China closed down 3,176 companies last year for violations of environmental regulations as part of a nationwide effort to control industrial pollution.
Chinese departments such as the State Environmental Protection Administration investigated 720,000 companies in 2006 regarding environmental regulations and laws, closing 3,176 and settling with another 13,000, Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, reported Sunday.
An official said the campaign targeted industrial parks that could threaten the environment.
Of the 29,890 companies investigated, severe penalties were handed out to 4,162 for pollution violations.
Despite the success of the campaign, China was unable to meet its 2006 pollution control targets.
To help meet such pollution and energy conservation goals, SEPA officials ordered all offending companies to install monitoring systems that will be overseen by local environmental groups, Xinhua said.
Copyright 2007 by United Press International
Explore further: Central Asia hit with record-breaking heatwave