BEIJING (AP) -- Chinese state media are reporting that a court in eastern China has issued the country's biggest environmental fine resulting from public interest litigation against polluters.
The official Xinhua News Agency said late Tuesday that the Jiangsu provincial high court ordered six companies to pay 160 million yuan ($26 million) for discharging waste chemicals into rivers.
Xinhua said the public interest group, the Taizhou City Environmental Protection Association, had brought suit against the chemical and pharmaceutical companies.
The high court upheld a guilty verdict against the companies finding they discharged 25,000 tons of waste acid into two rivers.
China is under intense pressure to clean up its contaminated environment and earlier this year launched an environmental high court overseeing litigation in lower courts.