Hefei-based subsidiaries of Unilever and Hitachi"the only two foreign firms included in a spot environmental inspection earlier this summer"were both caught pumping out wastewater in violation of government limits. Now the State Environmental Protection Administration promises domestic-foreign parity in the handing out of punishment. From China Daily:
A senior official at the environment watchdog yesterday vowed to mete out equally harsh punishments to domestic and foreign-funded firms that violate environmental laws.
Ren Longjiang, an official with the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), said all enterprises must obey environmental laws and regulations. "Environmental pollution caused by foreign-funded companies has come to the attention of SEPA, and we will strengthen our supervision," Ren told the Xinhua News Agency. [Full Text]
According the article, Unilever has been charged 100,000 RMB for discharging water with chemical oxygen demand (a measure of organic pollutants) in excess of environmental limits. Hitachi was found discharging water with excessive pH levels. The article did not say what fine the Japanese electronics producer faced.