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China court sentences three executives for water pollution

[JURIST] A court in China's Yunnan Province [official website, in Mandarin] on Tuesday sentenced three executives from a Chinese chemical company for polluting Yangzonghai Lake [Greenlaw backgrounder]. Chengjiang Jinye Industry and Trade Company chairman Li Dahong was sentenced to four years in jail [Xinhua report] and fined 300,000 yuan ($44,000 USD) by the Chengjiang County Basic Level Court, while general manager Li Yaohong and production department chief Jin Dadong were each sentenced to three years and fined 150,000 yuan ($22,000 USD). The company itself was fined 16 million yuan ($2.3 million USD) after the lake was found to be heavily contaminated [China Daily report] with industrial chemicals, including arsenic, traced to Jinye's fertilizer plants.

In October, the executives were arrested [Xinhua report], and 12 government officials were fired [China Daily report], as a result of the closure of a water plant which supplied water to 26,000 people. Last February, China's National People's Congress [official website, in Mandarin] passed an enhanced water pollution law [JURIST report] that increased penalties [Xinhua report] for company officials. China's has 22 percent of the world's population, but holds only 8 percent of the world's water [TIME Asia report], making water pollution a growing concern.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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