A total of 720 people were detained and 6,454 held accountable in China for environment-related wrongdoing in 2016, according to information disclosed at a national environment work conference.
Through public tip-offs and random checks, inspectors looked into 33,000 cases and imposed fines totalling 440 million yuan ($63.6 million) after the Central Government's inspections to several provinces and municipalities including Beijing and Shanghai.
In 2016, the government refused 11 high-pollution and high-energy consuming projects, involving total investments of 97 billion yuan ($14.02 billion), according to the conference.
Last year, a total of 4.05 million high-emission vehicles were taken off the country's roads.
Partly due to those efforts, Chinese cities reported less PM2.5 pollution in 2016, with the average density of PM2.5 in 338 cities falling by 6 percent.
Meanwhile, days with good air quality rose 2.1 percent from a year ago.
China is fighting pollution and environmental degradation after decades of growth left the country saddled with problems such as smog and contaminated soil.
The Central Government put forth a national plan on environmental improvement for the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020) last month, which set detailed tasks on polluted air, water and soil.
(Xinhua News Agency January 11, 2017)