On May 9, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment published the Notice on the Listing and Supervision of Major Pollutants Discharged by Five Key Pollutants Discharging Units. Among them, Jinxi Branch of a Jiangxi Environmental Protection Co., Ltd. was named. The main problem is that the pollutant discharging unit entered the serious exceeding key pollutant discharging list in the third and fourth quarters of 2018 for two consecutive quarters. In the fourth quarter of 2018, ammonia nitrogen exceeded the standard for 89 days and chemical oxygen demand exceeded the standard for 76 days.
After investigation, an environmental protection limited company is a wholly owned subsidiary company of a listed company, which mainly deals with municipal domestic sewage and industrial wastewater treatment. However, the reporter has checked the announcement issued by the listed company since last year, and has not seen the self-disclosure of this matter.
According to the company's annual report "Environmental Information", each sewage treatment project of the company has an outlet, which distributes in the tailrace pump house of the sewage treatment plant area, and directly enters the water environment of rivers and lakes after discharge. 79 subsidiaries and branches of the company, as well as an environmental protection engineering limited liability company entrusted by the company, were listed in the list of key sewage units in Jiangxi Province (key sewage units in water environment) in 2018. In 2018, the average concentration and total amount of pollutants discharged from the company's sewage treatment business are not higher than the stipulated standards.
Current environmental laws and regulations mainly stipulate the obligation of environmental information disclosure of key pollutant discharge units. Although the company annual report does not disclose the environmental information of key pollutant discharge units in detail, it does not mean that there is no problem. The public information available shows that in 2018, the subordinate units of the company were repeatedly punished by the environmental protection department.
Reporters sort out the public information, and many listed companies in steel, pharmaceutical and chemical industries refuse to disclose information after receiving administrative penalties for environmental protection. For example, a pharmaceutical enterprise, enterprise survey showed that on July 7, 2018, the Environmental Protection Bureau of Zibo City, Shandong Province, had imposed a fine on the company for discharging odorous gases. But the company did not disclose this information from beginning to end. Even some state-owned enterprises selectively disclose environmental information, especially the information punished by law enforcement departments, they are reluctant to mention at all.
In 2017, a large domestic iron and steel enterprise was punished seven times for environmental protection problems, involving over 4.2 million yuan. The company did not mention any problems in environmental protection information disclosure. Since 2018, although the company's environmental protection situation has improved, there are still many punishments recorded. For example, in February 2018, the company's suspected illegal dust management system was punished by the Anshan Environmental Protection Bureau. In January 2019, the company was fined 100,000 yuan by Anshan Eco-environmental Bureau for its suspected illegal discharge of pollutants. So far, the company has not disclosed this information to the public. There are different opinions about the reasons why environmental punishment information is not disclosed. According to the relevant person in charge of a listed company, the announcement criteria have several scales, such as fines to a certain amount, or cumulative amounts to a certain amount, or fines have an impact on the company's future major operations. From several dimensions, many administrative penalties for environmental protection fail to meet the requirements of public announcement.
However, many insiders believe that environmental information disclosure can not be narrowly understood as the standard of publicity based on the amount of fines or the impact on business. Environmental information related to the public, especially the key pollutant discharge units and administrative penalties, should be disclosed to investors on their own initiative in a timely manner, and fully explain the situation. In contrast, some enterprises have done well in environmental information disclosure. On May 21, Yunnan Copper Industry disclosed that its Southwest Copper Industry was punished by the environmental protection department for exceeding the emission standards. Although the fine is only 300,000 yuan, which is not a major violation of the law, and will not have a significant impact on the company's business performance, the company has disclosed all the facts to the outside world and said that effective measures should be taken to correct them in time. In fact, the regulatory authorities have always attached great importance to environmental information disclosure. In 2018, Sichuan Securities Regulatory Bureau tightly combined with the new requirements of the standard of periodic report format, strictly required listed companies of key pollutant discharge in their jurisdiction to do a good job in environmental information disclosure, and promptly supervised six companies that did not comply with the regulations to make supplementary disclosure. The Shaanxi Securities Regulatory Bureau also convened a discussion on environmental information disclosure among executives of 17 key pollutant discharge units, such as Xinghua Stock, Shaanxi Black Cat, Rainbow Stock and Baoti Stock.
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