BEIJING, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- China's Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) on Sunday named and shamed several cities in north China for not doing enough to cope with air pollution.
In an inspection on 18 cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and neighboring areas, the MEP found several problems in their response to air pollution, including inadequate planning and poor implementation.
Cangzhou city in Hebei province was criticized for failure to draw up a detailed list for business shutdowns on heavily polluted days, which made it hard to achieve desired emission-cut effects.
Local authorities in Dezhou city did not revise emergency response schemes in time, and Jiaozuo city did not initiate traffic controls when the city was on red pollution alerts, according to the ministry.
The inspection also found a county under Baoding city was lagging far behind in its task to upgrade coal-fired boilers, and several companies in Beijing, Dezhou and Zhengzhou were criticized for breaching emission rules.
China is intensifying efforts to fight pollution and environmental degradation after decades of growth left the country saddled with problems such as smog and contaminated soil.
A total of 720 people were detained and 6,454 held accountable in China for environment-related wrongdoing in 2016, according to earlier official information.
China has a four-tier color-coded warning system for air pollution, with red being the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue.