China says some factories have violated anti-smog measures

BEIJING (AP) — China’s environmental ministry says an unspecified number of companies have violated measures meant to reduce smog during a period of particularly noxious pollution in the country.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection said Tuesday that 10 inspection teams had found companies resuming production despite a government ban and not complying with emission reduction measures.

A total of 24 cities are under a pollution “red alert,” the highest warning level in China’s four-tiered system. Some manufacturing companies are required to cut production and heavily polluting vehicles are banned from the roads.

Beijing has been on “orange alert” — the second-highest alert level — since Friday. The alert was originally due to end on Sunday, but authorities extended it for three days.

Coal-burning factories are a significant cause of China’s long-standing smog.