BEIJING, July 4 China's top environmental
watchdog has told state-owned Sinopec Group, parent of Asia's top
refiner Sinopec Corp. (0386.HK), to stop operations at one of its
oilfields due to chronic river pollution.
The State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) said
in a statement that Zhongyuan Oilfields Petrochemical Company, a
unit of Sinopec, had failed to meet waste water treatment
requirements and had been ordered to pay a pollution fee and told
to halt operations.
The report did not specify which oilfield was affected or how
much Sinopec had to pay. Sinopec could not be reached for
Six cities, two counties and five industrial parks were also
named and shamed by the environment agency this week for their
role in polluting four major rivers, including China's longest
two, the Yangtze and the Yellow River.
Apart from Sinopec, 37 other companies have also been
punished for water pollution.
SEPA will not approve any projects proposed by the accused
polluters for three months other than treatment plants and
recycling facilities, the agency said in a statement on its Web
The ban will not be lifted until the sources of untreated
waste water are shut down, treatment facilities are installed and
regulations that protect violators are overturned, it said.
China has been struggling to change its priorities from
growth at all costs to more sustainable development as
environmental degradation fuels increasing public discontent and
threatens to compromise its economic rise.