BEIJING - A total of 5,763 officials have been held accountable for inadequate environmental protection in the latest round of national inspections, according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
From August to September this year, eight teams dispatched by central authorities reviewed local government work in the fourth round of inspections, which took place in Jilin, Zhejiang, Shandong, Hainan, Sichuan, Qinghai, Xinjiang and Tibet.
During the inspections, the teams received a staggering 59,848 public complaints. After sorting through them and accounting for duplicate reports, that number was whittled down to 39,586 cases, which were assigned to local authorities for further investigation.
As of Sept. 15, when the inspections were completed, local authorities had examined 35,039 cases, accounting for 88.5 percent of the total cases, and imposed fines totaling 465.8 million yuan (about 71.1 million U.S. dollars).
The inspections are part of China"s campaign to fight pollution and environmental degradation as decades of growth have left the country with smog, polluted water and contaminated soil.
Inspectors monitor prominent environmental issues, oversee local improvements and push local government accountability.