Maximum fine for Songhua River polluter

The northeast China company responsible for a major chemical spill in 2005 has been fined 1 million yuan (US$125,000) by China's top environment watchdog, state media reported on Friday.

China’s State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) fined the Jilin Petrochemical Company, a subsidiary of PetroChina, for an explosion at the company’s chemical plant in Jilin province in November 2005.

Under Chinese law, companies can only be fined a maximum of 1 million yuan (US$125,000) for causing pollution.

The accident resulted in about 100 tonnes of waste containing benzene spilling into the nearby Songhua River and forced downstream cities along the river to cut water supplies to 3.8 million people for several days.

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