BEIJING, Aug. 3 -- A total of 583 lead battery manufacturing plants were shut down after government authorities conducted a series of inspections earlier this year in an effort to reduce heavy metal pollution.
According to a statement issued on Tuesday by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), a total of 1,930 lead battery production, assembly and recycling plants have been inspected as of the end of July.
Of these plants, 252 were given permission to continue operating and 80 were still under construction. Operations for 1,015 of the plants were suspended, the statement said, adding that the names of all of the plants have been publicized.
According to the statement, many of the plants were closed because they had small production scales and poor technical standards, while others were closed for improperly disposing of pollution or for poor management practices.
Heavy metal pollution is a serious concern in China. A toxic spill led to the poisoning of 168 people in east China's Zhejiang Province in March.
The MEP urged environmental departments at all levels to further observe environmental conditions and wastewater treatment facilities used by battery manufacturing plants.
The lead battery plant overhaul was jointly initiated in March by nine government departments, including the National Development and Reform Commission and the MEP.