Serious violations in implementation of environmental protection work have been found in North China"s Inner Mongolia autonomous region, according to the central environmental inspection group.
Among the problems discovered are severe damage caused to grasslands, and improper treatment of industrial waste, said the central environmental inspection group on Wednesday at a meeting held to provide feedback to the local authorities on their work undertaken to solve environmental problems detected since the last round of inspection.
The areas of grassland in seven leagues (an administration level above city in Inner Mongolia) and cities in the autonomous region have been on decline, showed a 2016 survey on grassland resources.
A primary reason behind the shrinking of grassland is mining, said the inspection group.
It pointed to the Party committees and governments of Tongliao and Huolin Gol for failing to pay enough attention to serious damage caused to grasslands, allowing coalmines in Holin River to illegally occupy grasslands.
In Xilin Gol League, the local land and resources bureau was criticized for giving green light to mining operations that did not restore damaged grasslands as required.
The inspection group said large amounts of alkaline earth were piled up randomly in a mining area operated by Sunite Alkali Ltd Co and the company did not cover soil and plant grass on it, which affected the growth of grasslands in the surrounding areas.
In Ewenki Autonomous Banner of Hulunbuir League, the local land and resources bureau falsified data of areas of water and soil loss restored in a mine by a building materials manufacturer.
The inspection group said grasslands have also been illegally occupied for the purpose of tourism development. A total of 71 scenic spots have occupied grasslands, 57 of them having done so without approval.
Moreover, overgrazing was not effectively controlled, particularly in Tongliao, Chifeng, Ordos and Bayannur League, and some local authorities did not grant subsidies of grassland protection to herdsmen as required, leading to serious overgrazing.
The inspection group also pointed to the problem of improper treatment and illegal dumping of industrial wastes.
The environmental inspection group was dispatched by the central government to provincial-level regions to check the environmental protection and policy implementation of local governments. Local authorities and officials that fail to perform the duty will be punished.
The first round of central inspection work was launched in January 2016, and all 31 provincial-level regions have been covered by the end of 2017. And the ongoing second round of inspection is expected to last for three years.