Wen Feng is an environmental inspection team leader
I started to work in the environmental protection department in Yangxin county, Hubei province, after I retired from military service.
My department has five inspectors, including me. I was responsible for checking pollution problems at 21 enterprises, most of which were chemical plants.
I inspected the companies regularly - twice a month. Whenever a complaint came in, usually at 2 or 3 am, I needed to get to the place within 45 minutes.
In my earlier years of work, those companies' guards sometimes wouldn't let me in and even set dogs on me because they didn't know about environmental inspectors. In that case, I had to investigate in secret.
In December, I was selected by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment to lead an inspection team in Liaocheng, Shandong province. I felt honored but at the same time pressured. I did a lot of preparation work such as collecting information about chemical plants in Liaocheng.
Every inspection team is scheduled to work 15 days in each city. During that limited period, I try to make the best of my time to find as many pollution problems as possible.
I was once a soldier, and now I treat environmental protection as a battle. As a soldier, my strategy was to concentrate my fire. It is not as important to check as many enterprises as possible. What really matters is how many problems are found.
I have skills to improve efficiency. For example, cement plants don't produce in winter, so, since it's December, I don't pick those companies to check. My focus is on those that continue to operate in winter and may produce more harmful emissions than the allowable standard.
To defend the blue skies, I think concerted efforts are really needed. Companies should be conscious of environmental protection and make it a priority.
Local governments should help the central government find problematic companies instead of defending their local corporate taxpayers. It is also important that the public develop an awareness of the environment and that people take part in the fight.
Wen Feng spoke with China Daily reporter Li Hongyang.