China’s cabinet, the State Council, has sent an inspection team that includes graft-busters to Hebei ( 河北 ) province in an effort to solve its worsening pollution. The team’s month-long review of the province’s implementation of green policies is said to be modelled on the anti-corruption campaign waged by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. The CCDI has sent inspection teams to various agencies and state firms. READ MORE - Chinese green squads to monitor war on smog in polluted cities The State Council’s team is led by retired deputy environment minister Zhou Jian and serving deputy minister Zhai Qing. It includes members from the CCDI and the Central Organisation Department, which oversees personnel appointments, reported China Environment News . The team is seeking evidence of environmental violations and corruption and its findings will affect the performance appraisals of local officials. The move by the State Council breaks from tradition, as inspection teams usually operate under the environment ministry. However, local governments and companies find it easy to get around the ministry’s inspections, according to Hu Xingdou, a professor at Beijing Institute of Technology. Hu said a common trick was to turn on pollution treatment facilities when inspectors arrived, and turn them off when they left. The inspections ordered by the State Council are aimed not only at tackling pollution and corruption, but also dereliction of duty, which is common in local government, according to Hu. “Inaction towards polluters means local authorities have either covert economic interests from tolerating pollution, or they simply want higher GDP figures regardless of the damage to the environment,” Hu said. READ MORE - China detains 10 company officials over fabricated pollution data as public anger grows over air quality The participation of the CCDI will put greater pressure on the officials under inspection. Beijing and Hebei experienced the worst smog of 2015 in December. Early in the month, the environment ministry sent an inspection team to Shijiazhuang ( 石家莊 ) and Xingtai ( 邢台 ), two of the most polluted cities in Hebei province, but the smog was so thick the team lost their way, according to the Southern Metropolis Daily . The new mechanism for environmental inspections was established last year, giving the environment ministry the power to oversee provincial governments despite having the same official ranking, said Yang Weimin, a deputy head of the Office of the Central Leading Group for Finance and Economic Affairs. Critics question whether the establishment of the new mechanism means China’s green laws have failed. They also question whether the inspections can have the same force as the anti-graft campaign as the ministry still has less authority than the CCDI.