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Air Pollution Results Tampered, Chinese Officials Arrested

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Countries are doing their best to fight climate change. In China, one man was caught tampering the result of the air pollution data, to avoid the penalties for high pollution in the city. The officials from the city of Xi’an, Shaanxi Province in China were detained for involving themselves in the crime of knowingly changing the air quality data to falsify the results.

The accused, He Limin, the Chief of Xi’an’s Environmental Protection Bureau, interfered with the air pollution data, entered the monitoring station without any supervision and block the air samplers. The accused did this because they wanted to avoid penalties for high pollution in the city.

In a report by the Global Times, an official from the Environmental Protection Bureau reported the fake statistics to the police last Friday. In the report, it stated that Limin made a copy of the keys to the monitoring station and held into password while the station was transferred to the University of Posts and Telecommunications that happened last February.

Granting the access of the accused inside the station after working hours, they entered and blocked the air samplers by putting cotton gauze inside. By doing so, it affects the air sampling and sends false data to the monitoring system. The National Environmental Monitoring Center sent out inspectors to investigate the station because the sudden change got their attention.

Through the investigation, they discovered that the surveillance video for the month of March was also tampered. The video was wiped out to cover up their anomalous activities after the working hours. An insider told the local Xi’an newspaper that the environmental officials took these steps against the law to make the data look better and to avoid high pollution penalties.

The air pollution in China kills an estimated 1.6 million people each year. China ranks number one on the World Health Organization’s name and shame list for the worst polluters, according to IFL Science.

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