Jail for company boss in first Chinese CFC11 case
CHINA: The head of a company producing thermal insulation has been jailed in China’s first successful court case involving the illegal use of ozone-depleting substances.
Qi Moumou, referred to as the legal representative of Minghe Thermal Insulation Material Co in Huzhou city, was also fined RMB50,000 ($7,000) and the company fined RMB700,000 ($98,000) for illegally using CFC11.
This case follows a crackdown by Chinese authorities after green group the Environmental Investigation Agency uncovered evidence in 2018 that China’s polyurethane foam sector was the cause of large increases in CFC11 observed in the atmosphere.
Thirty or more years ago, CFC11 was commonly used as a refrigerant and in the foam insulation sector. Under the Montreal Protocol, countries agreed to phase out CFC production by 2010, and since 2006 countries have reported close to zero production of CFC11.
China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment claims that between June and August 2019, special ODS enforcement actions were conducted nationwide. Eleven working groups carried out special inspections in key ODS provinces and cities.
The unannounced inspection of the Minghe Company found that it had illegally purchased and used 849.5 tons of CFC11 to produce polyether in the past three years.
Four other people from Shandong, Henan and Jiangsu provinces, who supplied the substance to Minghe, were also arrested.
In addition to the fine, the authorities also recovered more than RMB1.4m ($196,000) of company profit from the crime.
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