• Tue
  • Sep 23, 2014
  • Updated: 10:25pm

Drones catch out industrial polluters in missions over north

Quarter of 254 targeted businesses might be involved in illegal practices

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 June, 2014, 4:25am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 June, 2014, 5:51am

Aerial drones have uncovered illegal emissions by some of the largest industrial companies in the north.

A unit of Hebei Iron & Steel Group, the mainland's top steelmaker; Shanxi Huaze Aluminium & Power; and Inner Mongolia Yihua Chemical were found to have "serious environmental problems", the Ministry of Environmental Protection said on its website.

Data gathered by the drones indicate a quarter of the 254 businesses targeted might be involved in illegal practices, it said.

This month's use of drones to enforce pollution laws followed trial monitoring from November to February in Hebei province, the ministry said.

Drones equipped with thermal infrared cameras covered 1,000 square kilometres across the regions of Hebei, Shanxi and Inner Mongolia from June 16 to Friday, according to its statement.

Premier Li Keqiang declared war on pollution in March after swathes of the north were blanketed in smog and the government's climate-change adviser said the situation had reached intolerable levels.

Poor air quality in the world's biggest carbon emitter is a regional health issue and damaging foreign investment and talent retention, World Health Organisation chief Dr Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun warned the same month. The ministry said it would follow up with on-the-ground inspections to ensure companies halted illegal emissions.

The use of unmanned aircraft means that companies secretly discharging pollutants at night or at weekends would find no place to hide, Xinhua reported, citing Chen Shanrong, the deputy head of environmental supervision at the ministry.


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This article is now closed to comments

The use of drones was announced earlier, happy to see the first results. For those who don't know, local authorities (and thugs) have been denying access to inspectors (or beat them up, or worse). Or when inspectors come, all is well. When they leave, back to polluting. In the past the only way around was to use ... Google maps. More in my book Toxic Capitalism.
Why do you need drones? Don't they have sensors that monitor emissions continuously? What's wrong with those sensors? Why doesn't the Ministry of Environmental Protection shut down companies for turning off or manipulating the sensors as they do in the OECD countries? Are the emissions being measured properly? On this I have to answer my own question - no they are not. With this in mind is there any surprise why China is so polluted?
all your questions are answered when the drones solve these issues! Quite frankly, I don't care about your questions - only care that the MoEP has drones and they're catching polluters!


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