Langfang, about 40 km from Beijing, is one of China’s most polluted cities. A thick blanket of smoke and emission fumes covers the city and its steel mill. Despite pressure from the central government and efforts by the local environmental protection agency, measures to protect the environment are mired in bureaucratic inertia and delays. There is an urgent need to solve the problems but who will pay? The central government’s strict policies address the mayors responsible for their cities and impose huge sanctions but come up against the machinery of local administrations, bureaucrats, and factory managers.