China's environmental watchdog has sent inspection teams to 7 cities to cope with a new round of severe smog.
The inspection teams sent by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) went to Beijing, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, Tangshan, Baoding, Xingtai and Anyang, all of which are located in northern China.
Inspectors discovered factories fabricating pollutant data in Anyang and Xingtai. A steel mill in Tangshan was found to have shut down a pollutant detector. Those responsible have been detained by local police, the MEP said in a statement on Tuesday.
In Tianjin, smog emergency plans have been poorly implemented. Several cement producers in Tangshan were found to have continued operations when they should have been suspended.
In Shijiazhuang and Beijing, a ceramics producer and a paper maker cheated inspectors regarding the use of purifying equipment. In Xingtai, a furniture plant refused inspectors who were attempting to conduct inspections.
The new round of air pollution will continue in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region between April 3 and 7, with the cities of Tianjin, Tangshan, Langfang, Puyang and Anyang issuing orange alerts, the second-highest in the country's four-tier warning system.
China has been under growing pressure to address air pollution as smog frequently smothers the country's cities.