Women wear face masks on a heavily polluted day in Beijing on December 26, 2015. Thick smog continued a day after Beijing residents woke up to a white Christmas on December 25 with the sky obscured by thick toxic smog rather than snow. (Greg Baker / AFP)
BEIJING - Chinese environment authorities will establish a system to prevent and punish environmental data fraud, according to an official.
Since environmental monitoring is an important part of technical support in environment management, the ministry will give administrative penalties to people involved in environmental data fraud and transfer them to judicial organs for investigation if necessary, said the official with the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
Xi'an Intermediate People's Court in northwest China's Shaanxi Province Friday sentenced seven people, including the heads of two environmental protection branches, to imprisonments of over one year for falsifying air quality monitoring data.
The court said they interfered in the data collection of air quality, and used cotton to fill sampling instruments to lower pollution data, in February and March 2016.