China: 17 cement companies have been found to regularly violate environmental protection laws by illegally discharging airborne pollutants, according to a report led by the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPEA). The report, conducted by the IPEA with several independent institutes and environmental non-government agencies (NGO), also accused the companies of failing to disclose environmental information as required.
The 17 cement companies have about 170 recorded environmental violations between them. Violations listed in the records include the lack of denitrification facilities, faulty monitoring appliances and excessive emissions.
"The State Council recently released 10 measures to control airborne pollution and achieve energy and emissions reductions. The extremely energy-intensive cement, steel and thermal energy production industries, especially those leading listed companies, need to share the heavy responsibility of reducing emissions and not disappoint the public," said Ma Jun, director of the IPEA.
The cement industry is among the six most heavily polluting industries that were required by the Environmental Protection Ministry to meet international emission limits from March 2013. Dust emissions from the cement industry accounted for about 30% of total industrial emissions in 2009.
"We found that this industry has shocking problems with dust and waste gas emissions. The cement industry's violations have deeply harmed the living environment and health of those who live near the factories," said Fang Yingjun from environmental NGO Green Jiangnan.
The environmental NGOs said that they have contacted the 17 listed companies to inform them of the aforementioned pollution problems, but most of the alleged offenders took an evasive stance.