China’s environment ministry has criticized firms in Beijing and surrounding provinces for exceeding emission limits and ignoring emergency restrictions during the region’s latest smog crisis. As part of efforts to control hazardous air pollution, Beijing and Hebei province have implemented rapid response systems to limit traffic and force firms to cut production or slow construction work during heavy smog. But Reuters reports investigations over the past week revealed that a number of enterprises were failing to comply with emergency measures, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said in a notice on Thursday. The ministry said 11 enterprises in Hebei and nine in neighboring Shandong province were found to have exceeded emission limits during a recent period of heavy smog from Sunday to Wednesday. The smog covered 260,000 square kilometers.