and machinery, and many other industries.
Some of them also reportedly operated without any pollution control equipment.
Fines may be imposed on companies who break the law, as well as having their power and water supplies or equipment removed.
In May, Beijing vowed to strengthen efforts to lower the levels of PM2.5 (airborne particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter) pollutants.
This is the key to solving its air pollution problems, Fang Li, head of the Municipal Environment Protection Bureau said, according to RT.com.
China and the EU have joined forces to combat climate change following President Donald Trump’s announcement that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris Agreement earlier in June.