Environmental advocates in China state that punishments laid down by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, in many cases related to pollution and unlawful practices, are simply not strict enough. Such laws show determination of the government, but are not strong enough to raise fear.
On May 14, 2013 the ministry said it had punished state-owned companies and local governments when they did not reach their 2012 emission reduction requirements. The ministry also named some of these state-owned companies, including China National Petroleum Corp, China Huadian Corp, China Petroleum and Chemical Corp.
Before this move was taken, ministry conducted a special inspection for groundwater pollution in six of the provinces in North China, which resulted in fines for 88 companies. About 26,000 companies were examined during the 40-day campaign, but the average fine was less than 70,000 yuan.
Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs said, “I support the government disclosing more information about such unlawful behaviorby big companies, because they usually emit large quantity of pollutants, posing more threat to the environment”. Jun also went on to say that weak fines will not create fear with the companies and they will continue to pollute the environment.