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China steel mill boss detained for pollution offences - state media

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) – The boss of a steel mill in the city of Tangshan in Hebei province has been detained after his plant was found to have violated anti-smog restrictions, state media reported on Monday.

The Tangyin Steel Plant, owned by the Tangshan Iron and Steel Group, had failed to carry out a mandatory 50% production cut, imposed by the local government, the Futures Daily newspaper reported.

The paper said all three of its blast furnaces were still in full operation when the plant was visited by inspectors on July 19, and its general manager had been detained.

Reuters was not immediately able to contact the plant or its parent company.

Chinese steel output has reached record levels this year, with much of the increase coming from smaller mills with lower environmental compliance costs. The surge has raised concerns that China’s war on pollution has lost steam as the economy slows.

Environmental officials have been at pains to say that production restrictions will be rigorously enforced this year, with the steel sector still a major target.

Tangshan, China’s biggest steel producing city, said in June that it would impose output restrictions on local steel firms until August in order to curb smog.

(Reporting by David Stanway; editing by Richard Pullin)

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