BEIJING, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) — China will soon launch a new round of central environmental inspections covering eight provincial-level areas, as the country finishes nationwide investigations into local environmental protection efforts, according to an official statement Monday.
A total of eight inspection teams will start month-long on-site investigations into local government work, including Jilin, Zhejiang and Shandong provinces, the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) said in a statement.
Inspectors will monitor key environmental issues, oversee local improvements and push local government accountability.
China launched a series of central environmental inspections in 2016 after decades of growth left the country saddled with problems such as smog and contaminated soil.
During the last round of inspections into seven provincial areas, China held over 4,660 officials accountable for poor environmental protection work.
The teams have found common problems, including illegal projects in nature reserves and a lack of eco-friendly facilities.
Last year, inspectors looked into 33,000 cases, imposing fines totalling 440 million yuan (65.4 million U.S. dollars). A total of 720 people were detained and almost 6,500 people held accountable.